Encounter: Begin this time thanking God for providing His Spirit and His Word. Think of a time when God’s Word spoke to you, and pray for the Spirit to open your heart, mind, and soul to receive what He has for you in this time.
Slowly read through Ephesians 6:10-18.
Held within this passage written from the apostle Paul to the church in Ephesus are two commands based on the realities of the unseen, invisible world. Oftentimes when we consider the spiritual world and the battle that goes along with it, we try to compare it to the fight between good and evil we see on the silver screen or in the pages of our favorite books. Whether the light or dark side in Star Wars, the fellowship with Frodo Baggins or the hordes from Mordor in the Lord of the Rings; Harry, Hermoine, and Ron or Voldemort in Harry Potter; Eleven, Will, Dustin, Max, Mike, and Lucas or demagorgon, the mind flayer, and Vecna in Stranger Things; and even the beloved Princess Ariel or Ursula in The Little Mermaid. While all these examples point to the reality of the existence of both good and evil (we have to relate to each of these stories on some level or else they wouldn’t be as popular as they are), far too often we let these stories become the reality of the battle between good and evil. We keep the reality of good and evil at an arm’s length when we do this.
The first command Paul writes in verse 10 is to “let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong.” The second command in verse 11 is to “put on all the armor that God gives.” Paul quickly tells us in verse 12 that the reason we must be strong in the Lord and put on the armor God gives us is because we are “fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.” The battle between good and evil is indeed real, but unlike the cliffhangers we often get in movies that leave us wondering about the outcome, the Bible is clear that God has won the victory once and for all through Jesus Christ who died and rose again overcoming death, evil, and the grave. As a result, Christ followers do not fight for victory in this battle between good and evil. Instead, Christ followers fight from victory.
Over the next six weeks we will learn more about our invisible battle and how we can learn to live an invincible faith.
One of the resources we are using through this series is “The Invisible War” by Chip Ingram. Click here to learn more.
Reflect: When you hear “spiritual warfare,” what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Have you ever sensed you were in a spiritual battle? If so, how did you respond? How does it make you feel knowing that faith in Christ puts you on the winning side of that battle?
Gather: In your small group, triad, Sunday study group, or just in conversation with friends, open up a time to share about any prayer requests that could use the faithful prayers of other believers. Let the space you create for this time in prayer breathe, if there is silence, take that as an invitation to simply sit with the Spirit. Listen.
Encourage: Reread Ephesians 6:18. Stay alert and pray. Who in your life could use a little extra encouragement from the Lord? Pray for them by the power of the Spirit.