Mission – Acts Hitting the Wall Acts 9:1-22 April 15th, 2018
I.The STORY of SAUL. (Acts 8:1-4; 9:1-2)
A. He’s PASSIONATE and ACTIVE. (Phil. 3:4-6)
B. He’s a SACRIFICIAL VISIONARY. (v.1-2)
C. He’s on a COLLISION COURSE. (v.1-4; 2 Tim. 3:5)
Last week we got an introduction to the book of Acts and the shift in the Mission of God as He begins to work in and through His people to bring about what He desires for the world. Today we move to a man named Saul, who will change his name soon to Paul. He is devoted to God and shows it in his actions. But change is coming…
1. When have you been “passionately wrong” about some spiritual truth? What happened?
2. In what ways can you identify with Saul/Paul? In what ways do you feel very different?
II. HITTING the WALL on the road to Damascus. (v.3-9)
A. A CLARIFICATION of “LORD”. (v.5)
B. NOTHING will ever be the SAME. (v.6-9,16)
Everything changes for Saul/Paul on a trip to Damascus. He is confronted by the one he calls Lord and quickly realizes that he has been heading in the wrong direction. He runs into a wall that questions all that he thought he was. Nothing can ever be the same again.
3. When has Jesus surprised you in your spiritual journey? How did that happen?
4. The road to Damascus was a turning point for Saul/Paul. What have been your spiritual “turning points”?
III. WHY we need WALLS.
A. They CRUCIFY our AGENDA. (v.1-2,4,13-15; Gal. 2:20)
B. They move us from LEADING to FOLLOWING. (v.6; Mk. 8:32-33; Jn 21:17-22)
C. From POWER to DEPENDENCE. (v.8; Jn 21:18-19)
D. From ME to WE. (v.10-22; 26-27; Rom. 12:4-5)
Paul isn’t the only one who runs into a wall. We do it as well. It’s a normal part of the spiritual life, one that helps us unlearn what we have become and remakes us according to what God has in mind for us. We don’t love them, because they are usually painful, but we need walls in order to grow and flourish.
5. What are some of the walls that you have hit in your journey with Jesus? How have they shaped your life?
6. Of the 4 reasons why we need walls, which speaks to your own experience most directly? Why?
IV. WHEN you hit the WALL… (2 Cor. 1:8-9)
A. Don’t RESIST it, RECEIVE it. (Lk 22:42; 23:46)
B. EMBRACE the LOSS (Lk. 24:17-18,25-27)
C. Realize that LOSS makes SPACE. (Mt. 16:25)
The road to Damascus wasn’t Paul’s only “wall”. He ran into many more throughout his lifetime. It’s one of the key ways that God can get our attention and point us away from what we are chasing and back to Himslef. So what do we do when we hit the wall? I’m glad you asked…
7. How does “receiving and not resisting” a wall actually look in your life?
8. When has loss made space in your life for something new that God was doing?
“The spiritual journey is not a career or a success story. It is a series of humiliations of the false self that become more and more profound. These make room inside us for the Holy Spirit to come in and heal. What prevents us from being available to God is gradually evacuated.” (T. Keating)