A better story is worth fighting for. A better family is worth fighting for. A better you is worth fighting for. This new year could bring incredible freedom and growth in ways you’ve never imagined, but you’ll have to fight for it.
weekend in review
The good news is, the God of the universe is on your side fighting for you. In this series, we’ll unpack a strategy to win, the equipment that is available to all of us, and the power source that makes it all happen.
Share a story of a time you fought for something you cared deeply about and saw freedom and growth in your life because of it.
Throughout this series we’ve been reminded that we are in a very real supernatural struggle with the forces of darkness. We have a very real enemy and He’s called by various names in the Bible. He’s called Satan, Lucifer, Prince of Darkness, the serpent, the Evil One, the Father of lies, the Destroyer, the Accuser and many other names.
Scripture teaches us that Satan wasn’t always the bad one. In fact, years and years ago, Satan was actually an angel, one of God’s best and most beautiful angels, known as Lucifer, or often called the morning star. But Satan, in his beauty, became jealous of God and wanted to be like God.
Have a volunteer read Revelation 12:7-9.
In Ephesians, the apostle Paul reminds us that we have the weapons to fight back when we are in a spiritual battle and win.
Have a volunteer read Ephesians 6:10-12.
Paul describes the following pieces of armor available to us:
Helmet of Salvation – Reminds us we are saved by the grace of God through his death on the cross and resurrection.
Breastplate of Righteousness – God looks at us and see the breastplate of righteousness, not because we are good, he sees past our sins.
Shield of Faith – Protects us from the darts the enemy will hurl at us and defeats them because God lives with us and is greater than the one who lives in this world.
Shoes of Peace – we go into battle with a peace that surpasses all understanding.
Sword of the Spirit – We have the offensive weapon of the Word of God.
Just like going into battle without physical armor on is dangerous, so is going into spiritual battles without the protection we have available to us.
Think over the battles and struggles you are facing right now. What pieces of armor would help and protect you as you walk through this situation?
Have a volunteer read Ephesians 6:18.
The final tool Paul gives us in this passage is prayer.
What do you think Paul means by the phrase “pray at all times in the Spirit”? Look back at Ephesians 5:18-21 and talk about how might this help us understand and apply Ephesians 6:18 to our lives?
Each of us needs to be in community, like this small group to have people praying for us, who have our backs. People to encourage us as we face struggles, big and small.
Have you experienced the power of walking through a difficult situation with a group of people that were praying for you and walking alongside you? If so, share about it with the group.
Many of us have faced times when we pray and feel like nothing is happening. In those times remember your prayers are more powerful than you know.
Have a volunteer read Daniel 10:12-14.
Daniel prayed, and as soon as he prayed, God heard his prayer, released His angels, and for 21 days they did battle against an evil spirit. When Michael, the archangel, appeared, he was able to hold off the evil spirits so the other angel could go to Daniel and say, “God has answered your prayer.”
Twenty-one days, there’s a battle going on in the heavenlies, because you need to understand, what you see in the physical world is not all that there is, and your prayers are more powerful than you know.
Gene shared the story of Erwin McManus and his son Aaron, who as a child, returned home from camp afraid to go to sleep. He had heard these demon stories and now was afraid. He asked his Dad to say a prayer that he would be safe.
Erwin leaned down and said, ‘Honey, I won’t do that.’ In his mind he thought when it comes to Christianity “I don’t want him to live a life of safety.” So, Erwin said, ‘Aaron, I’m not going to pray that God will make you safe.’ His eyes got really big and he said, ‘Daddy!’…. He said, ‘I am going to pray that God will make you dangerous for Christ. So dangerous that all the demons will flee when you enter the room.’ Aaron looked up at him and said, ‘All right daddy, then you pray that God makes me really dangerous!”
Share where in your life are you playing it safe and need to ask God to make you dangerous?
Most of us want to live a life that matters. We want our lives to make a difference. Let’s be people whose prayers are to stand firm, stand strong, be a person of prayer, a person of the Word, filled with God’s Spirit. This is how we fight our battles.
As we wrap up this series hopefully you are encouraged to fight for a better life. Fight your spiritual battles with spiritual weapons. Fight for your family, marriage, financial freedom or physical freedom from addictions that keep you from living out the life God has for you. Fight for your kids, going to God in prayer knowing that our prayers more powerful then we know.
Have a volunteer read Matthew 3:13-14.
Before the battle, Jesus got battle ready through baptism. Gene shared four things we should consider about baptism. It marks a turning point in your life; publicly expresses your commitment to God; demonstrates your humility; and was a picture of His ultimate mission, changing your life.
Use one of the tools we have received during this series and share next week how it impacted your spiritual life.
Spend time praying and journaling about the struggles and battles you are facing. Pray about where you want to see a better story in life and ask God for help in fighting for it.
Many of you have taken that step of being baptized, but if you’re a follower of Jesus and haven’t yet, sign up to get baptized today at eastside.com/baptism.
WRAP UP & PRAYER
Pair off and spend time praying for:
Courage to fight for a better story.
Discernment to recognize the spiritual battles and apply the spiritual armor God has given you.