Session 4: Set Apart

Introduction to Session 4

Read Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst – Chapters 9-11

Following notes are taken from:

In Case You Missed It:

Verse Of The Week – “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6

This week, we learned that even when we are rejected, when we humble ourselves before the Lord and make our requests before Him, He will never fail us.

I’m sure we have all had times where we have questioned God and His goodness. Prayers answered with “no” or “wait” can make you feel unnoticed, uninvited. But as you pray through those feelings, see if your situation has more to do with you being prepared than with you being overlooked.

This week’s statement to hold onto: I’m not set aide; I’m set apart

Read 1 Samuel 1:1-20

In Hannah’s day, a woman’s worth was measured by her ability to bear sons for her husband. So in addition to her own natural desire for children, she had to bear the burden of her whole society’s expectations.

  • What sorts of provoking things might Peninnah have been saying to Hannah?
  • How would you describe Hannah’s attitude toward God in the midst of her pain?

Hannah felt provoked and irritated. Her anguish was so intense that she wouldn’t eat. But she wasn’t set aside. She was set apart. We desperately want something and see the Lord blessing other women in that area. We feel set aside. Why them and not us? If God is good, why isn’t He being good to us in this? 

  • In what ways was Hannah set apart, not set aside? How was she being prepared, not overlooked?
  • Why is it important for us to note that Hannah’s prayer was not answered immediately but “in the course of time”?

Hannah was actually the first person to have individual prayer in the sanctuary. God’s delay in answering Hannah’s prayer was protection for a high calling, not a rejection. First, Hannah was set apart to be a model of fervent prayer even for Jewish men. She stood alone, determined, intently concentrated on her task, filled with deep faith and a sense of mission. This is what Jewish people try to imitate. Second, Hannah was set apart to pray a thanksgiving song that became a model for Jesus’ mother, Mary (compare 1 Samuel 2:1-11 to Luke 1:46-55). Third, Hannah was set apart to be the mother of Samuel, who played a vital role in Israel’s transition from the time of judges to the time of the kings of Israel. Hannah’s answer to prayer didn’t come right away. It came “in the course of time” (1 Samuel 1:20).

Read pg. 108 to the first paragraph of pg. 110 in Uninvited.

  • What do you feel are the differences between humiliation and humility?
  • Look up Proverbs 11:2. Why do you think humility is essential for wisdom?
  • Why do you think God opposes the proud?
  • How did Hannah demonstrate humility?

Think: When God Says No

  1. What are the things you’ve prayed for passionately and haven’t yet received?
  2. How do you deal with these prayers to which God has said “no” or “wait”?
  3. How do you view God in light of these prayers to which He hasn’t say “yes”? Have you grown at all suspicious of Him, doubting His love for you? Or do you have some other view of Him?
  4. What possible good may come from your having to wait for the answers to your prayers? How could you grow? What is one good thing you can learn? How could others benefit?
  5. What might God be setting you apart for? If you don’t know, what can you do to go about finding out?
  6. What do you need to do to boost your courage so that you keep moving forward with God and your life despite this setback?
  7. How is it more productive to ask “What” questions like these than to ask “Why is this happening to me? Why has God allowed it? Why is He blessing someone else and not me?”

Whenever you feel the fear of rejection, you can remember this verse:

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12

You are chosen and dearly loved by God, and holy (set apart) for His high purposes. The foundation of this identity can enable you to clothe yourself in good ways of treating other people. What feelings or thoughts come to your mind when you think about being chosen? For me, it’s a sense of security, confidence, and inner peace that allows me to treat others the way Jesus would regardless of how they treat me!

Prayer that isn’t answered the way we’d like it to be–or any perceived rejection–doesn’t just cause us to doubt God. It also often causes us to doubt or label ourselves. We may undervalue ourselves and think the problem is that we are unworthy of asking for the thing we long for. We orchestrate a rejection by God, when in reality He isn’t rejecting us at all. He’s merely waiting to answer our prayer at the best time, or He’s saying no because that will be best for us in the long run.

Praising God is a great way to get into a positive frame of mind. Pray aloud these verses and then use it as a springboard to your own prayer for God’s fullness and freedom from your fears.

Psalm 34:1-9, 18

I will extol the LORD at all times;
His praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the LORD;
Let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me;
Let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
He delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
Their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
He saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
And he delivers them.
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his holy people,
For those who fear him lack nothing . . . .
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

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