Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fighting With Power

In this bible study, we look at different tactics used in spiritual warfare.  We examine what tools enemy uses to get us to fall into sin. 

  • 2 Cor 10:3-4
  • Romans 12:2
  • Mark 8:15-21
  • Matthew 16:21-23
  • Acts 10: 37-38
  • 2 Timothy 1:7
  • 1 Pet 5:6-10

Spiritual Warfare

2 Cor 10:3-4
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

So our war is against:
  • strongholds
  • arguments - evolution
  • Thoughts

So where does this war take place?
  • In our heads/mind


What is a stronghold?

Stronghold: military constructions or buildings designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and also used to solidify rule in a region during peacetime.

In the natural
- walled city or castle where an army can hide
- they are made of huge stones
- where an army rests so they can go from there and do exploits

In the spiritual
- ideas and ideals that are in conflict with what God says
- Satan can hide there and do his exploits

oxýrōma (from the root oxyroō, "fortify") – a fortified, military stronghold; a strong-walled fortress, used only in 2 Cor 10:4. Here 3794/oxýrōma ("a heavily-fortified containment") is used figuratively of a false argument in which a person seeks "shelter" ("a safe place") to escape reality.

So it’s not a sin pattern it’s a false argument

So it's not just the thought it's the thought process
  • The logic and reasoning you use to justify your action
  • The arguments used to defend a position that justifies a sin or sin pattern

the stronghold is not a sin pattern it's a thought pattern it makes you think the sin is OK
That justifies the sin 
The stronghold is the reason you tell yourself that the sin is not wrong 

- inconsistent patterns create a realm of safety for the enemy to hide in dwell in and attack from

God is not just interested in our thoughts. He's interested in our process of thinking.

It's one thing to confess the sin it's another to change the way you think - repentance
  • Although confessing your sin is admitting that it is wrong
  • It's a step in the right direction

So notice that the war is against:
  • strongholds
  • arguments
  • Thoughts

The war is against our own minds, our flesh and the things that influence our thoughts

The enemy's main goal is for you to think what God said isn't true

Garden of Eden
The resulting reasoning process of the Eve included three elements, “that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise”

This is what caused the sin

Thought Patterns of Our Culture

Romans 12:2
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

We need to reject the thought patterns of the world and accept the thought patterns of God.  We need to reject the values of the world they conflict with God's values.

Christianity/Religion is not from God - it's man made

  • it’s the government's way of controlling us
  • it's the white man's way to keep black people in slavery
  • The bible was written by men to give men control over women

The bible is Old and Not Relevant

The bible was written so long ago that everything back then is no longer relevant.  
If we accept that thought pattern then we accept the lies that:
  • God doesn't want men to be the head of the household; men and women should be equal in marriage

Everybody is entitled to their own belief

  • God just wants us to be good to other people and be happy
  • we can’t judge another person’s belief
  • there isn't just one truth
  • As long as you're not hurting anybody else it's okay

If you accept this philosophy then you can justify:
  • fornication
  • Gay marriage
  • abortion

God wants to have a relationship with all of His creation, but that doesn’t mean you can go to Heaven

If there are other ways to gain eternal life then God is cruel to let His son be crucified

they're happy and it's their lives and nobody else is hurt by it.

Strongholds in the Church

It's Helpful To Discuss Other People's Sin


The test
What is the purpose of you bringing it up?

Talk to them about it privately before talking to others

Don't  talk to others about it unless you've prayed for them already

All Bad Things That Happen Are God’s Judgment

based on: "whatever happens was God's plan"
- this blames God for every bad and evil that happens

result: mad at God

Especially during crisis in our life or a huge loss.
  • death of a loved one

when we think God’s judgement wasn’t fair

We tend to blame God when something goes wrong because we believe He's all powerful.  But when we are in the midst of the trial we don't believe that He is all powerful and we think that it's up to us.  Or either we think He is all powerful but "He just doesn't really love me".  I'm not really good enough to deserve His attention.

Why this is wrong

- God is not willing that any should perish
- Jesus said to pray that God's will be done

Why did Jesus pray?
- If everything is going to happen as He planned He wouldn't need to pray.

Jesus told Mary that it wasn't His time to do miracles at the wedding
- since Mary was highly favored she was able to change God's plan

Other factors:

  1. our free will is involved in what happens to us
    • we have a responsibility in our circumstances
    • we have the choice to make bad or good decisions

  1. Satan has influence on our circumstances
    • was what happened to Job God’s plan?

The will of God is the wish and dream of God
His intention is "thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven"
There's a distance between God's will and our will

God knew it would happen
  • dog left with food

Focusing on Our Bad Circumstances

Mark 8:15-21
14The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15"Be careful," Jesus warned them. "Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod."
  • Jesus was warning them to be aware of both the religious and the political systems
16They discussed this with one another and said, "It is because we have no bread."
17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: "Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?"
"Twelve," they replied.
20"And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?"
They answered, "Seven."
21He said to them, "Do you still not understand?"
  • Jesus was concerned about their reasoning. Even though they had seen Him provide for them before they were still worried about not having brought bread
  • God is concerned about our thinking process - why do we worry
  • we think the miracle is a temporary event as opposed to be God revealing His nature
When the enemy causes bad circumstances around your life he’s hoping that you’ll focus on those circumstances
  • he wants you to accuse God or take the blame yourself
  • he gets mad if you have faith and aren’t deterred by it


When we get broken and disappointed the enemy knows how to come in and what lies to whisper and plant in our hearts.  The lies can be about ourselves, other people or God.  We want to blame God or blame ourselves.
  • death of a loved one or a good person
  • loss of a job
  • unanswered dreams (e.g. spouse)
  • something horrible that happened in our childhood

This causes:
  • bitterness
  • unforgiveness
  • guilt

These will separate you from God


Our vote to believe a lie is what makes the lie powerful

Satan knows what you want, so he’ll send you a counterfeit

Sometimes your “blessing” may not be from God.  Did it draw you closer to God or further from Him
  • promotion
  • boyfriend/girlfriend

Prioritizing Things of the World

Matthew 16:21-23
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
  • Who was Jesus talking to when He said “get behind me Satan”?
    • Satan
  • Wasn’t Peter the one who said it, and not satan?
  • So why did Jesus switch and talk to satan?
    • Because He recognized that it was Satan influencing Peter

- Satan wants you to value the things of the world (his world) more than the things of God (God's world)

- you are figuratively worshipping Satan over God

Lust of the Flesh

It’s a desire that fulfills a physical need.

  • sex

It’s a problem whenever you’re out of control.   

I’ve heard it said don’t marry who can’t control their anger.

I think you don’t want to marry anyone who’s out of control in any area of their life if they’re not working on it:
  • alcoholism
  • anger
  • gambling
  • sexual addiction

Jesus' first trial - turn this rock into bread 

Lust of the Eyes

The devil will always call your attention repeatedly to the thing that is harmful for you, but he will do it in a way that makes you feel deprived if you don't indulge in eating, drinking, or partaking of what is harmful. The implication of the devil is always: "This is so good. Has God really said you can't have any of this good thing?"

Any worldly thing we have to have in order to be happy the enemy can use against us
  • spouse
  • career
  • riches

Jesus' second trial, the devil offers Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if he will worship him

Pride of Life

  • arrogance
  • thinking we know what we’re doing
  • thinking we can make it without God
  • trusting in our own judgement
  • not being dependent on God

I’m a grown man/woman I don’t need those types of boundaries

This was Jesus' third trial when the devil told Him to jump off a cliff


Acts 10: 37-38
37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
  • it refers to those who got healed as being “under the power of the devil”

Satan causes sickness and disease

Why can people heal?
  • because it’s God’s will that they be well

Fear / Anxiety / Doubt

2 Timothy 1:7*
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and discipline.

This verse points out a lot
  • tells us that there is a Spirit of Fear
  • when Paul says "given us" it implies that he and we have it

So then where is this spirit from?
  • Satan

God only allows us to fight enemies that we've been equipped to fight.
The enemy tries to distract you and give you fear and anxiety to make your forget about the tools you've been equipped with.


The pathway to idolatry is fearing foreign Gods
- fear of poverty
- fear of death

The Israelites turned to idolatry because they feared the God’s of the other land

If your attention to something else overshadows your attention to God you need to turn away from it (e.g. The news)
We don’t want to be more focused on what the enemy is doing than on what God is doing

satan wants us to focus on him



1 Pet 5:6-10
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
  • resist the devil and he will flee
  • other believers are going through the same temptations and sufferings


You always have to have an option that is contrary to what God wants
- so that He will have a reason for reward

- we sin when we surrender to the Devil’s temptation

At the heart of all temptations, is the act of pushing God aside because we perceive him as secondary  in comparison with all the apparently far more urgent matters that fill our lives.

We have to ask ourselves what benefit is it the sin providing?  Is it a cure for
  • loneliness
  • anxiety / fear
  • embarrassment
  • feelings of rejection
  • feelings of disrespect
    • step on shoe

Is it a reaction to something we aren’t healed from?

  • A practical step to take in the moment of temptation, fear, disappointment, or suffering is to to ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit.
  • When you get in that moment of decision, ask God to fill you with His Spirit

If you get fed up and are ready to change your ways you can go through the cleansing process including:
  • repentance from your sins
  • forgiving those who have wronged you in the past
  • rebuke the devil in the name of Jesus
    • fear
    • disappointment
    • a specific sin
  • praying for God to fill you with the Holy Spirit

This is how we break every chain

This is how we become Unchained
  • unrestrained
  • free

these are the steps in the Sharpening Your Sword
  • Power in the Name of Jesus
  • The Power of Repentance
  • The Power of Forgiveness
  • The Power of Fasting
  • + Being Filled With the Holy Spirit
  • + The Power of Prayer

Presenter: Michael Leadon


Extra Scriptures

1 John 1:8-10
8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

What you don't want is to tell yourself that it's not a sin
  • Or that it's not that bad

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