Small Group Studies

Road Trip: Week 1 Study


God does His best work when we are in the desert. It is the moments where we are at our breaking point that God wants to lead and direct our journey. We find this clearly in the Bible when God took the Israelites on a journey from Egypt to Canaan that could have taken a few weeks, and instead lasted for 40 years. This would have been one of the longest Road Trips ever imagined. For the next few weeks during our small group time, we are going to be looking at the lessons that God teaches us while we are in the desert. This study explores the deserts that you might have encountered on your own spiritual Road Trip.


What is the best road trip that you have ever been on?


1. When was a time in your life where you felt stuck in a physical or spiritual desert?

2. Read Exodus 13:17-22. Why, in this situation, did God lead the people out into the wilderness?

Exodus 13:17-22

When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.

Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear to do this. He said, “God will certainly come to help you. When he does, you must take my bones with you from this place.”

The Israelites left Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people.


3. What types of lessons does God teach His people while they are in the desert?


4. How does complaining, being negative, or filled with regret undermine God's plan? Which one of those three do you struggle with most?


5. Read Exodus 15:22-27. How did God carry the Israelites from bitterness to healing? How has He changed your heart the same way?

Exodus 15:22-27


Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea, and they moved out into the desert of Shur. They traveled in this desert for three days without finding any water. When they came to the oasis of Marah, the water was too bitter to drink. So they called the place Marah (which means “bitter”).

Then the people complained and turned against Moses. “What are we going to drink?” they demanded. So Moses cried out to the Lord for help, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. Moses threw it into the water, and this made the water good to drink.

It was there at Marah that the Lord set before them the following decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to him. He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”

After leaving Marah, the Israelites traveled on to the oasis of Elim, where they found twelve springs and seventy palm trees. They camped there beside the water.

6. How have you personally seen God use impossible situations to show you that He can do the impossible?


7. What are some ways you need the Lord to lead you this week?


Each of us is on an unforgettable road trip with God. He is taking us on a journey, and we want to take some time in each small group to explore where God has led every individual. Pass out a piece of paper to each of your small group members and have them take a few minutes to draw out a map of their life's journey. Tell them to draw all the mountains, valleys, and deserts they have encountered on their way. Also, have them identify the detours that God put in their path. If they don't have time to do this within the close of your group, give it to them as homework and have them bring it back next week.


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Philippians 1:21

For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.