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Dear Leader

Herewith the Life Group Guideline for this week.

Opening Prayer:

Worship suggestions:
1. Holy is the Lord (Chris Tomlin) https://youtu.be/FIwMYktdBg8
2. Resurrection Power (Chris Tomlin) https://youtu.be/GiatOIz8h0A
3. First love (Chris Tomlin / Kim Walker Smith) https://youtu.be/3eznwSW5RJw

Icebreaker and #NT260 Check in:

We have stepped into the book of Ephesians. Read Ephesians 1:1-14 and ask each person to mention what it means to them to be 'In Christ'.

Theme – Rise up mighty child of God.
Recap on the story of Gideon from Judges 6.

Gideon lacked confidence and struggled with inferiority. But by God's grace he rose up to become what God intended him to be.

In every child of God there are seeds of greatness. Everyone's life is significant. We need to reject our insecurities and believe God in order to see those seeds of greatness grow and develop.

God had delivered the Israelites out of bondage but they had not continued to walk in obedience to His voice so He gave them over to captivity for 7 years. So Israel was in a place of defeat. In their distress they cried out to God for deliverance from the Midianites. And God had a plan in mind. He sent his angel to Gideon and declared Gideon's true identity. 'You mighty man of valour.' And then He called Gideon and said 'You shall save Israel.'

In April last year many believers gathered in Bloemfontein to call out to God. It is God's plan for His people to live in freedom.

Share the following lessons from the story of Gideon and ask people to comment on each.

a. God's preparation
Judges 6:25-26
He gave Gideon an initial task. 'Tear down your father's altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood you have cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.'

Reflection - We need to destroy any idols in our lives or in our family.

b. God's confirmation
- Gideon's fleece (Judges 6:36-40)
- Gideon eavesdropping as a man from the Midianite army shared a dream of a barley loaf (Judges 6:9-15)

Reflection - We need to be careful of depending on circumstantial signs when making decisions (e.g. A home sale, a positive visa application). Primarily we should be hearing God through His Word and through His Holy Spirit. If we are praying for direction or confirmation and lay out a fleece, ensure that it is a supernatural fleece. Something that if it happens it can only be the Lord that brings it about.

c. God's choice of the army
God wanted to reduce the size of the army to show that it was only through His might that victory was gained. So God said that those who were afraid could go home. And then he told Gideon that only those who knelt down and drunk water were to be part of the army. Those who were ready and watching.

Reflection - Trust in the Lord's strength not in the strength of men.

d. God's strategy
God gave Gideon a strategy. He was to take his 300 men, give them an earthen jar with a light inside. They were to blow their trumpets, smash the jars and shout for victory.

Reflection: We need to trust God not only for the what but also for the how. We need to know His will and also His strategy for the outworking of His will in our lives.

e. God's victory
Judges 6:22 'When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords.'

Reflection - God can give us victory in supernatural ways.

Key points:

1. Make no room for inferiority. Don't let it steal your destiny.
Read Judges 6:15 (The Message)
Oxford definition of inferiority – 'A feeling that you are of lower status or have less ability than other people'. Inferiority usually results in people withdrawing.
Many people can relate to Gideon and feelings of inferiority. But we need to get on top of these feelings because inferiority can steal our destiny and prevent us from fulfilling the call that God has on our lives.

Gideon made an excuse for why God couldn't use him. Sometimes we make excuses when God asks us to do things for His kingdom. Don't spend time making excuses instead start doing what God asks you to do.

Discussion 1: Have you ever struggled with inferiority? Are you still struggling with inferiority?

2. God sees what you can become. Come into agreement with His plan, say Yes!

In Judges 6:11-12 the angel of the Lord says to Gideon 'The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valour.'
At that point of time Gideon couldn't see that he was a mighty man of valour. But God could see the potential inside of him.

God is speaking prophetic statements over your life. It doesn't matter what others have said about you. It matters what God speaks over your life, because God sees what you can become.

When Gideon stepped out in faith He came into agreement with God's plans. He said Yes and came into agreement with God.

Judges 6:34 'But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon.'

When we say Yes to God's plan the Holy Spirit will come upon us to empower us to fulfil His plan for our lives. God's plans for your life can never be fulfilled in your own strength. God will empower us to fulfil the destiny He has for us.

Discussion 2: What has God spoken over your life? Do you believe that with the power of the Holy Spirit God you can accomplish what He has called you to be and do?

Prayer ministry:
Pray for one another in groups of 3.

Regards

Bruce Taylor
LIFE GROUPS PASTOR

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