Step 2: The Abundant Life
Picture with me for a moment a British soldier during the Revolutionary War. Along with his fellow soldiers, he fought against Colonial forces, who were brilliantly led by General George Washington. As the small Colonial army fought against the overwhelming, superior troops of England, they were miraculously victorious. Even so, there were several British soldiers who resued to surrender. They refused to admit their defeat, and they continued with guerrilla activity.
This is the portrait of the Christian life. We read in Colossians 1:23-24 that God has rescued us out of the darkness and gloom of Satan's kingdom. The Christian flag of victory has been raised; Satan has been defeated. Yet the spiritual guerrilla warfare continues.
If we are to walk in the control and fullness of the Holy Spirit, we must be prepared for spiritual conflict.
I am sure there are dozens of times everyday -- at home, at the office, at the grocery store, while driving on the freeway -- that you face temptations to compromise your Christian convictions. None of us in this life have gotten to the point of perfection. I can tell you that even after almost fifty years of walking with our wonderful Lord, I face such guerrilla warfare daily.
Ephesians 6:10-18 exhorts us to "put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all the strategies and tricks of Satan."
There are ways you can deal with the "guerrillas" in your life. Let me list just a few:
- Confess all known sin in your life. Sin is the result of disobedience, and it gives Satan a stronghold in our lives.
- Center your affections on Christ and surrender to His Lordship. The Apostle Paul records in Romans 12:2, "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think." (TLB)
- Know that as an act of your will by faith, you can be free in Christ. Romans 6:16 says, "Don't you realize that you can choose your own master? You can choose sin [with death] or else obedience [with acquittal]." (TLB)
- Be filled with the Spirit. You are filled with the Spirit in the same way you became a Christian -- by faith.
- Study God's holy, inspired Word daily. Prayerfully apply its truths to your life.
- Experience daily the power of prayer. As a child of God you are invited to come boldly before His throne to receive His mercy and find grace in your time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
- Live by faith. Everything you receive from God, from the moment of your spiritual birth until you die, is by faith. It is impossible to please God without faith. (Hebrews 11:6)
Christ died to win victory over all the guerrillas in our lives. I encourage you to begin applying these principles to your life today, and He will help you be strong in Him.
We are on the Battlefield
Describe in your own word the picture depicted in Paul's command given in Ephesians 6:10-18.
- What two things will putting on the whole armor of God help you to do? (Verses 10 & 11) How are we to defend ourselves against our enemies? (Verses 10-13).
- Who are our enemies? (James 4:4, Galatians 5:16-17, I Peter 5:8 )
- Name six protective pieces of armor that God provides and expects you to wear. (Ephesians 6:14-17)
- How can you employ the sword of God's word? (Verse 17) for defense against temptation? (Psalm 119:9,11) List some ways the sword of God's word can be used in an offensive action. (II Timothy 3:16-17)
- How can you stay alert and always be prepared? (Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 4:2)
We are on the Battlefield
- How should you respond to these enemies?
(Romans 12:2, Galatians 5:16, James 4:7)
- When you consider the pieces of armor and weapons provided, who can you conclude is really fighting the battle? (Ephesians 6:10)
- Why can you always expect God to be the winner? (I John 4:4)
- How does Romans 8:31 affect your attitude toward adversity and temptation?
- How do these principles help you live a more abundant life?
- Describe a specific situation in your life right now in which you need to employ a spiritual weapon.
- Which weapons will you use and how?
- What results do you expect?
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.