SEPTEMBER WEEK 5

SPIRITUAL WARFARE

At all times, there is a war waging between those who resist God and those who are loyal to him. In this fight, God’s people can rely on his power for strength and direction as they combat the schemes of the enemy. (Spoiler Alert: King Jesus and his kingdom people will reign victorious!) This week, we will read what the Bible says about spiritual warfare, how it wages, and who is waging within it. Throughout these readings, we will see how Jesus mediates this battle, and in fact, will ultimately bring this battle to its conclusion.

Family Formation

Weekly Takeaway:We are in a spiritual war, but King Jesus will reign victorious.

Main Scripture:Ephesians 6:13-18

Questions:

  1. What does it mean to be at war?
  2. What kinds of things help someone to win a war?
  3. How can we fight alongside King Jesus against the enemy?

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Instructions for Daily Reading

Each day as you engage the Scripture, we recommend following this pattern of devotional reading. 

[Take a brief moment of silence to quiet your heart.]

  1.   Read the Scripture aloud.
  2.   Seek out where King Jesus is at work in the Scripture.
  3.   Pray over the Scripture.
  4.   Discern how this Scripture impacts your life.

[Demonstrate loyalty to Jesus in one tangible way today.]

DAILY READING

MONDAY - 9/30

Monday: 2 Corinthians 10:1-12

Group Discussion & Reflection: One of the most important aspects to understand about spiritual warfare is that spiritual warfare takes place both in the natural and supernatural realms. In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul notes that “though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.” This is an important distinction as it will help to keep unity within the body of Christ. What are some battles you are currently facing? How could the supernatural war be a part of this struggle? How can you learn to look beyond the faults of others and see the underlying spiritual battle at work?

 

Today’s Reading:

 

1I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh.

 

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

 

Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we. For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed. I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters. 10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.”

 

11 Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present. 12 Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

TUESDAY - 10/1

Tuesday: Ephesians 6:10-20

 Group Discussion & Reflection: The description of the armor of God found in Ephesians 6 is one of the most essential tools to utilize in spiritual warfare. As you read through the elements of the armor, ask yourself how you could become better equipped in some of these areas. How can Jesus help provide elements of this armor? Ask him to intervene as you wage battle against the enemy.

 

Today’s Reading:

 

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

 

To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

WEDNESDAY - 10/2

Wednesday: Matthew 4:1-11

 

Group Discussion & Reflection: One of the most effective means by which we can learn to engage in spiritual warfare is to understand how Jesus battled it. In Matthew 4, Jesus is in the wilderness while the enemy attempts to tempt him away from his loyalty to the Father. As you read this narrative, take note of Jesus’ tactics. How does Jesus use the Scriptures? From where does Jesus derive his confidence? How is the enemy ultimately sent away?

 

Today’s Reading:

 

1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

 

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”

 

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’ ” 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

THURSDAY - 10/3

Thursday: Acts 19:11-20

 

Group Discussion & Reflection: Acts 19 provides a glimpse into the ministry of the Apostles in the early church. In this particular scripture, we see how Paul battles in the natural realm on a supernatural level. Notice, after this battle, “the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.” How did the word of God help in this particular battle? How can the word of God help in your situations?

 

Today’s Reading:

 

11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.”

 

14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled.

 

18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.

FRIDAY - 10/4

Friday: James 4:1-12

 

Group Discussion & Reflection: James makes an amazing claim in James 4 as he suggests that believers are to “submit [them]selves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” It is important to notice that a positive step in the natural realm leads to a positive step in the supernatural realm. In this way, we can, “draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” What kind of natural step can you take to fight in the supernatural? How can you draw near to God today? How can Christ help us to discern what steps to take?

 

Today’s Reading:

 

1What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

 

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

 

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

 

11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

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