Leading Means: Choosing God by Faith

Day 1: Time Alone with God

This lesson will highlight the blessing of choosing God by faith. So while you are reading, look for choices people made.

Start by reading Exodus 1 and 2, Luke 16:19–31, Acts 7:18–20, and Hebrews 11. Jot down the details you notice, and note the verses in which you found them.

  • Historical or geographical information
  • Key people
  • Key concepts
  • Key admonitions

What did you learn about God and His ways?

What did you learn about yourself?

Day 2: Leadership Lessons from Moses

Choosing between two worlds

Imagine starting life with a death warrant over your head. Moses was a unique child who seemed destined for greatness, but he had some huge obstacles to overcome.

Before Moses was born, others made some important choices that paved the way for him to live beyond infancy and shaped much of his life.

a.    According to Exodus 1:15–19, what choice did the Hebrew midwives make?

b. How could this choice have meant personal risk for them?

c. Why did they make this choice?

a. After reading Exodus 2:1–3, record some of the choices Moses’ parents made.

b. What risks were involved in their choices?

Read Exodus 2:4–7 to see what choice Miriam made when she saw the princess with her baby brother. Record some risks of this choice.

Moses’ miraculous survival and intriguing entrance into nobility show that God had an important task for Moses to complete. His life had been dependent on the decisions of others, but soon Moses would face the most important decision of his life, and no one could make it for him.

What issues do you think he faced in regard to the following?

  • Loyalty
  • Sense of belonging
  • Spiritual beliefs
  • Worldview

As Moses grew older, royal power and privileges must have been alluring, especially since a grandson of a pharaoh might one day inherit the throne. But despite a life of luxury and the lure of power, Moses understood that this life is not the only life that matters.

The importance of the choice

Hebrews 11:24–26 indicates that when Moses grew up, he made an important decision about his life and loyalty. Ponder his momentous choice. Was Jehovah the one true Almighty God, or was He just another god like the ones of the Egyptians? The answer to this simple question determined not only Moses’ life on earth, but his destiny after death.

Aligning himself with the people of God might seem like a simple decision for Moses to make, but it wouldn’t be for most of us. He had to count the cost, and the cost was high. Moses understood what many people fail to grasp: choosing God means following Him and forsaking all others.

Are you sincere about allowing your life to be used for God? Each of us must face the same choice that Moses did. When the allure of the world’s wealth, wisdom, and power calls, who will we live for and whom will we serve?

Day 3: Comparing Scripture with Scripture

Biblical examples: the consequences of the choice

The book of Luke records a story about a rich man and Lazarus.

a. What were the differences between the two men while on earth (Luke 16:19–21)?

b. What were the differences between the two men in eternity (vv. 22, 23)?

c. How did Abraham respond to the rich man’s plea for mercy while in Hades (vv. 25, 26)?

Read Matthew 19:16–22. What choice kept the man from eternal riches with God?

After reading 1 Peter 2:9–12, record in your own words why the conflict between worldly pleasures and God’s blessings exists even in the lives of believers.

The basis for the choice

The rich man in the Luke 16 account requested that Lazarus visit his relatives to tell them about the reality of Heaven and Hell. He thought that if someone from the dead would return to speak to them, they would believe.

In your own words, explain what Abraham said to this rich man (Luke 16:27–31).

What does this story teach you about belief?

Living by faith means choosing to believe God over every other source of information in every circumstance and then acting in obedience to God based on that faith.

The cost of the choice

List the consequences of three men or women mentioned in Hebrews 11:35–38, who believed and followed God.

Hebrews 11:13–16 reveals the positive side of following God. List the reasons that choosing God is the wisest choice.

Day 4: Seeing God’s Hand

When Moses made his choice, it was not based simply on the reward God was offering, but on his confidence in Who God is. Hebrews 11 implies that even before Moses was banished for killing an Egyptian, he made his choice to worship God. Have you considered the amount of information about God that Moses had at his disposal when he gave up his privileged life to willingly suffer affliction with God’s people? Even if his parents had regularly recounted the history of his people, think about how little information Moses would have had about God from those accounts.

Moses probably had heard stories of how his people had come to Egypt. His parents might have repeated the words God spoke to Jacob when he originally went to Egypt: “Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob! And he said, Here I am. So He said, I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.”

Based on this short history of a true and living God, Moses chose God. He considered the facts, but it took faith to believe that the facts were true. Moses believed God before he heard Him speak audibly from the burning bush or saw Him inflict plagues on Egypt or divide the Red Sea. He believed even though he had far less information about God than we do today. By faith, Moses believed and chose God.

Day 5: Making It Count

I love going out to eat, but sometimes making menu choices is difficult for me. Some restaurants now have a “choose two” menu. I love those restaurants: I can have my cake and eat it too. But that is not true when it comes to choosing whom we will serve. God does not give the a la carte menu or “choose two” option. He is a jealous God and demands our full obedience and radical commitment.

Procrastination or indifference is a choice. Halfhearted commitment is a choice. Part-time commitment is a choice. Partial commitment is a choice. These are all “no” answers to the God Who formed and made us. The decision to say no to God shows a lack of understanding of Who God is and His claim on your life. Each time you try to disguise your disobedience in these ways, God knows you have turned your back on Him.

A “yes” answer looks like this: “Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.” This yes answer was written by Betty Stam. This choice eventually led to her martyrdom in China. Now that she is enjoying an eternity with her Savior, I am sure she is not sorry she said yes on earth.

Personal response: What have you learned from the Word this week that will help you say yes to God?

Day 6: Accepting the Challenge

List things in your life that could be categorized as “the passing pleasures of sin” that you would like to turn over to God.

List things that are not sinful that have lured you away from total commitment to God.

How will you deal with situations that make you feel torn between living for immediate pleasures and desiring to please your Heavenly Father?

How have you been indifferent to God and His desire to use you unconditionally?

What hesitations do you have about accepting the challenge to follow God wholeheartedly?

Write a prayer of total commitment to God.

Jeannie Vogel is a women’s ministry consultant and the wife of Jim Vogel, associate national representative of the GARBC. She writes a women’s column in the Baptist Bulletin and is the author of Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John (RBP5261), an evangelistic Bible study for women.