We all have things we are afraid of. And our responses can vary. But when we change the object of our fear to God, it changes the response of our fear to obedience. It’s the fear of God that sets us free from the fear of our circumstances. - Pastor Dave
Open: Have you ever been afraid of something? Describe what made you afraid and how you responded:
Read: Jonah 1; Genesis 3; Psalm 56:3; Luke 1:50
1. How is fear the basis of running from God? How did fear play an integral part of the sinful fall in Genesis 3? In what ways was Jonah afraid of God’s call?
2. How do our responses reveal our beliefs about fearful situations? Has there ever been a time you had a wrong response to fear? Describe how the sailors demonstrated a wrong fear and a wrong response in the beginning of Jonah: How does our tendency to take control illustrate wrong responses to fear?
3. Describe how Jonah had the right fear but wrong response: Describe God’s sovereignty: In what ways do you know that God is in control but fail to give Him control? Do you agree with this statement? “We believe that God is in control but spend most of our lives trying to get out of His control.”
4. How does Jonah’s disobedience reveal a defective fear of God? What is the difference between being afraid of God and fearing God? How do the sailors illustrate this truth (see verses 5, 10, and 16)?
5. In what ways does God “flip the focus” of our fear? Was Jonah attempting to be the hero when he told the sailors to throw him overboard? Why or why not? What are the areas of your life where you need to be less afraid and have more fear of God?
Pray: Pray for a healthy fear of the circumstances in your life and that you would respond with intentional worship and deeper commitment.
Memorize/Meditate: When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalms 56:3