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