(The following is a family devotional guide with suggested questions and scriptures.)
Focus Verse: “I will be strong and courageous. I will not be afraid of them because God is with me. He will not fail me or leave me.” -Deuteronomy 31:6
T-Talk About It Topic
What are some of your fears? Let’s imagine for a moment this scenario: What if they become reality? What would you do then? How would you react? As much as we don’t want to think about our greatest fears come true, the question is good for thought…what would we do? Is your first instinct to run away or stand your ground and face that fear? I think if many of us were to be honest, our first instinct would be to run away, but if we mentally talk the fear out, reaction by reaction, it all boils down to this truth: Do we trust God?
A-Anchor To The Bible
Many times, we are hit with a fear right when we aren’t expecting it. Often times, it comes right after we have had an incredible, “mountaintop” moment with God – a moment in which we have experienced the presence of God or an answered prayer.
Have you ever had a “mountaintop moment”? What was it?
Elijah, a prophet of God, actually experienced a “mountaintop” moment with God – it was a moment in which he challenged the 450 prophets of Baal to prove their god was real by calling upon him to set a sacrifice on fire. Well, after a long, drawn-out day of praying to Baal, nothing happened. So, Elijah got up, called upon his God, and God answered by sending a fire, consuming the sacrifice. Not only did God prove that Ge was very much real, Elijah had the 450 prophets seized and killed. This was one big mountaintop moment for Elijah.
It’s usually after these “mountaintop moments” that some sort of adversity comes…
After hearing that her 450 prophets were killed, the evil Queen Jezebel responded with vowing to kill Elijah. Once Elijah heard this, he was afraid for his life. Elijah, who had just seen God’s power and might revealed, got scared and took off. He was so scared, he traveled 100 miles opposite of where he was – not only that, he went into an isolated place in the desert. Worn out from running, he sat down, prayed that he would die, and fell asleep.
Too many times we hear about people wanting to give up and die, like Elijah. Why do you think he gave up? Have you ever wanted to give up?
Well, God graciously does not answer Elijah’s prayer. Instead, He tends to Elijah’s needs. Two different times, an angel woke Elijah up, fed him, and gave him water. That nourishment supernaturally gave Elijah the energy to travel 40 days and 40 nights to Mount Horeb, the mountain of God. Little did he know that he would experience God in a whole new way on this mountain.
Once there, God asked Elijah why he was running away. Sometimes, just talking about something scary makes it seem less scary.
God also had another important lesson for Elijah: He wanted Elijah to experience Him in a whole new way – a tender and loving way. After sending a powerful windstorm, a violent earthquake, and a destructive fire Elijah’s way on that mountain, God did something totally different: He spoke to Elijah in a still, soft voice. It was the voice of a caring, loving father – a side Elijah needed most right then. Once again, that still, soft voice asked Elijah why he was running away. Elijah explained his fear again…and then God does something very non-miraculous: He tells Elijah to go back and face his fears, that He would be with him every step of the way. And while Elijah probably didn’t love this, he learned something that renewed his faith: His God listened to him, took care of him, and loved on him. So, Elijah returned to face his fears, knowing that God was with him every step of the way.
L-Learn God’s Word
Deuteronomy 31:6 is a great reminder for all of us to stand firm in our faith when fear hits us – that we can be strong and courageous because God is with us. Elijah ran, and it cost him much time and energy traveling hundreds of miles on foot just to learn that God was with Him – He didn’t fail Elijah or abandon him. Fear can sure make us think that we are all alone, but if we are willing to face that fear, trusting that God won’t leave us or fail us, we, too, can be strong and courageous.
K-Keep Each Other Accountable
Here are a few ideas to keep everyone in check with this week’s TALK:
Do we trust that God would help us, defend us, strengthen us, work through us, or bring good out of our situations? That is one hard battle of faith to fight, especially if it seems that God has been unfair by allowing this fear to come true. But, it is one fight worth having. Talk about some tough battles you or your children have had and how God showed up in each of them. (And for the ones you aren’t sure about, talk about some of the good that has come through the adversity. Romans 8:28 tells us that God brings good out of any bad for those who love Him.)
Pray this week’s Focus Verse with your kiddos! Write it on a note and put it in their lunch boxes. You can also write it on their mirrors or text it to them daily. Even better, say it to them personally every day before they leave for school.
Motivate each other to memorize our focus verse this week. Write the focus verse on a chalkboard and display it by the door. Have them say the verse each morning and initial they did so.