Defying Gravity (Part 3): Reliant

TO START

To start group, share your Thanksgiving pits and peaks (bad and good moments). Did anything great happen? Anything terrible/awkward/sad? Share it with your people. Perhaps a prayer will make sense after you’ve shared.

TO DISCUSS

Have you ever tried to combat temptation on your own?

  • Share some of the ways that played out.
  • How did it leave you feeling?
  • Were you effective in beating sin?

On Sunday we said that one powerful way of dealing with the temptation to sin is to remember that our sins (and our temptations) are NOT our identity. We are not our sin.

● Have you ever felt defined by one of your sins? How did it feel? What did it lead to? Were you more or less likely to embrace that sin? Share with the group.

Psychology professor Peter Herman has coined the term “false hope syndrome.” He says, when someone makes a resolution that is completely out of alignment with what they really believe is possible or how they view themselves, this not only leads to failure but a great despondency.

  • Have you ever tried to do something you honestly thought was impossible? Did your experience line up with Herman’s findings?
  • What does that mean when it comes to our ability to beat sin and overcome temptation? What do we have to believe about sin in order to overcome it?

In the sermon Justin said, we tend to see struggles with sin as a matter of self control, but they’re a matter of the Spirit’s empowerment. So, how do we empower the work of the Spirit in us?

  • Is this something you struggle to understand? If so, ask some questions of your group. What do you want to know?
  • Group members with some wisdom, share ways you actively rely on God to overcome sin.

  • Make a solid list with at least five practical ways to seek and depend upon God’s power in our battle with sin.

TO READ

Read I Corinthians 10:12-14.

  • Is it helpful to you to know that your temptations aren’t unique? Do you feel like your temptations are unique? Why do you think God tells us they aren’t?
  • What is God’s promise to us in temptation?

Read Galatians 5:16-25.

  • When you walk by the Spirit what grows in you?
  • What does a person walking by the Spirit not do?
  • What does it mean to “walk by the Spirit”?

TO PRAY

Here’s a prayer for moments of temptation (rooted in scripture) you might share with your group. You could even pray it aloud together:

Dear Lord,
You know the temptations I am facing today. I need your help in this battle. My flesh is weak, so I need your help and the power of your Holy Spirit to fill me with strength.
Your Word promises that I will not be tempted beyond what I can bear. I ask for your strength to stand up against temptation each and every time I encounter it.
Help me stay awake so that temptation won't catch me by surprise. I want to keep on praying so that I won't be dragged away by evil desires. Help me keep my spirit well fed with your Holy Word so that I always remember that greater are you, Almighty God, who is living in me than any power of darkness and sin that is in the world.
Your Word also tells me you will provide a way of escape from temptation. Please, Lord, give me the wisdom to walk away when I am tempted, and the clarity to see the way out that you will provide. Thank you, God, that you are a faithful deliverer and that I can count on your help in my time of need.
In the name of Jesus, I pray,
Amen.

TO DO

If last week you shared some of the sins you’re struggling to overcome, consider taking time this week to create reliance plans. What would it look like to rely on God when you’re tempted to engage in your favorite/choice/besetting sin? Think of specific examples together as a group.