Week #7 - Last of our Study - The Sword of Spirit-

 Week #7 - The Sword of the Spirit - Last lesson on our study of Armor of God

Series 3 - The Great Teachings of the Bible and What They Mean for You: The Armor of God

The apostle Paul listed many defensive pieces of the armor of God, but only one was an offensive weapon. What does God want us to learn from the sword of the Spirit? In this lesson, let's explore what the Bible says about the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.

Lesson 7: The Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God

The sixth piece of armor Paul mentions in Ephesians 6 is "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." How does a Roman soldier's sword help us understand how to use the Bible to win our spiritual battles?

The Bible, in Judges 7, records the story of Gideon and his 300 men:

Gideon and 32,000 Israelite troops gathered near the Midianite camp, but they were severely outnumbered by their 135,000 oppressors. Gideon was ready to do battle, but God had other plans. He was about to show His people just how powerful a God He was.

God told Gideon to let anyone who was afraid of the upcoming battle return home. Twenty-two thousand men took the opportunity to leave their ranks, leaving only 10,000 remaining. But God was looking for a smaller group still.

God then told Gideon to have the remainder drink from the spring, and all those who lapped the water like a dog would remain, while the rest were sent home. Finally, with only 300 men, Gideon and his little army surrounded the Midianites. On signal they blew trumpets, broke the pitchers covering their torches and shouted, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!" (Judges 7:20).

Then the unthinkable happened. These 300 men—holding not swords, but torches and trumpets—routed the entire Midianite camp. Scripture records that God "set every man's sword against his companion throughout the whole camp" (Judges 7:22). So before the Israelites even had a chance to reach for swords, God plunged the enemy camp into chaos and wild defeat. The Israelites were delivered from their foes by a miracle.

This famous story illustrates an invaluable lesson: It is God who gives the victory. His sword is what will deliver us.

 Taking the Sword

Throughout the world, there are certain individuals—real and fictional—whose identity remains almost inseparable from their weapon of choice.

From England, there is King Arthur and his sword, Excalibur. From the Middle East, Ali and his scimitar, Zulfiqar. From Spain, El Cid and his long sword, Tizona. From Scotland, William Wallace and his unnamed claymore.

The sword is the only item listed by Paul that serves in an offensive capacity. Even if we have all the rest of the armor equipped perfectly, without our sword, we amount to little more than heavily armored moving targets. 

Perhaps this is why we remember the name of King Arthur's sword and not, for example, his footwear. While the rest of the armor is undoubtedly vital, it is the sword and only the sword that allows us to attack—to directly do the work that needs to be done.

What purpose did the sword serve in the Roman army?

The Roman gladius has become known as "the sword that conquered the world." Adapted from a Spanish design, the prowess of the gladius in close range combat made it a fearsome tool in the hand of a skilled Roman warrior. When sharpened, its dual edges wreaked havoc on unarmored foes, while its tapered point could pierce through even heavy metal armor.

A Roman infantryman would go into battle armed with more than just hisgladius. He would also have a dagger (pugio), several one-time use spears (pila) and lead-weighted darts (plumbatae), but the sword was his main means of attack. The sword is the only weapon Paul lists as part of the Christian arsenal.

What is the Word of God?

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

God's Word—the Holy Bible—illuminates. It reveals to us the good and the bad, the wise and the unwise. It is the ultimate tool in learning how to live the best possible life, free from the restraints of stumbling in darkness.

John 17:17
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

God's Word is truth, plain and simple. We can have perfect confidence in the fact that His words are accurate, true and unerring. When followed, they guide us without fail in the paths that we need to walk.

We can be destroyed by lack of the knowledge of God (Hosea 4:6), but we will be blessed if we hear and keep the Word of God (Luke 11:28). And the knowledge is not just for us. We are to be ready to answer others who ask us (1 Peter 3:15).

Why a sword?

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The all-powerful sword of the living God is able to cut through every defense our enemy can raise—down to the very division of bone and marrow. When wielded by a servant of God, nothing can withstand its ability to cut straight to the core of a matter and uncover the truth. As soldiers in God's army, it is our responsibility and duty to use His Word to discern the truth and then follow it. When God's Word shows us something wrong in ourselves, we can use this spiritual weapon to "surgically" remove the offending thoughts and actions (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

Unlike all other pieces of the armor of God, which are solely defensive, the sword is uniquely suited for both defensive and offensive roles. A solid defense is invaluable, but the sword is the only way we can complete the work we have been given to do.

Notice that Jesus Christ used the Bible to counter Satan's attacks (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). We must also learn to live "by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).

Swords are used for close combat, not long-range warfare. Could this imply the nature of the battle a Christian fights?

Acts 14:22
...strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."

James 1:2-4
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

The Romans relied in part on assailing their enemy from a distance with javelins and darts, but God does not give us that option as Christian soldiers. If we were able to fight our battles from a distance, we would never experience an actual trial.

At first glance, that might not seem like such a bad thing. But when we stop to consider that without trials, there is no growth, and without growth, we will not be able to enter God's Kingdom, we see that trials, however uncomfortable, are essential in our journeys as Christians. After all, the promises of Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26 and 3:5, 12 and 21 are given "to him who overcomes" and not "to him who remains as he is."

Paul only lists one weapon because we only need one weapon: There is no enemy the Word of God, coupled with His Spirit, cannot defeat. And so, armed only with our sword, we step out to fight our enemies head-on. The struggle is real. It is immediate, and it is in front of us. Our future in God's Kingdom is on the line, and we take up the battle so that we may hold fast to the future He has promised us.

 What promises can we stand on?

Matthew 24:13
But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Romans 8:31
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

We fight knowing the end of the story. Two of the many powerful and sure promises in God's Word tell us that if we remain dedicated to God and His Word, we will make it to the end, and we will be saved. There is no doubt in this statement. God's promises are as sure as the one He told Isaiah: "Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it" (Isaiah 46:11).

So take up your sword. The battle is ours.

Week #6- Helmet of Salvation -

 

 

Week #6 - 

  website: www.saltshakinsister.simplesite.com

WEEK #6 - HELMET OF SALVATION LESSON BELOW

 

SCRIPTURES:

Ephesians 6:17

1 Thessalonians 5:8

Romans 8:23-24

Romans 5:9

James 1:21

Philippians 2:12

Ephesians 1:10-12

Romans 8:17

Isaiah 26:3-4

1Corinthians 14:20

Hebrews 8:10

1 Peter 1:13-16

Luke 6:45

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Philippians 4:8

Colossians 3:2-3

 

TIME TO DISCUSS:

Why do you think Paul chose to associate salvation with this particular piece of armor (Helmet of Salvation)?

_________________________________________________________________________________

In what sense do you think our salvation can act as a protective measure for our mind?

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Read Ephesians 1:10-12 – Discuss phrases that stand out to you. According to this verse: What have we received? How did we come to be recipients of it?         

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How have your emotional health and behavior choices reflected any patterns of defective thinking that the enemy has suggested and that you have perpetrated?

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What adjectives would you use to describe how a soldier would feel going into battle without a helmet?

 

          Romans 12:2 fill in blanks on page 166 in work book together.

 Day #1 So Great a Salvation:

  • Ø Receiving salvation is not the same as applying salvation.
  • Ø The first “redeems us” and the second “restores and protects us” and shields us daily from the attacks of the enemy.
  • Ø Salvation: Redeems-Restores-Shields-Protects.
  • Ø The fact that He lives means our salvation flows into the everyday experiences where we live. As James 1:21 says, our “souls” are saved daily and progressively through the Spirit and the Word of God. This is sanctification and it is how we are able to experience the abundant life that Christ came to give all who believe on His name.
  • Ø Sanctification is a “process” by which we are continually delivered from the wrath of God on earth, fortified against the enemy’s attacks, and molded into the image of Christ as our minds are renewed.
  • Ø Salvation is the rescue from a state of danger and the restoration to wholeness and prosperity.
  • Ø Our God’s salvation involves the well-being of the whole person, not just rescuing them but even reversing negative circumstances.

 

Day #2 The Inheritance:

  • Ø A Roman soldier’s helmet was basically a skullcap made of iron, typically covered with bronze. Its primary function was to protect the soldier’s skull and brain from the swing of the “broadsword” a three to four-foot-long sword with a massive handle that needed to be cradled by two hands to hit its target.
  • Ø Over time, the soldier’s helmet was redesigned to give even more coverage. It protected not only the head but also the neck and shoulders. When the helmet was strapped in place, it exposed little besides the eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Ø This helmet of salvation, positioned to a snug fit, is representative of the high-value items that are ours “in Him”, our inheritance in Christ. Choosing not to wear it means leaving our mind exposed, unprotected, like people who don’t even own a helmet.
  • Ø Every single function of your body, whether just a small movement of your pinkie finger to operating a car or running a marathon- is attached to the signals and impulses your brain sends. If your brain is impaired, your body will also be impaired, no matter how healthy the individual parts of your body may be.
  • Ø What the brain is to the body, your mind is to your soul.
  • Ø The brain is the control center.

  

  • Ø If your mind doesn’t send out healthy impulses, your souls will not respond in healthy ways. This is why the enemy works so diligently to cripple you through negative thoughts and unhealthy patterns of imagination.
  • Ø If your mind’s thought processes are unhealthy and toxic, your emotions and actions will expose it.
  • Ø Poisonous thinking will also cripple your ability to clearly detect the leading of God’s Spirit. As an heir, you’re meant to know and discern His will, to hear His guiding voice behind you.
  • Ø The enemy’s lies, when believed, short-circuit and distort your ability to hear God’s voice clearly and respond accordingly.

 Day #3 The Benefits Package:

  • Ø When the poor went into battle unprotected it was critical – their helmet, unlike ours, wasn’t free of charge. (bfc see Salvation-Jesus paid the price and died for me on the cross -He went to battle for my soul!)
  • Ø Thoughts occupy mental real estate. Thoughts are active; they grow and change…. Every time you have a thought, it is actively changing your brain and your body; for better or worse.
  • Ø Step #1- Identify the toxic though patterns you’ve been nursing and recognize them for what they are – strongholds. A stronghold in biblical times was a military fortress, nearly every ancient city had one.
  • Ø Step #2 – Confess errant thought processes to God and agree with Him about your responsibility in helping to construct these strongholds in your life.
  • Ø Our strongholds are not all the enemy’s fault. Every tie we’ve nursed and rehearses illegitimate thinking, we’ve added another concrete brick to the construction of a stronghold. Rehearsing the enemy’s lies made us in essence a partner with the enemy in building up a fortress that has held us captive.
  • Ø Step #3 – Dismantle the stronghold by taking your thoughts captive, then renewing your perspective and understanding through the concentrated, deliberate applying of God’s truth.
  • Ø This is not a passive assignment, it requires forethought and proactivity.

 Ø When Paul instructed us to “take every thought captive” he employed a tone that expresses “continuous” ongoing action. So we must understand that being successful at this endeavor will be a “LIFESTYLE”, NOT a one-time event.

 Ø Taking thoughts captive means controlling them instead of them controlling you.

  • Ø Resist the urge to agree with or rehearse the negative thoughts. Instead, replace it repeatedly, diligently, and verbally, until eventually that brick in our stronghold comes tumbling down!

Day #4 Mistaken Identity:

  • Ø Your identity is your weaponry. Putting on the helmet of your salvation is akin to knowing who you are in Christ, fortifying your thinking.
  • Ø Renewing our minds and deflecting the enemy’s advances to control them is not for the faint hearted. It REQUIRES vigilance, aggressive, proactive attention.
  • Ø The fact is – when you are in a war, you don’t relax or disengage from active warfare. You don’t take a vacation. You do whatever you need to do to keep that helmet on and in position throughout every day.
  • Ø You “talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. You bind them on your forehead. Duet. 6:7-9…You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Armor of God - The Shield of Faith - Week #5

 

 Week # 5 - The Sheild of Faith

 

What takes place on the INSIDE of my Shield of Faith when I hold it up “AGAINST SATAN”?         I HAVE:

PROTECTION, PROVISION, PEACE, WISDOM, GRACE, CONFIDENCE, CALMNESS

  SELF CONTROL, LOVE ,  PATIENCE, JOY-THANK  YOU JESUS!!!

Ephesians 6:16: hold up the shield of faith

to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.

 

 

Ephesians 6:10-19  -  Week #5  – Lesson #5

The Shield of Faith 

Scriptures: Ephesians 6:10-19

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.

 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God's mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.

 

SCRIPTURES:

Proverbs 30:5

James 2:20,26

Hebrews 11:1

Ephesians 6:16

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Ephesians 2:8

Luke 17:5-6

Matthew 6:30 and 8:26 and 16:8

2 Thessalonians 3:3

1 Corinthians 10:13

2 Timothy 2:13

Luke 5:1-7,11

John 10:27

Deuteronomy 31:6

Philippians 4:6

Romans 13:1-2

Hebrews 10:25

 

TIME TO DISCUSS:

How would you describe the difference between belief and faith?

Generally speaking, what do you think are the biggest hindrances to believers acting in faith?

         Turn to Ephesians 6:14-15 and 16-17. What major difference do you detect in the tone of these two sections?

          Recall a time when you sensed your confidence growing and the fiery arrows fading as you walked by faith.

        Have you ever felt the need for “more faith” to do what you feel God is asking you to do? What were the circumstances surrounding this?

          Have you in any way allowed your feelings to override your commitment to obey _

Day #1 Real Faith:

  • Ø Two types of shields used by soldiers – small round about the size of a trash can lid which left most of the soldier’s body uncovered and exposed and the larger shield was typically two feet wide and four feet long shaped almost like a door, consisting of planks of wood fused together. The wood was covered by canvas, then leather, the iron built in the center hub.
  • Ø Faith is one of the most overused and yet underutilized expressions in Christian circles. Which is completely backwards, talking about faith and having it are two different things.
  • Ø Plain and simple, faith is an ACTION!
  • Ø Be a woman “of” faith, not just a woman who “talks about” faith.
  • Ø Faith is a process of adapting your behavior, your decisions, and ultimately your whole lifestyle so that it accords with what God has asked you to do, without needing “to see” the evidence that it will work out in the end.
  • Ø The act of faith is what becomes a shield of protection to guard against the enemy’s attack.
  • Ø Faith is acting like it is so, even when it is not so, so that it might be so, simply because God said so

 

Day #2 On Fire:

  • Ø In the battlefields there was a typical practice; flaming arrows would be sent on fire, disrupting the military lines and causing the occupants to focus on the blaze rather than the attacking enemy.
  • Ø Flaming arrows were not primarily meant to kill or destroy; they were meant to distract.
  • Ø Ephesians 6:16 – In addition to all, take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
  • Ø The shield is commanded to be “taken up”!
  • Ø The first of these pieces of armor is the shield of faith. The moment when we first sense a flaming arrow infiltrating our life is some way, we activate faith as a shield of protection over our lives.
  • Ø The enemy sends flaming arrows into your life specifically when you are being called to walk in faith. Those arrows are deliberately intended to disable you from doing the only thing that has the power to extinguish them: walking by faith!
  • Ø Faith causes fiery arrows to fizzle. As you move forward, you’ll sense a holy confidence swelling, a bold courage growing, and a hopeful anticipation rising in you, pushing back the obstacles that once overwhelmed you.
  • Ø Walking in faith is doing what God has called us to do anyway-following through on God’s instructions “despite” how incapable we feel.

 Ø Soldiers would dip shields in water, then huddle together in a group hoisting the shields overhead. Strategically placed hooks on the sides would allow them to be linked together; this was called turtle formation.

Day #3 In Good Faith:

  • Ø First, faith does not control God. It doesn’t make God do something. A better understanding of what happens when we exhibit faith is that it gives us access to what God has already intended to do for us.
  • Ø Secondly, what we mean by “having faith” actually says far less about us and a lot more about God. It focuses on how trustworthy, true and loyal the object of that belief has proven Himself to be.
  • Ø The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith”. “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed”, the Lord said, “you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea’ and it will obey you: Luke 17:5-6. 
  • Ø The more faithful and strong you believe Him to be, the more willing you will be to depend on Him. Your level of faith will always be tied to your perception of God. If your perception of Him is faulty, your faith is faulty. You don’t need more faith; you need a more comprehensive and accurate view of the faithfulness of your God.
  • Ø We may feel like we have very little faith, and yet still be a woman of strong faith because we choose to move forward despite what we feel. 

Day #4 A Firm Foundation:

  • Ø True faith must always be built squarely on the foundation of God’s written Word as His Spirit leads you to apply it to your life.
  • Ø As believers, we have the privilege of knowing His direction for us as we prayerfully seek it. He will be faithful to show us the truth, to give us His direction for the next step we are to take.
  • Ø Being confident in our next step will be critical in order to help us stay balanced as we pursue a lifestyle protected by the shield of faith.
  • Ø Fear is one of the enemy’s most useful deterrents to faith-filled living. Fear will make you want to drop your shield and run away.

  

Armor of God - Shoes of Peace - Week #4

The Armor of God 

Ephesians 6:10-19  -  Week #4 – Lesson #4

The Shoes of Peace 

Scriptures: Ephesians 6:10-19

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.

 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God's mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 

 

SCRIPTURES:

Psalms 119:165

Isaiah 54:10

Luke 1:78-79

Philippians 4:6-7

Ephesians 4:1-16

Colossians 3:12-15

Romans 5:1

Ephesians 2:17

Galatians 5:22-23

John 14:27

Isaiah 26:3-4

2 Thessalonians 3:16

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIME TO DISCUSS:

What words might you use to describe the opposite of peace?

How have you witnessed a lack of peace crippling someone, rendering him or her incapable of moving forward in her life?

Using Ephesians 4:16 as a reference point, what would be the ill effects of a body that isn’t “fitted and knit together”?

What activities, people, or escapes do you tend to seek out when you’re upset and trying to find peace?

Slowly and carefully read Ephesians 2:13-14. How does Paul emphasize the way peace with God should affect peace in our relationship with each other?

What are some areas of your life where you need to be on the offensive instead of the defensive, taking back ground from the enemy?

Day  #1 My Fathers Shoes:

  • Ø Discuss what shoes are made of and reason being.
  • Ø The uppers were pierced with openwork designs, which “gave good ventilation, the many straps allowed adjustment to fit the peculiarities of an individual’s foot whilst parts of the boot that might rub (toe joints, ankle, big toe nail) were cut away.”
  • Ø Shoe soles-were made of several layers of leather and “are clenched with hobnails, frequently arranged in patterns.” The hollow metal studs provided a firm grip on the soil. The protrusions dug into the ground and kept the soldier sure-footed and stable when holding his ground or advancing against the enemy.
  • Ø Prints of peace of all the things the enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy in your life, peace is almost always at or near the top of his list.
  • Ø Satan intentionally stirs up discord, division, disruption and disturbance, both within you and around you. He is lord of chaos and confusion, using every opportunity to upset your sense of well-being and stability. He wants you uneasy, unbalanced, filled with anxiety, worry, and turmoil. Lacking peace.

 Ø What may start with simmering , low-lying anger, in his hands can turn into opportunities for unforgiveness, which then compound into bitterness and resentment. Then with these strong holds securely in place, you’re much more likely to erect emotional walls that even keep people with good intentions from being allowed into your heart. You become on edge, defensive, unable to foster authentic relationships.

  • Ø Anyone want to share their thoughts from workbook page 97?
  • Ø True peace is best detected and measured against the backdrop of commotion and confusion, when instability abounds, yet you remain steadfast; when disappointment and confusion are near, yet you’re capable of walking with Spirit-infused, confidence, stability, and steadiness. This is how we are fitted with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
  • Ø The shoes that we are being offered and commanded to wear are God-sized, and they can leave footprints of peace in and through your life that you never thought possible. God’s peace can keep your emotional footing sure, your mind and body stabilized and your relationship intact.

Day 2 Digging In

  • Ø The spikes in the shoes protrude from the thicker leather soles to make the soldiers stand a firm one.
  • Ø This feature was so critical in maintaining their battle line formations. The soldiers would stand shoulder to shoulder, one beside the other in a tight linear configuration, bringing strength to the whole. Impenetrable. Secure. If even one soldier lost his footing, the hole in the foundation would weaken the line itself, leaving the whole army vulnerable to enemy attack.
  • Ø See soldier’s definition of a unit on page 102 in workbook. 
  • Ø Pray for your church. Ask the Lord to bridge any “holes in the line” and revitalize your congregation with fresh passion for pursuing peace with one another.

 Ø The NAS bible version translates Colossians 3;13 this way: “bearing with one another” – the implication being that the journey toward unity can often be difficult. Patience is a must. “Grinning and bearing it” is sometimes a requirement.        

Day  #3 The Hole In My Heart:      

  • Ø Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace – Ephesians 6:15
  • Ø Only God’s peace can dig in deep enough to offer the kind of anchoring, grounding, and security we need, keeping us from being knocked over and undone by a potent enemy who’s always on the loose.
  • Ø The vacuum within our hearts can only be occupied by the one thing for which it was created; relationship and intimacy with God.
  • Ø Two types of peace: Peace with God and Peace of God.
  • Ø The gospel doesn’t only stabilize our own hearts, it makes stability possible even with the most unlovable and difficult people or groups of people we encounter.
  • Ø Our salvation is not just about going to heaven and escaping hell. Those are certainly the most extraordinary benefits of our relationship with Jesus, but if our concept of salvation ends there, we’re selling it short.
  • Ø Salvation isn’t just about heaven. It’s about empowered on earth.
  • Ø Read Galatians 5:22-23
  • Ø Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27
  • Ø Read Philippians 4:6-7 – Colossians 3:1 5- Isaiah 26:3-4.
  • Ø Trust leads to thankfulness and gratitude activates peace.
  • Ø Prayer shrouded in gratitude expresses a firm faith. Concentrating on Him instead of being absorbed by our circumstances tells the Lord that we believe He is able to override and overcome even the most difficult issues.
  • Ø When God sees this type of prayerful, grateful faith, when our mind is squared on Him, the peace of God expands within us. It stabilizes our runaway emotions, centers our minds, guides our footsteps and even overflows into our experience with others. It cools our sharp tongue, dismantles our emotional walls, and keeps us from being so difficult to be around.   
  • Ø We put on the shoes of peace in this manner – we trust and express gratitude. Then, we experience the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.

 Day #4 Go Shoes:

  • Ø We need to review pg. 113 in your workbook – good one!
  • Ø Standing firm is not only about digging in. It’s about moving forward.
  • Ø Our peace shoes are go shoes.
  • Ø Go shoes are designed to move forward and announce the good news of victory. Powerful enough to tear down, demolish and take back. They can go into territories of your life that may currently be under enemy influence and get it back in Jesus’ name!
  • Ø Through God’s Word, you can pronounce freedom and peace over your own circumstances and even the lives of those you love.
  • Ø Peace intimidates our enemy. He knows we’re coming when we’re all marching in unity with our peace-shoes securely in place.
  • Ø See page 121 in workbook for Armor of God scripture references.

 

Day #3- Sizing Up the Enemy-"Lazy Days"

 

TAKE ACTION! TAKE ACTION! TAKE ACTION!

Action words for today is: Take up!  Resist! Stand Firm! Pun on! PRAY! Be Alert! Can't get much more active than this- Faith is Action - we believe- we act upon what we beleive. Look at all the action words circled in the picture from our work book for Ephesians 6:12-19 - Real Eye Opener!

Faith is more than a "word" used in passing conversations- no maam, it is soooooooooooooooo much more than that. If we have "faith" our lives should be showing it through our "lifestyle and walk with Jesus"; its not just our "faith in something/someone/or even denominational faith-its ACTION!

Today has "a lot of meat" for our spiritual body- Here are a few quotes from Priscilla:

Pg. 26- Put on the full armor of God - By putting ON the armor, we activate the strengthening process. It's like plugging in your phone charger. You can count on your phone to hold a charge, but only if you've taken the initiative to plug it in. We will never realize the fullness of God's strength in our lives if we ignore the spiritual protection He offers. It's always available, but we must "plug in" if we want to access it.

Not only this, but the call to "PUT ON" the armor denotes both urgency and resolution. Daily. Consistently. Faithfully. Spriritual Warfare doesn't take a day off!! No holidays and no vacations.

Be alert - 1 Peter 5:8 - Satan prowls around "like" a roaring lion seeking whom he may destroy and devour. 

bfc- might I add a thought here: every time I read that verse, I SEE the small word "like" a lion. I SEE HIM AS A TOOTHLESS LION!!!  If I am on guard and taking up my armor, he can't bite me, he has no teeth, he is bluffing me!!!!!

Thankful to share Gods Word today. This was a great lesson. 

blessins - bfc

 

 

Armor of God - The Breastplate of Righteousness Lesson -#3

The Armor of God 

Ephesians 6:10-19  -  Week 3 – Lesson #3

The Breastplate of Righteousness

 Scriptures: Ephesians 6:10-19

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh and  blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.

 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God's mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 

Scriptures:

Proverbs 4:23

Ephesians 6:14

Ephesians 4:1

Romans 3:23

Romans 3:10-12

Isaiah 64:6

Romans 10:3

1 Samuel 24:16-17

Romans 4:22-24

2 Corinthians 5:17

Ephesians 4:25 -31  & Ephesians 5:3-5

Matthew 5:5

Duet. 28:1-6

Galatians 6:8

Matthew 23:25-28

2 Thessalonians 2:13

James 1:22-23

Day #1 – The Heart of the Matter

  • Ø Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life – Prvb.4:23
  • Ø So your heart is the seat of your life. And what the physical heart is to your physical life, the spiritual heart is to your spiritual life.
  • Ø The purpose of all these layers was to guard the vital organs, particularly the heart. In case of a direct hit to the soldier’s upper body, wearing the breastplate could mean the difference between life and death.
  • Ø Righteousness is right living – walking “in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called” Eph. 4:1.
  • Ø Fire fly story on pg #70
  • Ø Heart and Soul – Mind, will, emotions, conscience.
  • Ø When Scripture speaks of your heart, it’s referring to the intersection of these four internal characteristics.
  • Ø The way the devil works on all four levels:
    • Your Mind-distorting your thinking with lies about God through negative, unbiblical thought processes.
    • Your Will-redirecting your ambitions away from eternal and godly pursuits.
    • Your Emotions – tampering with your feelings, sadness or directing you to unstable choices.
    • Your Conscience – influencing your conscience so it steers you to live in a way that doesn’t line up with biblical guidelines.

 Ø Wearing the belt of truth, putting on the shoes and helmet, using the shield or sword – they’ll do you no good if you leave your heart open to a full frontal attack by the devil.

  • Ø Pray fervently. Seek God fully.

Day #2 – The Clean Sweep

  • Ø The enemy would like us to chase perfectionism instead of chasing God. If we aren’t careful, this pursuit can become a bottomless pit of idolatry.
  • Ø How do we shake free from our legalistic do-gooding, while at the same time meeting God’s standard and donning the breastplate that keeps us protected from demonic assault?
  • Ø Comparison is an often used method for determining one’s righteousness.
  • Ø Comparison soothes but it also deceives, making us feel justified with sinful actions. Or it can be disheartening when we feel that others are doing better than us. In either case it’s inaccurate and deceiving, which is why the devil loves when we do it. He works to keep us looking at others instead of looking to God Himself.
  • Ø The cross really is the gift that keeps giving. Because it didn’t just take something from us, it gave something miraculous to us.

 Day #3 Perfect Makes Practice

  • Ø Putting off the old and putting on the new                                                READ EPHESIANS 4:22-24.
  • Ø Read Ephesians 4… verses on the scripture study page for this lesson.
  • Ø Sometimes lifestyle choices and habits are the same. You may have indulged lust for so long, for example, or lived tethered to pride or anger for so many years that it’s become a comfortable outfit for you.
  • Ø Lifestyle choices are symbolic of your old life. Dated. Antiquated. Out of character. Putting it off daily won’t be easy, but by God’s Spirit, it can be done.
  • Ø Practical righteousness involves both putting off and putting on. These actions ARE the breastplate of righteousness.
  • Ø It’s not a once-in-a-lifetime action. It is a moment-by-moment, day-by-day, repeated choice and action. Again and Again and Again.
  • Ø Put off. Put on. Practice Righteousness.
  • Ø Corralling our flesh can be monstrously hard. It’s a struggle to address internal sins like lust and pride, or to purify our motivations and energize our attitudes with joy.
  • Ø God’s renewing work within us is what makes our putting off and putting on possible. Practical righteousness is an essential, logical offshoot of imputed righteousness.

 

Day #4 Pickles and Ice Cream

  • Ø Changed behaviors, as well as the changed internal attitudes that produce changed behaviors, are each natural outcomes of healthy growth.
  • Ø A baby that isn’t changing isn’t growing. And if these things aren’t happening, we assume that the child is unhealthy.
  • Ø If you want to grow in righteousness and see your life organically transformed from inside and out, spiritual health must be your focus.
  • Ø God is the One who softens and prepares the soil of our hearts, allowing the implanted Word to take effect. But we still must make the choice to receive it. We must allow the Word to influence everything in our lives.
  • Ø Merely being a hearer of the Word is not good enough.
  • Ø Meditating on the Word, internalizing its principles and then implementing them in your actions is what supports the work of God’s Spirit in renewing your soul. In growing you.

 

TIME TO DISCUSS:

In your own life, or in the life of someone you love, when have you seen wrong choices and behavior become a “welcome mat” for demonic activity to infiltrate?

How have you recognized the enemy targeting your thinking/ambition/feelings/conscience?

Do you tend to struggle with perfectionism? If so, how does it impact your life?

How does it make you feel when you measure yourself as better or worse than others?

Better: Superior/justified/proud/mature/smart/confident                       Worse: depressed/inferior/weak/ignorant/embarrassed/regretful

In what ways have you felt exhausted or discouraged lately at the work involved in trying to change and fix yourself?

Day #2 - Undisguised - Week One of Sizing Up The Enemy

 

This morning led us to several verses to look up. Basically, today we have been learning that satan is alive, active and the father of all lies;  he is very subtle and deceptive in his tactics to lure us into sin. ON GUARD-hold that shield up!

2 Corinthians 11:14 - Satan disguises himself as an angel of light! Be on Guard!

One of the things that was an eye opener to me is, the fact that it is not just 
"satan" singular word that we wrestle and fight against,  it is "satan and his demons" plural word - demons!

If we wrestle against so many evil forces/devils, it only goes to show us how much more we need the Word of God and the Holy Spirit of God to empower and strengthen us to be able to stand against "all of them" and live a victorious and happy life.

Satan knows he can't destroy us, so he does his best to make our time on earth unproductive and to suffocate us with fear, anxiety, depression, worry, lack, sickness, discouragement, grief, etc. 

End of story... we win! He has been disarmed, overruled, rendered powerless in all his hard works .. 1 John 3:8(b) The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Page 21 in our workbook reveals all the various names of satan and how he works through them, check them out.

Thankful to share the Word of God.

Blessins' bfc

Armor of God - The Belt of Truth Study Lesson - Week #2

The Armor of God 

Ephesians 6:10-19  -  Week #2 – Lesson #2

THE BELT OF TRUTH 

Scriptures: Ephesians 6:10-19

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.

 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. 19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God's mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.

Scriptures:

Ephesians 6:13-14

Ephesians 2:13-17

Ephesians 4:14 & 21& 26-27

 James 1:2-4

Psalms 119:160

Romans 1:21,24-32

Romans 2:6-9

Psalms 106:1-4

2 Timothy 3:6

John 8:31 & 32

2 Corinthians 11:14

Numbers 20:7-12

Exodus 17:5—6

Isaiah 30:21

John 8:12

Genesis 2:16-17

 

TIME TO DISCUSS:

Are there any particular ways you are experiencing imbalance, instability, weakness, or internal discord right now?

Why do you think the Belt of Truth must come first in any successful spiritual warfare against the enemy?

When do you find it particularly hard to keep your spiritual backbone straight?

How is aligning yourself with the truth different from legalism? Why does legalism confine, yet truth sets you free?

Other?

 

 

Day 1 – Strengthening Your Core

  • Ø Priscilla talks about going to a fitness gym and how important having a strong “core” in on your body is so important.
  • Ø Core is compared to the Belt of Truth
  • Ø Our Core is the central link in the chain that connects the lower and upper parts of our body, enabling all our limbs and movements to work in harmony. It gives us “balance”.
  • Ø Roman soldiers girded their loins with something akin to a girdle than a belt. The sturdy, leather girdle of the Roman soldier was made to reach around the torso and provide extra support in demanding movements in war.
  • Ø Truth is your core support, it provides the essential backing we need when in the midst of spiritual war.
  • Ø But with the standard of truth in place, you can adjust everything else in your life – your ambitions, choices, and feelings; your mind, will and emotions – until all of it is “tuned” correctly.
  • Ø Signs of a weak core: Poor Posture – Injury Prone – Body Fatigue.

 

Day #2 – Truth Checkup

  • Ø When we are easily wounded and hurt by words and actions of other people, and then choose to nurse those wounds instead of offering forgiveness and grace, we provide the enemy ample opportunity to plant a root of bitterness in our hearts – a root that’s sure to bear rotten fruit for many years to come.
  • Ø When you’re standing firmly on the truth of God and He has revealed in His Word, when His truth is the core of your existence, strength flows into every other area of your life. All your movements and activities (work, school, ministry, relationships) bear witness to the power of God at work in you. They become a beneficiary of divine favor and wisdom.
  • Ø You’ll no longer be one of those “weak women”… led on by various impulses, but will be held steady and strong by the belt of God’s truth. You’ll not only know where your enemy is likely to strike, but you’ll be packed with the muscle tone to hole him off.

Day #3 – The Hanger

  • Ø The girdle did three things:
    • Gave support to the core
    • Held and stabilized other key pieces of armor
    • Secured the tunic.
    • Ø The soldier without his girdle was like a policeman without his holster.
    • Ø With God’s truth strapped around your body, you’re relieved of pressure. God’s Word – truth – reveals that righteousness has been given to you through faith in Christ as a free gift, freeing you from living with the weight of all the sin on your shoulders.

 Ø Legalism is “the act of putting law above gospel by establishing requirements for salvation beyond repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Legalism reduces the broad, inclusive and general precepts of the Bible to narrow and rigid codes”. 

  • Ø As much as we may not like how this girdle pinches and hugs us sometimes, it is meant to unbundle a whole new world of opportunity for us. It helps us hold off our enemy and hold a steady course. Truth sets us free.

 Day #4 – Walk this Way

  • Ø The thing about deception is that its, well…  deceptive. But deception is rarely outright. It’s a lie cloaked in a tweaked version of truth. A fraud. An illusion.
  • Ø We need a way to expose the one who “disguises himself like an angel of light” – 2 Cor. 11:14.
  • Ø The light separates fact from fiction.
  • Ø Our deceiver operated in the darkness. As long as we’re stumbling around in darkness, we’ll never be able to see him for who he really is and detect the underlying intentions of his plans. The truth is the light “spotlight” we need to pierce the darkness.
  • Ø When Jesus said knowing the truth will “set you free,” He wasn’t referring to an accumulation of knowledge. Excessive or accurate information has never set anyone free. Knowing things about God doesn’t equal honoring Him. In fact, it’s quite possible to be very smart and yet become “fools”, Romans 1:22
  • Ø Freedom comes to us when we follow the truth that we discover in His Word.
  • Ø Isa. 30:21 – “Your ears will hear a voice behind you, then go and walk that way”.
  • Ø Carefully consider any areas of your life where you are allowing your feelings, gut instincts, or previous experiences to determine you actions.
  • Ø Truth-don’t leave home without it.

 Hope to see you in Lesson #3

Thankful to share Gods Word

blessins' bfc

 

Armor of God - Sizing Up the Enemy Study Lesson - Week #1

Ephesians 6:10-19

Week #1 – Lesson #1 – Sizing up the Enemy - Pages 5-36 in your workbook     Notes to review in our bible class with bfc

Introduction:  Author/Teacher-Priscilla Shirer

Think of this workbook as industrial-grade survival gear. Duct tape and super glue. Leather straps lashed around it. Old shoelaces maybe. In tight double knots. Whatever it takes to keep it all together.

Because this is war. The fight of your life. A very real enemy has been strategizing and scheming against you, assaulting you, coming after your emotions, your mind, your man, your child, your future. In fact, he’s doing it right this second. Right where you’re sitting, right where you are now.

Each week, we’ll employ the secret weapon that has been divinely authorized by God Himself to stop the devil in his tracks.

Whatever you do, please do not ignore this portion of your study. It’s not an addendum- a cutesy exercise to bide the time. No, it’s the essential key to victory.

 

Scriptures: Ephesians 6:10-19

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.

 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God's mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.

 

 

Day 1 – Wrestling Match

There’s nothing like writing out Scripture to imprint it on your heart and encourage you to implement it in your actions.

There are four entities that you are wrestling against: Rulers-Powers-Darkness and Wickedness.

Everything that occurs in the visible, physical world is directly connected to the wrestling match being waged in the invisible, spiritual world.

Your real enemy-the devil- wants you to ignore the spiritual reality behind the physical one.  Because as long as you’re focused on what you can “see” with your physical eyes, he can continue to run rampant underneath the surface. The enemy may be invisible but he is not fictional.

The effects of the war going on in the unseen world reveal themselves in our strained, damaged relation s hips, emotional instability, mental fatigue, physical exhaustion. Many of us feel “pinned down” by anger, unforgiveness, pride, comparisons, insecurity, discord, fear…. The list goes on and on. But the overarching, primary enemies behind all these outcomes IS he devil himself.

Being a believer doesn’t give you immunity from the assaults of the enemy, but it does give you access to the power of the Father.

Day #2 – Undisguised

Read 2 Corinthians 11:14 – Spiritual victory is directly connected to your ability to “undisguise” the enemy.

The devil wants to lead you into sin so that fellowship is broken between you and God-between you and the One who provides your true power and strength.

Yes we still live on earth and like Job on the ash heap or Paul in prison we still have to deal with the physical ailments, environmental evils, and relational hardships of this planet. But because of our spiritual location, we always have hope. And, through Christ, we can bring the victory of heaven into our experience on earth.

WHAT’S IN A NAME – Page 21 of our workbook. Read #3 and #7

Day #3 – Lazy Days

Christianity has become quite comfortable. Coffee shops in church lobbies. Shuttles to the sanctuary from the parking lot on rainy days. Games to entertain our children in Sunday School. Fine. Good. Enjoy.

But don’t be lulled to sleep! Don’t ever allow the lush settings of the culture to dull your alertness or curb the fighting edge needed to defeat your most formidable foe. Refuse to allow comfort and ease to make you apathetic, uninterested, and in some cases, unaware of the battle that is raging all around.

Maybe you kind of don’t care anymore. You’re not even sure you want to. But through prayer, you can get your “want to” back. What does Ephesians 6:10-11 say?

Paul describes how we put ourselves in position to receive this strength. “Put on the full armor of God”. By putting on the armor, we activate the strengthening process. It’s like plugging in your phone charger. You can count on your phone to hold a charge, but only if you’ve taken the initiative to plug it in. We will never realize the fullness of God’s strength in our lives if we ignore the spiritual protection He offers. It’s always available, but we must “plug in” if we want to access it.

Wake Up Call: The call to victorious Christian living is a wake-up call out of laziness, urging you to rise up and take serious action. The strength you need for resisting and standing firm depends on it. Satan and the demons of darkness are hoping you will be disengaged and disinterested instead of alert, aware and active.

Day #4 – Bait Selection

The enemy is a master at choosing the right kind of bait to snag you.

Satan is tricky! But he is not original or particularly creative. He’s always had the same basic game plan. And if you’re watching, you’ll see that sometimes the areas where he’s targeting you are the ones you’d already expect. By being “proactive in prayer” and girded in your spiritual armor, you’ll be able to detect his secret plans before the attach unfolds and you can sabotage his efforts to deceive you.

Keep a close eye on your areas of greatest strength and your areas of greatest weakness. They are likely the places where you can expect the enemy to target his attacks against you. When you know where to look, you can see him coming from a mile away. He’s really not that clever. He’s just cunning.

The enemy’s strategies: Page 33 in Workbook

  • Against Your Passion
  • Against Your Focus
  • Against Your Identity
  • Against Your Family
  • Against your Confidence
  • Against your Calling
  • Against your Purity
  • Against Your Rest and Contentment
  • Against Your Heart
  • Against Your Relationships

Day #5 – Strategy Session

I believe I can say it as bluntly as this: Unless prayer is a vital and thriving part of your life, you will never achieve spiritual victory. No matter how many times you through this study, no matter how many conferences and ministries you participate in, you will forever be spinning your wheels until you’re grounded in prayer. Prayer is the connective tissue between you and heavily places.

You prayiing only needs to be authentic and heartfelt. No specific length. No need for ten-dollar words and poetic prose. You’re not trying to impress anybody. Just be raw, frank and real with God. Then – and I’m serious about this – tear your prayer out of this book and post it somewhere where you will see it every day and be reminded to pray it. That might be your bathroom mirror or the wall of your office cubicle.

TIME TO DISCUSS:

Write down some of the specific ways you’ve felt “pinned down” in your life recently: Relationships/Emotional/Physical/Other

Read Ephesians 1:18-21 and 3:14-19, and talk about the many details about the intention of Paul’s prayers

According to Scripture in John 8:44 and 2 Corinthians 4:4 what is the enemy’s most obvious calling card?

What do you think it looks like to be “on your guard” against the enemy in practical, everyday terms?

In what ways, if any, have you noticed spiritual apathy or indifference in your own life recently?

 

Shield of Faith

What takes place on the INSIDE of my Shield of Faith when I hold it up “AGAINST SATAN”?                                                          I HAVE:

PROTECTION, PROVISION

     PEACE, WISDOM, GRACE

 CONFIDENCE, CALMNESS

                        SELF CONTROL, LOVE, HEALTH/HEALING                                            PATIENCE, JOY-                                                                                   THANK                                                  YOU JESUS!!!

Ephesians 6:16: hold up the shield of faith

to stop the fiery arrows

of the devil.