Genesis 4:7 | Ephesians 6:12-13 | Hebrews 4:12a | 2 Timothy 4:7

“Don’t hit each other in the head with the Bible. That’s not cool.”

After visiting a childhood friend who was now in prison, a man asked himself, “How did he end up behind bars?” The two men had grown up together, played sports together, done church groups together. What happened? How had his childhood friend made such bad decisions?

Finally, the man concluded: “He lost faith.” His friend had stopped believing that God loved him and took care of him, and had started trying to give himself everything he thought he deserved. He got addicted to dangerous substances, and started stealing to support their use. Eventually his actions led to a series of arrests and ultimately, prison.

This is an extreme example, for sure. But it is not an uncommon one. There is a battle being fought for our souls every day, and sadly, many people lose.

God’s words to Cain describe this battle.

“You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

(Genesis 4:7 NLT)

We can either conquer our sinful nature and be its master, or it will control us. This is not a both-teams-get-a-trophy competition; either you control it, or it controls you.

The stakes are high. And not to scare you, but there is a whole army opposing you.

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

(Ephesians 6:12 NLT)

And you may have noticed: they are not human. (Thankfully…they’re not zombies, either.) The battle is against spiritual forces in “the unseen world.” Bad thoughts about the past? Anxiety about the future? Discontent with the present? That’s evidence of your unseen enemies.

Now take some encouragement. You have a powerful weapon against these dark marauders: the word of God.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.

(Hebrews 4:12a NLT)

There is so much of God’s Truth in scripture. Learn it. Know it. Speak it. God gives us this weapon because he loves us and wants us to win this battle. 

He also gives us armor.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

(Ephesians 6:13 NLT)

Paul goes on to describe a belt of truth, a breastplate of righteousness, boots of peace, a shield of faith, and a helmet of salvation–all to be worn while swinging thesword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

So suit up in your armor and start swinging that sword. And don’t ever give up. Keep fighting the good fight!

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

(2 Timothy 4:7 NIV)

Questions for Group Discussion

  • What exactly is the “good fight”? 
  • Who does the fighting? Is it you against the heavenly armies?
  • When does the fighting start? When does it stop?
  • Why are we discussing battle? Isn’t following Jesus all about love?

Challenge: Draw Your Sword

This is a creative challenge. 

You have read above that the word of the Spirit is the word of God, and that there are various pieces of spiritual armor to accompany that weapon. What does that even look like?

We hereby challenge you to a competition that will end in a draw. (And possibly more bad puns…)

  • Draw a picture of someone wearing the armor of God and wielding the sword of the Spirit.
  • For bonus points, add a depiction of the spiritual forces involved as well.