Obscurity: Secrets of strength.

Bottom line: God is building strength in you during seasons of obscurity.

Introduction:

Before God can use somebody publicly, He forms them privately. That process often takes place in obscurity. The teaching series “Obscurity” challenges us to wrestle through critical character issues so we are ready to serve in fullness at our appointed time. In obscurity, we learn to form key strengths, make decisions based on truth, and to seek only God’s authority and approval.

Something To Talk About:

Obscurity, things unseen in our lives, like attitudes, mindsets, etc., define our strength. An iceberg is 90 percent below water and unseen, while 10 percent is above water and seen. An iceberg serves as a metaphor for our lives. Things that are unseen can be the strength of our lives. We need to experience obscurity before we can experience what God has planned for our lives. It is in obscurity that God instills in us something we need before we move into the next chapter of life. 

  1. In obscurity God was forming future strength-understand this and live differently: If you are in an obscure place, ask yourself this question: Did God place you there to develop or form future strengths? What if you begin to see it as a season for God to form future strength. If you would look at obscurity in that way, you would live differently and you would view obscurity in a completely different light. God promises us that if we are in Christ we have an incredible future. Even when in obscurity, or when we’re going through a hard time or difficult circumstances we can remember that God has a plan for us. The difficulty we are facing is not the end of our story. 
  2. In obscurity, either sabotage your future or build strength: When we find ourselves in the wilderness, our first reaction is to find someone who can help us out. We look for the person who can write the check for what we need or the person who has the next great idea or skills we need. But the truth is, even if our help comes through a person, it is ultimately from God. Twice while he was in the wilderness, David received help seemingly out of nowhere. Yet he didn’t give the credit to the people who brought it. Instead, he praised God for the help. The future will come, whether we embrace it or go kicking and screaming into it. So will times of obscurity. We can embrace it, learn from it and tap into God’s strength or we can just sit back and wait for it to end. If we do the latter, we won’t have the strength of God to tap into when it is needed.

Questions:

  1. Wouldn’t it be great to have an “obscurity” survival guide for the tough times we go through? What can we use as a guide and what can it do for us? 
  2. How can we fight the natural inclination to get out of obscurity? When in obscurity in our lives, do we have the tendency to also push Jesus into obscurity?
  3. What are some indications in your life that God is working behind the scenes?
  4. How can you focus more on God and less on obscurity in your life? How can obscurity elevate Jesus and put Him into focus?
  5. What are the benefits of being in obscurity? What can we do at a practical level to increase the spiritual benefits from our time in obscurity?
  6. What can we apply to our lives from the message this week?

Take One Thing Home with You:

God has plan and a destiny for our lives. Unfortunately, the plan can be shaped by times of trials, and times of obscurity. God allows times of obscurity because He intends on refining us and preparing us to be more like Him.  God loves us too much to use us before we are ready.