Caricature or Reality?

Summary: In order to pray, worship and serve God effectively, we need to understand who he is. This begins with an understanding that he is first of all holy. Only when we get a handle on his holiness can everything else fall into place

Open (5 Minutes)

1. Who was the most intimidating person in your life? A coach? Teacher? Parent? Principle? Drill Sergeant? Why were they intimidating?

2. Have you ever felt intimidated by God?

Dig (20 minutes)

3. (Heb 12:29) God often reveals himself in fire, such as the burning bush or the fire that covered the top of Mount Sinai. What does this communicate about God's holiness?

4. (Isa 6:1-5) Why do you suppose the word "holy" is used three times?

5. How does this details of this encounter communicate something of the holiness of God?

6. Why is an encounter with God's holiness typically traumatic?

7. (Jud 6:11-27) Why would a holy God be opposed to idols even if the idols were built in honor of him and not some other God? What would an idol indicate about the worshipper's view of God?

8. Describe some of the idols (or limited conceptions of God) Christian unwittingly worship today? What are some reasons Christians construct these idols?

9. According to the story, what did Gideon have to do before he could serve God and deliver the people from the oppression of the Midianites?

Application (20 minutes) - Let's explore if we have unwittingly constructed any idols in our lives. Instead of considering what we know cognitively, let's explore what are actions say we believe intuitively.

10. What does the way you use your time and resources say to you about your own conception of God?

11. What does your reaction to sin and injustices in your surroundings say to you about your own conception of God?

12. What does the nature of your prayer life say to you about your own conception of God?

13. What needs to change most in your life in order to honor our Holy God?

Prayer (don't forget about the empty chair)