The Difference Between an Experience and Relationship with God
Life Group Announcements:
- June 16th is the last Sunday for parking in the elementary school parking lot
- Dinner and Silent Auction Fundraiser for Youth Summer Camp: June 22, 2019 – $12
- Youth Summer Camp: August 5th-9th – $395 (See church site for details)
- Pray for Paul/Leigh Ann Bearce as well as Jonny Rizzo’s mother (all fighting cancer)
Life Group Questions:
Preacher: Pastor Julian Malotti
Title: The Difference Between an Experience and Relationship with God
Sermon Series: Impact Babylon
- After interpreting King Nebuchadnezzar’s second dream (Daniel 4:27), Daniel says something to the King that’s for us today: Repent and change your ways, be kind and not oppressive, listen to the warnings of God! If you change now, maybe you won’t have to experience negative consequences, loss, and confusion! Let’s not wait for the discipline of God to start changing any sin or unwise/unhealthy habits that could be obstacles for us to experience the power/blessings of God.
- After Daniel’s warning to the King (Daniel 4:29), twelve months later the King reaped what he sowed as God warned him. Even though the King reaped negative consequences, notice that God was patient for one year. It was the King’s choice to experience the seven years of loss, not God’s.
- King Nebuchadnezzar had a few experiences with God (e.g., Daniel interpreting his first dream, the three boys in the fiery furnace, and now this). However, having an experience with God is different than having a relationship with God. In fact, Jesus says that if we love Him, then we’ll obey Him (John 14:23).
- Pastor Julian mentioned that we shouldn’t confuse the patience of God for the approval of God. In other words, just because we continue disobeying God and don’t see anything immediately, doesn’t mean the discipline won’t come.
- Lastly, it’s easy to think this another way of telling people how to live their lives. Remember though, when the King surrendered to God, his sanity was restored and he could think clearly again and he praised God!
Share a personal testimony of the goodness of God in a time where you looked to Heaven and surrendered to God and He restored you.
If you feel comfortable, please share a personal testimony of how you believe God spoke to you in the past, or maybe now, about something He wanted you to repent from, or give up and turn towards Him. Are you glad you did? If you didn’t, what consequences did you experience? What would you have done differently?
Is it tempting to blame God for negative consequences/confusion in your life? What are some ways we tend to do this?
What are some good examples of being a “fan” of God versus being a servant of God? What should our lives look like if Jesus is our Lord (our “Boss”) and not just someone we like (or we can benefit from)?
Have you ever experienced a time where God said to do one thing, but you thought it would be better to do it your way, and then you thought maybe you were right because there were no immediate consequences? Only to find out later that God was actually right after all? What advice would you give someone to avoid this?
Related Bible Verses:
- Daniel 4 (Main text)
- John 14:23 (Reference)