January 24, 2024 - Present
Note: Much of this study is taken from the writings of Dr. Tony Evans’ book, “Victory in Spiritual Warfare”, as well as my own lecture notes in the course, “Theology of Spiritual Warfare.”
Introduction - Lesson 1 - January 24, 2024
Once you are firmly convinced of your salvation and eternal security, one of the biggest challenges for Christians is understanding and overcoming the spiritual realm. Biblical wisdom and spiritual maturity are two different things. Biblical knowledge gives us the information and tools to live purposeful lives for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom here on earth. Spiritual maturity is the lifelong process of becoming like Christ. At a deeper level, spiritual maturity is acquiring a clearer understanding and appreciation of the enemy and the spiritual forces he uses to hinder the believer’s growth and progress. These two factors speak to the vital importance of this study on spiritual warfare. This is indeed a battle. In addition to being waged in heavenly places, it is being waged in our individual lives, our families and the church. Spiritual warfare has nothing to do with physical battles or physical weaponry. Spiritual warfare is the inward and outward battle we face against the enemies of God. Once we become Christians, a battle begins between the spirit (our internal spirit) and the flesh (the inward sinful nature we are born with). In this battle, we must learn to utilize the Holy Spirit within us to help us fight. The Apostle Paul spoke directly to this in his epistle to the Church at Ephesus. Paul lays out the armor we are to put on and gives us a glimpse into why we need the armor. (Ephesians 6:10-13).
The Spiritual Realm - Lesson 2 - January 31, 2024
When it comes to spiritual warfare, we remember that “you are not fighting for victory, you are fighting from (a position of) victory.” Whatever has happened, is happening, or will happen is rooted in the spiritual realm. The Bible teaches the existence of a non-physical, spiritual reality, unseen by human eyes. The Bible says that the spiritual realm consists of both good - God and the angels, and evil - the devil and his demons, fallen angels. The Scriptures also teach that humans were created by God in His image, which means we have a spiritual component (Genesis 1:27). We are more than physical entities; we possess a soul/spirit which is destined for eternity. Even though the spiritual realm is invisible to the physical eye, we are connected to it, and what goes on in the spiritual realm directly affects our physical world.
The Strategy - Lesson 3 - February 7, 2024
Concerning spiritual warfare, our enemy, Satan, and his demons, have had thousands of years to observe humanity. He has become an expert at exploiting human weaknesses, such as past trauma, racial and gender divisions, fleshly desires, emotional and mental instability, and many other areas of our human nature. We mistakenly assume that Satan has the ability to see into the future when, in reality, he has become an expert in understanding our tendencies and behaviors. He has been observing you from your conception, and he knows what snares and deceptions work best on each of you.
Satan and his demons know what happened in your childhood that may have influenced your thinking and behavior; he uses it to deceive and, if possible, destroy you. (This should help us be more patient and persistent with people who stubbornly resist our efforts to lead them to Christ. Their spirit wants to come to Christ, but their flesh is still in control.) No matter what we come up with to outsmart the devil, he will devise a better strategy to defeat you. We forget that we cannot defeat Satan and his demons in our own strength. But we know Someone Who can.
Satan is not the only one who knows each of us. God knows every aspect of us from the moment He created us. More importantly, God knows our enemy, Satan, his weaknesses, and every trick he uses to deceive and defeat His children. God has told us about Satan’s weaknesses and strategies in His Word.
The Four Stages of Satan's Strategy - Lesson 4 - February 21, 2024
The enemy’s strategy in spiritual warfare is to come to us as an angel of light, deceiving God’s people – the individual, the family, the church, and society. Now, we need to break down the different aspects of his line of attack. There are four stages of the devil’s strategy. Let’s look at them.
God's Strategy - Lesson 5 - Part 1 - February 28, 2024
Success in fighting and conflict often depends on strategy. Last week, we looked at “Satan’s Strategy” in Spiritual Warfare. Today, we take a look at “God’s Strategy” in Spiritual Warfare. Spiritual Warfare is about authority. Who has the authority? Who has the power and the right? The key to victory in spiritual warfare is understanding who has the power and authority. When God created man, He gave him authority or dominion. He said, “…Let them have dominion…” (Genesis 1:26). Adam was given dominion - authority to rule and cultivate his world. But in order to do so, he had to maintain fellowship with God and withstand the attacks of the enemy. We know that Adam failed, and Satan was allowed to rule in his place. Eve and then Adam got out of their chosen positions of authority and created the transfer of power and dominion in this world. (The key lesson in Adam’s fall is not his disobedience but rather his broken relationship with his Creator. God asked Adam, “Where art thou” (Genesis 3:9). Of course God knew where Adam was physically, He was really asking, “What happened to our relationship? What happened to our intimacy?” (Neil diamond’s song, “You don’t bring Flowers anymore.” ) God is offended when sin interferes with our relationship with Him.) Several times, Jesus referred to Satan as “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31,14:30, 16:11). Consequently, because of Adam’s fall, Satan is the one who rules this world. While he can only do so within the boundaries and limitations set by the sovereign Ruler, he nevertheless rules this world. And he does so not by power or might but through deception, temptation, intimidation, and a variety of other schemes.
Lesson 5 - Part 2 - March 6, 2024