Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Who’s in Control? - Proverbs Youth Sunday School Lesson


Who’s In Control?


Brief: God gives us free will, but He controls what will happen.

(Printable Student Sheet available for Patreon supporters or with a purchase of Proverbs, Words to the Wise.)

Scripture: Proverbs 16:1, 9, 33; 19:21; 20:24; James 4:13-16

Intro Activity
Have one student walk out of the room.  While they are gone, have everyone else move seats. When the student reenters the room, wait until they take their cue from everyone.  They will probably sit in a new seat.

Ask the first student why they sat in a new seat. They will probably answer by saying 1) that’s what they thought they should do, or 2) someone had taken their seat.

Ask the students who changed seats why they chose the new seats that they did.  They will probably answer with 1) they wanted to go to the new seat, or  2) the teacher told them to move seats.

Point out that there were two reasons for each, one being what the student thought or did, and the other what the teacher told them to do or made them think.  Then, make the statement that this is how everything that we say or do works.  We might think something or do something, but God is always the one influencing us.  God is working behind the scenes and ultimately deciding what will happen.


Who are the two people acting in this verse?  What are they doing? 

A person plans out what they are going to say. God determines what the person actually says. So, here we have two reasons for what is said: 1) the person planning it out and 2) God deciding what they will say.


What is the person doing?  What is God doing? 

The person makes plans, but God directs their steps.  Again, two reasons for what a person does: 1) the person planning it out and 2) God deciding what will happen.


What is the person doing?  What is God doing? 

The person is rolling the dice, but God is determining what comes up.  Again, two reasons for what happens: 1) the person throwing the dice and 2) God deciding what it will be.


What is the person doing?  What is God doing? 

The person is making plans, but God decides what will actually happen.  Again, two reasons for what a person does: 1) the person planning it out and 2) God deciding what will happen.

If the people in these verses are planning what they’re going to do and what they’re going to say, and they’re the ones throwing the dice, but it’s always God that decides what’s going to happen, does that mean that we don’t have free will?


What was the person doing in these verses? 

Planning what they’re going to do.

Who would ultimately decide if what they’re planning happens?

God. It’s the same thing in the Proverbs verses. We can plan to do something or say something, but if that’s not what God’s will is for us, it isn’t going to happen. His will is what will prevail, not ours.

Imagine I put you in a room with a door and a window. After a while, you decide you want to leave the room. You have two choices on how to leave, right? You can leave through the door or through the window. You decide to leave through the door. So, you walk to the door and turn and pull on the handle. But the door’s locked. I locked it from the outside. So, now what do you have to do if you want to leave the room? Go through the window.

Did I take away your free will by locking the door? No. You still had free will. You decided to leave through the door. It’s just that your free will decision didn’t work out. My plan for how you would leave the room worked out.

God gives us free will. We can plan all we want. It just might not happen that way. God’s will is what will ultimately happen.


Describe a time when you’ve wondered how you got to where you were in life. What do you think God’s plan was for bringing you to that point?

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This lesson is included in my book, Proverbs, Words to the Wise: Youth Bible Studies on the Book of Wisdom.
Proverbs, Words to the Wise: Youth Bible Studies on the Book of Wisdom - Perfect for Youth Sunday School Lessons by [Wilson, Rev. Stephen R.]
Kindle $1.99, Print $4.99



Find more youth lessons on my Free Youth Ministry Helps page!





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