NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passage: Ephesians 6:10-12
— How would you answer if someone asked you, “Why is life such a struggle?”
— Why is it absolutely essential that we know who our real enemy is?
— How can believers be more attuned to the realities of spiritual warfare?
Food for Thought:
The demonic is big business. Go with a group of friends to the local entertainment store or DVD and book sections at the big box store. Browse the offerings and you will doubtless find titles galore of movies and books featuring humanity caught up in conflict with demonic forces of nearly unstoppable powers. Of course, these are always found in the fiction section. After all, they are all make believe. No such dark creatures exist, right?
Wrong! The Scripture is clear about the activity of the devil and his horde of evil demons. In contrast to the Hollywood and pulp fiction versions, these creatures are real, and they are unseen — unseen but not unencountered. In “The Invisible War,” author Chip Ingram shares some of his and his family’s experiences with these hidden but active combatants during his 12 years as a pastor in Santa Cruz, Calif., and the spiritual truths he learned from Scripture during those years to protect himself from the creatures’ destructive measures.
Ingram’s contention is that we often confront these minions of Satan and struggle because of them, but we fail to recognize them as the source of our struggles. Then, “People who suddenly find out that they are in the midst of a cosmic conflict often have one of two extreme reactions: fight or flight. Those who flee do so because they don’t feel up to the task. Those who are ready to jump into the fight do so because they feel strong enough to handle it. Ephesians 6 has an answer to both extremes: be strong in the strength of God’s might.”
We might not understand why we struggle. It might be difficult for us to accept that we are caught in an invisible, spiritual war. We might want to run and hide from the possibility. But hiding from the enemy doesn’t defeat him or remove the cloud of his threat from over our heads. And, God has already provided His children with the equipment we need to withstand the devil’s attacks and gain victory over his henchmen — the armor of God described and commanded in Ephesians 6.
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at www.lifeway.com/masterwork.