High School

Trusting in the Spirit

Lesson 10 

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Winter 2019-20

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By: Caroline Ferdinandsen 

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February 02, 2020

Lesson Focus:

We can count on the Holy Spirit to guide us.

Bible Basis:

John 14:16-17, 25-26; 16:12-15

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will watch a video about the benefits of hiring a mountain guide when climbing unfamiliar terrain as they explore the reliability of the Holy Spirit as our guide.

Memory Verse:

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
—John 16:13

Step 1:

Students will watch a video about the benefits of hiring a mountain guide when climbing unfamiliar terrain as they explore the reliability of the Holy Spirit as our guide.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Some of you have experienced the adventure of hiking in unfamiliar territory or backcountry trails. If you’ve ever planned a trip where you were encountering new terrain, you probably had to do some work ahead of time to plan for the unknown. One company hires guides to help newcomers tackle adventurous terrain. Let’s watch!

Watch the following video with your class and then discuss the questions that follow [1:11]:
“Mountaineering 101: When to Hire a Guide”

  • Do any of you have experience hiking in unfamiliar territory or back country trails? What was it like? (Encourage students to share their experiences and share your own if you have experience.)
  • The speaker mentioned some of the conditions that precipitate hiring a mountain guide. What were they? (More snow, dangerous conditions, or unfamiliar landscapes can add complexity to a climb.)
  • Being a teenager can feel a lot like being a hiker on an unfamiliar trail. What parallels can you find? (Students may mention that they are facing brand new experiences or perhaps they are missing the right equipment. There is also risk and danger associated with certain trails. Some students may mention feeling exhausted or disoriented with landscape they’ve never traversed.)
  • Some of you have heard the Holy Spirit referred to as guide. How is this a good metaphor for His role? (Guides give direction, wisdom, clarity, and purpose. They come alongside an individual to make a way clearer and safer. The Holy Spirit can provide these same things to a follower of Jesus.)

The human life is full of risky twists and turns, obstacles, and some unknown conditions along the way. Today’s lesson invites us to take comfort in God’s provision of a trustworthy guide.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Smartphone with GPS app or map
  • Paper
  • Pencils with erasers

Teenagers are probably better equipped to trust the Holy Spirit than most adults—who  may be prone to more often rely on their own common sense, security, and past experience. By using the metaphor of a trail map, students will reflect on the areas of their lives where they need the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Start by demonstrating the process that you might take when you want to drive somewhere unfamiliar. You can use a smart phone to access a GPS system, or even spread out a map of a particular region or territory.

Imagine that your life is a series of journeys you’re taking to unknown destinations. That’s not that hard to imagine, is it? Being a teenager can feel like one constant journey along a trail you’ve never experienced.

But we’re not alone! Let’s see if we can learn how to rely more fully on the Holy Spirit on a day-to-day basis. We’re going to create a visual trail on a piece of paper that reminds us to trust in God’s wisdom.

Instruct your students to take a piece of paper and map out a winding trail. (Make sure they know there is no exact way this needs to look; it’s an exercise designed to build faith and confidence in God’s guidance.) Along this trail, they should write—or draw—obstacles they are encountering in life. Your older students will likely include concerns for future decisions such as college or career paths, while younger students might include relationships, family stress, or other bumps in the road.

After you’ve given them some time to create their maps, bring everyone together to discuss some questions.

  • Would anyone like to share their map with the entire group? What did you include along the trail? (Allow students to share. If you have a particularly small or quiet group, encourage them to pair up briefly.)
  • A trail guide is specific and visible, but the Holy Spirit doesn’t operate that way. Why is it hard to trust in something we cannot see or touch? (The spiritual nature of God can feel “spooky” or mystical to some. Encourage students to see that spiritual guidance works in concert with Biblical principles and wise counsel. The Holy Spirit doesn’t guide us into sin or danger.)
  • What are ways that we can nurture a healthy trust in God’s leading? (Humility, prayer, and silence are good starting points. Choosing wise mentors and prayer partners can bring accountability as well.)  

When you are finished, consider placing all the students’ maps in the center of your classroom and close by thanking the Holy Spirit for His guidance. Encourage students to take home their maps as a reminder of God’s control over all the unpredictable trails ahead.

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