Small Group Studies

Put God in the Driver's Seat: Week 1


The weekend message, "Put God in the Driver's Seat," challenged each of us to consider our sense of control when it comes to our lives. You see, many of us live like we are in control of our lives and try to live life on our own. The truth is that control is an illusion. We are not in control. We do, however, have a good God who is in control and can be trusted to be the one in the driver's seat. The question is, will we truly turn to Him, trust Him, and let go of our own control? 


Do you prefer to drive or be a passenger? Why?


Bible Study

1. What holds people back from letting go of control?


2. Read Exodus 3:1-15. Summarize Moses' response to God's instruction in Exodus 3.

Exodus 3:1-15

"One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn't burn up. 3 "This is amazing," Moses said to himself. "Why isn't that bush burning up? I must go see it."

4 When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, "Moses! Moses!"

"Here I am!" Moses replied.

5 "Do not come any closer," the Lord warned. "Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.

7 Then the Lord told him, "I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey-the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. 9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt."

11 But Moses protested to God, "Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?"

12 God answered, "I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain."

13 But Moses protested, "If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, 'The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,' they will ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what should I tell them?"

14 God replied to Moses, "I am who i am. Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you." 15 God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob-has sent me to you.

This is my eternal name,
my name to remember for all generations."

3. What do we learn about God in this passage of Scripture?

4. Read Exodus 4:10-18. How did God respond to Moses' excuses?

Exodus 4:10-18

"But Moses pleaded with the Lord, "O Lord, I'm not very good with words. I never have been, and I'm not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled."

11 Then the Lord asked Moses, "Who makes a person's mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say."

13 But Moses again pleaded, "Lord, please! Send anyone else."

14 Then the Lord became angry with Moses. "All right," he said. "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you. 15 Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do. 16 Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say. 17 And take your shepherd's staff with you, and use it to perform the miraculous signs I have shown you."

18 So Moses went back home to Jethro, his father-in-law. "Please let me return to my relatives in Egypt," Moses said. "I don't even know if they are still alive."

"Go in peace," Jethro replied."


1. Is there an area of your life where you are struggling to let go of control? What is that area and why?

2. How does God's interaction with Moses help you let go of control?

3. What would it look like to let go of control in the area of your life where it is difficult to let go?

Moving Forward

The wonderful thing about letting go of control is that God, the One who is in control, is trustworthy. Take a few moments to look back on how God has been good to you throughout your life. Write these things down. Your group leader will invite everyone together to share at least three of the things you wrote down. As you end your time, praise God for His faithfulness in each one of your lives and ask Him to help you trust Him in the future. 

Going Deeper

If you know the story of Moses, you know that eventually, after performing miracles through Moses, God changed Pharaoh's heart, so he eventually agreed to let the Israelite people go from slavery in Egypt. At this point, one would expect the Israelites to be quick to trust God and put Him in the driver's seat. Unfortunately, the Israelites were not so quick to trust God. They let fear, ingratitude, and idolatry get in the way of putting God in the driver's seat. Let's take a few minutes to learn from the Israelites so that we do not miss out on what He has done for us and give God control. 


Just after God had caused Pharaoh to allow the Israelites to be freed from slavery, a new opportunity to trust God arose. Pharaoh changed his mind, and the Egyptian army went after the Israelites. At some point, the Egyptians began to catch up with the Israelites as they approached the Red Sea. Instead of trusting God, who had just rescued them from slavery, they were fearful.

1. Read Exodus 14:5-31. Because this is a long passage of Scripture, you can skim these verses individually.

Exodus 14:5-31

"When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. "What have we done, letting all those Israelite slaves get away?" they asked. 6 So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops. 7 He took with him 600 of Egypt's best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander. 8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, so he chased after the people of Israel, who had left with fists raised in defiance. 9 The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh's army-all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops. The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore near Pi-hahiroth, across from Baal-zephon.

10 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord, 11 and they said to Moses, "Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren't there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? 12 Didn't we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, 'Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It's better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!'"

13 But Moses told the people, "Don't be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. 14 The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

15 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! 16 Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers. 18 When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the Lord!"

19 Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them. 20 The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night.

21 Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. 22 So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!

23 Then the Egyptians-all of Pharaoh's horses, chariots, and charioteers-chased them into the middle of the sea. 24 But just before dawn the Lord looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion. 25 He twisted their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. "Let's get out of here-away from these Israelites!" the Egyptians shouted. "The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!"

26 When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the Lord said to Moses, "Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers." 27 So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the Lord swept them into the sea. 28 Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers-the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived.

29 But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides. 30 That is how the Lord rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the seashore. 31 When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the Lord had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the Lord and in his servant Moses."

2. Describe the situation that Moses and the Israelites were in in this passage of Scripture. How would you expect them to respond?

3. How had God proved Himself to be in control of their lives in the past? How would you expect that truth to inform their response to this situation at the Red Sea?

4. How did God prove Himself to be in control in this passage of Scripture?

5. Is there an area of your life where you feel stuck and worried? How does God's past provision inform this circumstance?


After all of God's miracles, care and provision for His people, one might assume that they would look only to Him to be in the driver's seat. Unfortunately, they had moments of weakness. One of these instances was when they turned to idolatry while they were waiting for Moses to bring them the Ten Commandments, which were God's instructions to them.

1. Read Exodus 32:1-14. Because this passage is lengthy, you can skim these verses individually.

Exodus 32:1-14

"When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. "Come on," they said, "make us some gods who can lead us. We don't know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt."

2 So Aaron said, "Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me."

3 All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, "O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!"

5 Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, "Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord!"

6 The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.

7 The Lord told Moses, "Quick! Go down the mountain! Your people whom you brought from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. 8 How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live! They have melted down gold and made a calf, and they have bowed down and sacrificed to it. They are saying, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.'"

9 Then the Lord said, "I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are. 10 Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation."

11 But Moses tried to pacify the Lord his God. "O Lord!" he said. "Why are you so angry with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such great power and such a strong hand? 12 Why let the Egyptians say, 'Their God rescued them with the evil intention of slaughtering them in the mountains and wiping them from the face of the earth'? Turn away from your fierce anger. Change your mind about this terrible disaster you have threatened against your people! 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You bound yourself with an oath to them, saying, 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven. And I will give them all of this land that I have promised to your descendants, and they will possess it forever.'"

14 So the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people."

 2. Why did the Israelites turn to idolatry?

3. How did God respond to their idolatry?

4. Why do people turn to idolatry today?

5. How does trusting God cause us to let go of idolatry?


As the Israelites waited to enter the land that God had promised them after they left slavery in Egypt, God continued to provide for them. He fed them by sending Manna, or bread, from Heaven. Instead of recognizing this food as God's provision, the Israelites began to complain. They were tired of eating the bread and wanted something different. They failed to recognize God's provision for them and trust Him and His control. 

1. Read Numbers 11:1-9.

Numbers 11:1-9

"Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lord's anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp. 2 Then the people screamed to Moses for help, and when he prayed to the Lord, the fire stopped. 3 After that, the area was known as Taberah (which means "the place of burning"), because fire from the Lord had burned among them there.

4 Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. "Oh, for some meat!" they exclaimed. 5 "We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. 6 But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!"

7 The manna looked like small coriander seeds, and it was pale yellow like gum resin. 8 The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil. 9 The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night."

2. Why did the Israelites complain, according to this passage of Scripture?

3. What did the Israelites miss because of their complaining?

4. How do complaining and ingratitude impact our relationship with God?

Take a few moments to reflect on the Scripture you studied.

1. When it comes to your life, which one of these areas do you find yourself struggling the most: fear, idolatry, or ingratitude? Why? 

2. Is there an area of your life where you are behaving like the Israelites? How?

One of the ways we can grow in our trust in God's care and provision is to practice gratitude. Spend time naming things you are grateful for. After everyone has shared, pray together. Thank God for all He has done for each person in your group. He is good and worthy of our trust. 

MONTHLY MEMORY VERSE (Available for download on Sagebrush App)

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 1 Peter 3:15