Archive for the ‘spiritual warfare’ Category

Our students are engaged in a battle and while they have all the spiritual tools they need to overcome, they lack the training on how to use them. So their spiritual blessings remain idle and our kids remain vulnerable.

I am helping prepare a discipleship program for our high school students at church. I searched and researched, but could not find an inductive study that kept the kids noses in the Word and forced them to think about it. We also wanted to be very intentional about teaching the kids how to practice the presence of God in prayer while allowing the Word of God to transform their lives. Out of that desire emerged Crave Bible Study and Discipleship. This is the first week handout the kids receive. The following weekend they receive a 20 minute teaching and then discuss what they learned by exploring the scriptures the previous week on their own.

The handout folds in half and fits in their Bibles and requires about 20 minutes of study time each day. You are welcome to download the first handout to share. If you want the whole study, shoot me an email or just comment on this post. Have a very blessed day!

1/27/14 update
What a blessing to receive requests all over the world! Yes, I am still emailing the study to all who request it. May God be glorified!

Ephesians ch. 1

Advertisements

I don’t know about you, but I have been CRAZY busy lately! Finals, midterms, papers, oh my! Not to mention the usual mommy and wife responsibilites. But in the midst of chaos, God provides His peace and mercy. I am so unworthy of His loving-kindness and yet He lavishes His grace upon me. Just a few personal thoughts this morning to go with your Cup-o-Joe.

Lately many of the people (adults and kids) I have spiritual discussions with are struggling with spiritual warfare. What is it? Who is Satan? How do I fight? Many years ago I wrote a curriculumn for adults on spiritual warfare. I don’t have a lot of time to devote to writing anew these days, so forgive me while I recycle. This is a list of scripture detailing who our adversary is and what his limitations are. In any battle the first rule is know your enemy. I hope this helps in your understanding of the enemy. Blessings to you!

1Pet 5:8-9 says, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Job in Chapters 1 and 2, is allowed to be tested by Satan, note that he has to ask permission from God and he is limited in what he may do.

Zec. 3 Satan is our accuser.

Matt 4 Satan is the tempter and perverts the scriptures.

Mark 4:15, Luke 8:12 Satan snatches the Word that is sown in the hearts of men who do not receive it with gladness preventing them from being saved.

Mark 8:33 Satan is mindful of the things of man not the things of God, which is very important, when we are discerning choices and making decisions for our families.

Luke 13:16 Satan has the power to bind those who are not believers.

Luke 22:31 Satan desires to sift us as wheat, but Christ intercedes on our behalf praying for us to remain strong in our faith.

2Cor 11:14 Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

1 Thes 2 Satan hinders the spread of the gospel.

2 Thes 2:9 Satan is the lawless one.

Rev 12:9 Satan deceives the whole world.

Rev 16:14 Satan works lying wonders.

1Tim 3:7 Satan ensnares the wicked who do his work.

1 Tim 3:6 Satan is proud and will use pride in Christians to cause them to fall.

Eph 2:2 Satan is the prince of the power of the air at work in those who disobey.

James 4:7 Satan is a coward, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.”

John 8:44 Satan is a murderer, hates truth and is the father of lies.

Acts 13:10 Satan is the enemy of all that is good perverting the truth.

Eph. 6:16 Satan throws fiery darts or wicked thoughts into our minds, but he cannot read your thoughts.

I found this helpful summary to clarify our understanding…

The devil is not all powerful – He can only function within the permissive will of God.

The devil is not omnipresent – He can only exist in one place at a time.

The devil is not all knowing – The devil does not know your thoughts.

The devil is not the adversary of God – He is the adversary of man.

The devil is not the Antichrist – The Antichrist was only a man.

The devil is not the author of sin – Sin exists independently of the devil.

The devil is not the negative element in a dualistic theology – The nature of evil does not necessitate such a dichotomy.

The devil will not rule hell – Hell is the devil’s punishment, he fears hell.

The devil cannot possess a Christian – Christians are possessed by the Holy Spirit. The devil is not permitted by God to possess the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.

Evil does not represent the devil – The devil represents evil, not the other way around.

The devil is not always the cause of misfortune – Misfortune occurs naturally as a result of our fallen nature. The devil is not concerned with your success or failure.

The devil is not at war with God – There is no battle for souls between God and the devil. The battle is between man and the devil.

Obedience is evidence of faith. God’s call to the Israelite nation to trust and obey permeates the book of Joshua. To receive the promise, they must trust and obey; they must exhibit evidence of faith. When Israel trusts Yahweh, she triumphs regardless of the circumstances or however formidable the foe. God established Israel as a testament to the nations of His power and faithfulness.

“For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all of the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4:23-24

Whether we war against physical enemies of life and well-being, or we war with sin in a spiritual battle; the battle belongs to God. The victory is His. It is in the area of spiritual warfare that the book of Joshua is applicable for the church today.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

Peter Kreeft wrote, “The life-or-death battles in the Old Testament, especially in this most warlike book, are apt symbols of the no less life-or-death spiritual warfare of the New.” While God gives us promises, He does not relinquish His people of responsibility. We are called to obey as evidence of our faith. God ties obedience to success in warfare. We learn much from this handbook of warfare:

1. The church has received a promise and a responsibility to partner with God in His Kingdom work to fight the good fight. Joshua 1:6 and 1 Timothy 6:12

2. Our enemies are defeated before us and God will cause Satan to flee as we resist him.. Joshua 1:5 and James 4:7

3. The Lord will be ever present for us and will never forsake us. Joshua 1:5 and Matthew 28:20

4. All who receive salvation are called to obedience. Joshua 1:8 and Hebrews 5:9

5. We receive blessings by grace through faith, including the blessing of salvation. Joshua 8:33 and Romans 4:16

Indeed, it was the call to trust and obey that were the last words of our savior before he ascended to the right hand of the Father.

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

As believers we cross over from death (the Jordan) into life (the land of Promise). The Book of Joshua is a handbook of warfare to guide us as we continue to battle the enemy until we are called home. The book’s geographical and historical background show us how even as we live life, it is not our own. This is God’s story. Yahweh is salvation. As we imitate Joshua in his commitment to faithful obedience we too can experience victory in life as we are transformed into the likeness of the glory of Christ.