This object lesson teaches about what we miss out on when we take shortcuts in reaching God’s will for our life. It uses a maze and the life of David.
o PowerPoint file – “Don’t Take Shortcuts – Maze (You can find this on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.) Make one copy for each participant. The file also includes answer keys with three different paths. You might want to print one copy of these for your reference.
o Pens or pencils to work the maze. (One per participant)
o A package of gummy fruit for each participant.
o 1 Samuel 16:1, 11-13
o 1 Samuel 24:1-7
o 1 Samuel 26:1-25
o Print copies of the maze for each participant.
o Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
- “When we know what God’s will is for our life, we sometimes want to take shortcuts.”
- “David knew God’s will for his life from an early age – maybe from about fifteen years old.” (Have participant read 1 Samuel 16:1, 11-13.)
- “If you knew that God wanted you to be king, you might want to make that happen as fast as possible.”
- “However, David was different.”
- “He didn’t want God’s will for him until God wanted him to have it.”
- “Even though God had Samuel tell David he would be king of Israel some day, David let King Saul chase him around the desert for fifteen years.”
- “David had two opportunities to kill King Saul.” (Have volunteer read 1 Samuel 24:1-7 and then summarize the story from 1 Samuel 26:1-25.)
- “David didn’t kill Saul either time, because he didn’t want God’s will for his life until it was God’s time.”
- “That was smart, because it helped David grow more like God as he waited.”
- “When he was finally made king fifteen years after he was anointed to be king, he was ready!”
- “Let’s do a maze that will help you see what I’m talking about.” (Pass out copies of the maze to each participant. Hand out a package of gummy fruit to each participant, and tell them that they can eat a gummy candy anytime they cross a picture on the maze. Give them 5 minutes to try and solve it. Let them know that the rules are that they can’t cross lines or go over the same space twice. There are three possible solutions (shown in the PowerPoint file). When they finish, debrief with the following questions:
- Why do you think it is better to take the harder path?
- What do you miss if you take the short-cut?
- Why does God want you to be patient and wait for His will for your life?
- Review the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the main message of the lesson.)
It may be a test,
But we should wait for God’s best!
This Challenge makes the point that God’s timing often seems slow to us but that we have to be careful not to rush ahead of God. Things work out best when we follow closely behind Him. The challenge is accomplish by staging a “race” between pouring a bottle of ketchup and pouring cups of water.
- Bottles of ketchup – 1 per group (The glass bottles are best, because the ketchup comes out much more slowly, and you can’t squeeze them. However, if you can’t find glass bottles, plastic will work.)
- Challenge Card (The file for printing is called, “JJ – God’s Timing – Challenge Card (CHALLENGE),” and it can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com. This can be printed in black and white on regular paper. There are two Challenge Cards per page.)
- Prizes – 1 per person – recommend candy or something sweet to eat (The prize is used to create urgency for completing the task. It should be something the participants are eager to get so that they will want to try to rush the task they are given. This is to show that we often have to be patient and wait for the good things God has planned for us.)
- Large, clear, plastic cups – 2 per person and one extra for the group leader (These are to pour the liquid into and from. Each participant will need one, and one group leader will need one for each group. The cups can have color, but the kids should be able to see through the plastic so that they can judge their progress against the leader’s cup.)
- Ziplock bags – gallon size – 1 per group
- Gallon jug of water – 1 per group
- Red food coloring – 1 per group (OPTIONAL – used to make the water similar to the ketchup in color but not change the consistency of the liquid. If you want, you can use this to illustrate that we are like God in some ways, but He is much better and worth waiting for – or so the ketchup commercials used to say.)
- Put enough plastic cups (2 for each person in each group plus one extra for the leader) in each of the Ziplock bag.
- Put a bottle of ketchup in each of the Ziplock bag.
- Put a bottle of red food coloring in each of the Ziplock bags. (OPTIONAL)
- Print out the Challenge Card document.
- Set aside the gallon jugs of water where each group can get them.
- Cut the Challenge Card document in half (each half is identical), and put one in each Ziplock bag (one per group).
- Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “We’re going to do a group Challenge today.”
- “It’s called, “God’s Timing” and it’s part of the Joseph’s Journey Series.”
- “First, I’ll need to divide you into groups.” (Divide the participants into the number of groups for which you have prepared kits.)
- “Each group will have a Ziplock bag with a Challenge Card, cups, and a bottle of ketchup (and possibly a bottle of red food coloring).”
- “When I tell you to go, open your Ziplock bags, and read the Challenge Card.” (Allow them to read the Challenge Card.)
- “Now, you will then have a race!”
- “Your group leader will pour ketchup out into one of the cups.”
- “The ketchup represents God’s timing – how fast or slow He chooses to move.”
- “The ketchup cup represents God’s will. When it is full, God’s will has been fully accomplished.”
- “The rest of you will each get two cups and fill one full with water.”
- “Then you will pour your water from that cup into your empty cup.”
- “When everyone’s empty cups are full, you will each get a prize.”
- “Sounds easy, right?”
- “But here’s the hard part!”
- “You can’t ever fill your cup faster than the cup that is being filled with ketchup.”
- “In life, we often want to go faster than God’s timing, but this is a very bad thing to do.”
- “We have to be patient and wait for the good things God has planned for us.”
- “In the Bible, Joseph knew when he was 17 years old that he would one day rule over his brothers, but he had to patiently wait for 13 years before God’s will was accomplished in his life.”
- “Back to our race – If one of your leaders notices that you have gotten ahead of the ketchup, you will have to pour the water back into your first cup and start all over.”
- “Does anyone have any questions before we race?” (Answer their questions.)
- (Then, allow them to fill up their cups and add red food coloring (optional). You can then begin the “race.” If anyone’s cup becomes fuller than the ketchup cup, have them empty it and start over again. If the ketchup just isn’t moving, try slightly tipping the bottle to let more air in to replace the ketchup that is coming out. (If you have a squeezable bottle, try to squeeze it without being noticed.) When you are finished, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards. The Rhyme Time is to help them remember that God is using even the times when we are waiting on Him. If we trust Him and obey Him during these times, God will use them to make us ready for His blessings.)
- How difficult was it to wait for “God’s timing” (the ketchup)?
- Have you ever had to wait for God to do something in your life? How did that feel?
- Why do you think it’s important to wait for God to work in His time?
- How can you be better about waiting for God in the future?
If we trust Him and obey,
God makes bad things go OUR way!
For summer camp this year, I’ve written ten Challenges (Bible activities for small groups and a leader to do together – sometimes in competition with other groups) and some large group lessons on the story of Joseph. They are all located on the Lesson and Material Downloads page (see the link at the top of the screen), and you can find them alphabetically in the list. They all start with the letters “JJ” for “Joseph’s Journey.”
Hope you can find some lessons that will be useful for you!
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In your groups, read the following Scriptures. Then answer the questions below.
- Daniel 10:1-21
- Daniel 11:1
- Daniel 12:1-13
- How did Daniel prepare himself to receive the vision?
- How did the vision impact Daniel? Why?
- What was the response of the “one who looked like a man?”
- How was the vision delayed?
- Why do you think it was delayed?
- How should this influence how we approach God when we want a God-sized vision?
Filed under Daniel, Devotion, Future, Goals, God's dream, God's Plan, God's Will, Humility, Listening to God, prayer, Priorities, Revelation, Spiritual Warfare, Supplication, Vision