Last week we had an introduction to the invisible war and a great discussion as a group. I personally thank each of you for stepping outside your comfort zone and sharing your personal stories. If you have been reading along with us, we’ve just finished reading about Spiritual Warfare 201 from Chip Ingram’s book The Invisible War: What Every Believer Needs to Know About Satan, Demons and Spiritual Warfare. By now you realize this book was not written to scare us or to turn the enemy into a scary movie character- the book was written to inform us and arm us with the knowledge of God’s Word in Ephesians 6. In our first week of study we developed an awareness for the invisible war and this week we received our basic training. We know victory has been won and we’ve been given a territory to protect. Ingram writes “when we follow God’s instructions, given through Paul in the letter to the Ephesians and through the rest of Scripture-we will be able to defeat Satan in the specific battles in our lives.” This week we learned how to use God’s battle gear in our daily living.
In Spiritual Warfare 201, we pick up the battle gear and put it on.This is an action we do, and should be as natural as our morning routine- when practiced daily and with intention. The enemy waits until you are no longer at the top of your game, and then he attempts to deceive you, discourage you and turn your heart away from the Lord. “We need to be prepared not just to resist when we are strong, confident and on guard but also to resist when we are least able to do it” writes Ingram. He then leads us through the metaphors for spiritual armor as listed in scripture.
We read about the differences between conviction and condemnation and how the enemy can turn this against us in spiritual warfare. Ingram assures us “God’s desire is never to condemn, its to draw you back into a relationship with the Father.” When we are deceived with condemnation, we respond by hiding, denial and blame shifting. Always filter anything in your heart with the truth of scripture. If you draw closer to God, you’ve been convicted by Him. Rest in Him. If you hide, blame others or deny what you hear…fight back with full battle gear.
For the next week, pray Psalm 139:23-24 everyday: Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
Please read our Prayer Wall and intercede for those asking for your prayers. Submit your own prayer requests and allow us to pray with you.
Chip Ingram Quotes
- You can’t win the battle if you don’t know you’re in it.
- There are only two responses: do nothing or prepare. But the fact of the battle is given.
- The key to living in victory and making the most of God’s grace begins with the armor we wear.
- God is not a cosmic cop but a loving Father.
- God’s grace is greater not only than all our sin, but also all our guilt.
- When God works His truth into our hearts, we are called to live it out 24/7
- You do not have to live where the condemnations of your heart take you.
- God does not want you standing in the middle of an invisible war without any protection over your heart.
- Satan wants us to fall for an easier gospel, a prettier gospel, or a more socially respectable gospel.
- Satan rarely temps us with the “big sins”… he takes us down the delicate path of deception, an inch at a time.
- God has given you the armor. It’s your responsibility to pick it up, put it on, and practice it.
- Faith is based on fact, not feelings.
This Week’s Memory Verse
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:13-15 NIV
For Next Week
- We’re reading Spiritual Warfare 301
- Please read chapters 9 through 12 in your Invisible War book
- If you are watching the DVD or TV series, please watch session five and six How to Do Battle with the Enemy
Group Discussion– Answer one or as many as you want
- On page 78, Ingram writes “we have His Spirit and His various gifts, we have been joined to the spiritual body of Christ, and we have been promised an inheritance that includes forgiveness, peace and spiritual fruit. All of this territory is accomplished by Jesus and given to us by grace. When we prayed to receive Christ in faith, we received all this as our possession.” Is there any God-given spiritual territory you have already given up to the enemy? How can you take it back? (page 79)
- Do you get defensive when God points out the truth? what does that indicate about your spiritual armor? (page 88)
- How much of your faith depends on your feelings? When you notice your faith coming and going with your mood, what steps can you take to ground yourself more firmly in the gospel? (page 105)
- Share an example of condemnation. When did you experience true conviction and when did you experience false condemnation?
Love in Christ,