MTS2 Session One: Asking the Right Questions

MTS-2 Bar City, Montenegro
October 2009

Session One
Why Am I Here? To Know Him

How Do I Ask The Right Questions? Jeremiah 33:3

➢ What were your expectations like when we prepared to come to the field?
➢ What did you think about when you were getting ready to come to the field?
o Where would I live?
o What would my team be like?
o How would my language learning go?
o Who would respond to the gospel and my work there?
o How would the culture respond to me being there?
o What would my relationship with my home church be?
o What would my relationship with my local church be?
o Where would I shop, eat, hang out, find a new book, watch a movie?

➢ You don’t always get what you expect as the real world settles into our dreams and hopes
In an early Tom Hanks movie called The Money Pit, expectations were in for a harsh awakening. Hanks and his wife longed for owning and restoring their own old home. But the undiscovered details overwhelmed them.

When we come to the mission field and begin to adjust to the needs and capacities of the new assignment, we make shifts in what we are called to do. Our focus changes for a season in order to fit into the team or the rhythm of our family needs. It’s not that we change our reason for coming or being in missions – it all just adjusts to reality.

Teaching Introduction: Asking the Right Questions
Illustration: Successful men have the right answers; world changers and wise people know how to ask the right questions.
God honors people with questions. When you ask God tough questions, he answers. In fact, your questions:
➢ Say to God you are a learner,
➢ Say to your team members you are humble, and
➢ Say to those you seek to reach that you are authentic.

Jeremiah sought God’s answer. He was imprisoned in a military courtyard by the state police. The people he served were suspicious of him and his prophecies. Yet, they still hoped he would give a positive prophecy so they could avoid being overrun by their enemies, the Babylonians
He was calling out to God so Jeremiah could get God’s perspective, God’s solution, God’s revelation, and God’s answers.
➢ Ask the Right Person – acknowledging who God is became his starting point. Read verse 2 and the beginning of verse 3 to see where Jeremiah started.
Illustration: I am convinced that the biggest result of my personal time with God each day is a fresh revelation of who God is. When I bow before God, look into His word, open my ears to hear his voice, lift my hands in worship – I see in a fresh way how BIG God is!
The people of Israel needed this – they had “put Him in a box.” He was contained in “the temple.” And they wanted Jeremiah to fit the prophecies of what God said into this box.
➢ Ask the Right Questions – the word at the beginning of the verse here is to call out, cry out, or declare. He shouted out what God would do. But the word also means to request or invite. God was inviting Jeremiah and all who would believe in Him to invite His presence and solution into their problem.
Illustration: There are two types of questions that educators will tell you about: closed and open. Closed – are answered by yes/no/one word answers. They invite no relationship. They bring only a single level of meaning. – like “Do you like your wife?” Yes, no. However, open questions bring conversation. They invite relationships. They bring multiple levels of meaning and invite the input and involvement of the person addressed. For instance, –“What do you like about your wife?“ says “tell me all about her.”
Application: When you ask God questions, make them open-ended. We all to often say to God, “God, here is my plan, would you bless it?” What can He say? Uh ok? Make your questions to Him open. “God, I have worked hard on this and I want to see you bless it? What do you want to do with this plan, with me, and with those who are affected? How can it bring you glory? Who do you have that you plan to touch? Can I see and hear what you are doing in relation to this?”
Illustration: Do you remember what God’s first question was? “Where are you?” Adam’s answer could be a short answer, but the question called for relationship, return, repentance, and several levels of answers. And today, God is still asking this question of the world he loves so much.
➢ Anticipate the Answers – When you ask God to intervene or give input into your circumstances, do so with expectation that He will answer. What kind of answer does he give to Jeremiah? Great, mighty, hidden, undisclosed, beyond imagining kinds of answers. The word really means what God has already spoken and desired, he will reveal it! When our questions line up with His heart’s desire, we see his will revealed and his answers come.

Application: Jesus says to his disciples that he shares his plans with his children. When you ask God to bring His input you’re your life, expect his answers to come as not just words but his powerful hand at work in your midst.

Group Exercise: “My Expectations”

Expectations for the MTS-2 retreat – Why Are You Here this Week?
➢ What expectations, dreams, needs, questions do you want to see realized during the next few days?
➢ Write down your expectations and hand in these sheets with your expectations. Think of these expectations in light of the field and where you are now.
➢ Write down three questions you want God to answer, resolve, and shed light on.

Closing:
Our goal this week during this hour is to create a place where you can connect with God:
During the next few days, we will have a chance to grow in our skills, discover some things about what we do and why we do them, to learn from each other, and to hear from God.
• In worship (heart)
• In study (mind)
• In discussion (voice)
• In sharing (story)

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