Don’t Take The Bait – The Bait of Avoiding

(Message 3) When you’re offended, how do you react to the person who offended you? Are you a shouter or a pouter? Do you yell, or stew in the offense and rehearse your response? In this message, we look at Elijah who was a bit of a pouter at times. So, join us as we continue in our series with the message, “Don’t Take the Bait – The Bait of Avoiding”. #GCDontTakeTheBait

The Bait of Avoiding Others
(When Avoiding Healthy Confrontation with Others:)

  1. We take on problems that do not belong to us
  2. We isolate ourselves
  3. We amplify the offense
  4. The noise around us overpowers the noise within us
  5. We forfeit our potential influence

 

The Bait of Avoiding Ourselves

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Key Scripture:

1 Kings 19:1-4 (NLT)

1 When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. 2 So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.” 3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. 4 Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”

1 Kings 19:8-12 (NLT)

 8 So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. 9 There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. 9 But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.

1 Kings 19:15-16 (NLT)

15 Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. 16 Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet.

Matthew 7:1-5

Psalms 139:23-24

Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

  • Do you think most individuals avoid confrontation with others or with themselves?  If so, why?

Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.

  • Read 1 Kings 19:1-4.  Discuss this instance of avoiding the threat from Jezebel and compare it with Elijah’s bold faith in 1 Kings 18, with the defeat of the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel.
  • Read 1 Kings 19:8-12.  What was Elijah’s reason to go to Mt Sinai? Why does the author specify that “the Lord was not in” each of these powerful events, but spoke to Elijah as “the sounds of a gentle whisper.”?
  • Read 1 Kings 19:15-16.  What are some of the reasons Elijah was commanded to anoint his own replacement, Elisha, as prophet?

Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.

  • Do you see yourself as a “Shouter” or a “Pouter” when you are confronted or offended?  Or, are you somewhere in between?
  • Pastor Clay said that when you avoid an offense without confronting it, you take on a problem that was never intended for you to carry.  How does unresolved conflict affect your life?
  • Do you agree that if you avoid handling things God’s way that you could possibly lose some of your influence?  What are some other ways that you might lose your influence?
  • What are some practical ways you can stop avoiding others and yourself?
  • How do you know whether the problem in a situation should be confronted with another person or within yourself?  Is there such a thing as an offense or problem which should be avoided?

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

  • Identify one area where you are avoiding healthy confrontation and ask God to help you address it with grace and truth.

Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.

  • Jesus, we thank you that we don’t have to be afraid and that you have won victory for us.  Please help us to confront sin with truth and grace, in ourselves and those around us.    -Amen

Start digging. For further study.

Speaker

Clay Weed

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