Welcome to our study on Spiritual Warfare. Our study is based on a book called The Invisible War by Chip Ingram. You will not understand spiritual warfare by following our blog articles, you must read the published book for the full teaching. As with any online bible study, we facilitate a discussion about the book and its contents as related to scripture. This week we’re discussing the first four chapters of the book- Spiritual Warfare 101. We learned that we’ll be assailed by the enemy and we need to withstand an attack from the enemy of God. Ingram writes “Your first responsibility is to be aware of the battle, your second responsibility is to depend on God’s strength and your third responsibility it to use the protection God had provided.” Notice that it is your RESPONSIBILITY to act and winning the battle does not come naturally. There is nothing passive about spiritual warfare. Satan schemes our downfall. Ingram provides a list of Satan’s schemes on page 50, based on an examination of his names in scripture:
- Satan, meaning adversary
- Devil, meaning slanderer
- Lucifer, meaning shining one
- Beelzebub, meaning lord of the flies
- Belial, meaning false god
- The evil one, meaning absolute corruption
- The tempter, meaning to exploit and entice
- The prince of this world, meaning a master of false systems
- The accuser of the brethren, meaning he will condemn you
We’re all familiar with Ephesians 6 and the verses about putting on battle gear. In Spiritual Warfare 101, we’re introduced to the reasons why we need the battle gear and how to identify what we cannot see. “Awareness makes us sober and alert, always conscious that there is an adversary who is prowling around because he wants to destroy those who believe in God and blind those who don’t” says Ingram.
We learned this week about who we are fighting and what the invisible war really is. There are specific times in your life when you need to be ready to put on the armor of God. To win a battle, you need to know the enemy, his schemes and the tools given to you by God. The danger is to ignore the enemy or to give him credit for everything that happens in your life.
Heavenly Father, we come to you in prayer and protection as we journey into a spiritual warfare study during the next four weeks. Bring awareness of the battle into our hearts and minds. Provide discernment so we may see that which is demonic and that which is simply one of life’s events. Strengthen our ability to fight the battle and guide us into our battle gear as we win the war in Jesus name.
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Chip Ingram Quotes
- Our temptations are not random.
- We live in a fallen world and bad things happen. Not everything occurs because of demonic schemes.
- There are spiritual realities that every believer will either face up to or be defeated by, and only a solid understanding of our spiritual armor can prepare us for those realities.
- Jesus was in the heat of a spiritual conflict and His greatest resource was prayer.
- There is a visible and an invisible world that intersect, and we live in the intersection.
- Our enemy isn’t playing tag; he’s seeking someone to devour.
- We are involved in an invisible war, a cosmic conflict that has eternal implications.
- There is one Creator and everything else is a creature.
- This fallen world is a battleground, not a playground.
This Week’s Memory Verse (NASB)
Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11*
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4*
*click on the bible link and you can translate the verse into another bible version from BibleGateway.com
For Next Week
- We’re reading Spiritual Warfare 201
- Please read chapters five through eight in your Invisible War book
- If you are watching the DVD series, please watch session three and four
Group Discussion– Answer one question or as many as you want
- What is your natural tendency in conflict- to fight or flee? Does this tendency undermine God’s strength in your life? (page 30)
- What is your reaction to people who periodically attribute their problems to demonic activity?Are there times when you consider their explanations valid? Are there times when you dismiss them right away? What makes the difference? (page 41)
- Do you have a greater tendency to assign too much or too little credit to the enemy? What steps do you need to do to achieve balance in your thinking? (page 57)
- What truth from reading Spiritual Warfare 101 has been most helpful to you? Why? (page 63)
Love in Christ,