I believe we had even more people join us in Telos this week which made for an amazing session! Praise the Lord for working in our small group. It was our biggest attended session, yet! If you were unable to attend this week’s session of Build Up! here is a recap:
This week we held our own “Strategy Session” in preparing to put on our Armor we had to lay the ground work for it. Knowing our enemy is the best way to be prepared to fight him, right? Here’s a copy of the handout for those of you who may have missed class. Join us this Sunday as we begin breaking down the first two parts of the Armor of God: The Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness.
Strategy Session: Know Your Enemy
God’s main battle isn’t against flesh and blood – its again the evil one and his workers. God’s mission is to permanently defeat Satan and his demons. Here’s what it says about it in Ephesians 6:12
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil.”
Some things we know about Satan:
- Satan is a former archangel
- Satan is clever and powerful
- Satan has been in the evil business for centuries
- Satan has ruined and ruled in people’s lives for thousands of years
- Satan is real and his demons are real
- Satan is our enemy
Satan’s Biggest Scheme: Blinding the Truth of the Gospel
Satan will do everything within his power to blind people from the truth of the gospel.
2 Corinthians 4:4 says he “has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Satan also works overtime on Christians and the Church.
I Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”
Ways That Satan Attacks the Church:
- causes arguments and bitterness leading to divisions within the church (Anger/Bitterness)
- arouses suspicions and makes us distrust (Paranoia/Confusion/Trust Issues)
- robs us of joy and leads us to misery (Physical Sickness, Mental Health, Financial Issues)
- seeks to disrupt fellowship and destroy a united witness
- makes the church or the members of the church cranky – turning people away from inside the church and turning outside people away from coming to church (Hypocrites/Bad Witness)
Ways that Satan Attacks Christians:
- The devil
- The world
- The flesh
Satan has demons that work for him. In fact, our real enemy is not humans but demons. When we can accept this, we can see people the way Jesus does. When a person does terrible things towards you, you may be tempted to hate them and want them to burn in hell. However, Jesus reminds us in Luke 6:27:
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you”
This is an excellent way to outsmart the devil and please our Father. Satan is a tempter and a twister. It seems these days that’s exactly what he’s done to the world.
Current State of the World: What’s BAD is GOOD, What’s GOOD is BAD!
It seems these days that everything that was once bad is now seen as good and everything that was once deemed good is now viewed as bad.
Marriage – the definition of marriage has changed to include what’s viewed as an “abomination” to God
Abortion – legal protection for people to murder
Religious Freedom/Christian Principles – REMOVED. No prayer in schools. No Bible in schools.
Morality – at a steady decline with future generations
“Minor” items to note: spanking (discipline), sexual immorality (let’s “educate” our children on sex, sex trafficking), mental health/disabilities at an all-time high, addictions rising, financial institutions ruined/immoral, fatherless children, etc.
Sadly, we were born into sin because of the Fall of Man that happened in the beginning. Due to our separation, we are naturally born with sinful natures – this is our flesh. Let’s talk about sin as a group. Feel free to share ways we may be yielding to our flesh or ways God helped you overcome your fleshly desires.
PLAN OF ATTACK: THREE BATTLE STRATEGIES
- STUDY God’s LAWS/Word
~studying the Bible (God’s law) is one of the biggest strategies we have against the devil. It can give us inside information at the spiritual war that rages around us. It can lend to our knowledge on false teachings and work to encourage believers on Satan’s tactics.
- Don’t get STUCK in GUILT!
~Guilt is one of Satan’s biggest tricks and is a method of evil he uses for his benefit. Realize Jesus’ death paid for all the times we broke God’s law and realize there is a new spirit – God’s Holy Spirit – living within us as Christians (we bear Christ’s name!)
- Allow the Holy Spirit to Work!
~ The Holy Spirit lends to God’s laws. It encourages and empowers us to do right. The Holy Spirit is stronger than our flesh. Romans 8:9 “You, however, are not controlled by the sinful nature but by the Spirit if the Spirit of God lives in you.”