Every human being is a part of a spiritual war, in which they are both the battleground and the prize. When someone trusts Christ, they have the power to flee temptations and see through Satan’s illusions.
Do you remember the 2015 viral photo of the dress? Is it blue and black, or white and gold? Spoiler alert: the correct answer is blue and black. If you saw the dress as white and gold, how does it make you feel to realize that what you perceived was an incorrect illusion?
This week, Pastor Zac mentioned some of the tricks Satan uses, like distracting us from God with either pleasure or busyness. New believers who have just switched sides of the spiritual war need to understand that there are two distinct ways that we resist Satan, according to the Bible, which will be uncovered in this discussion. Can you think of a way that you’ve tried to resist sin and Satan in your own life? Don’t focus on what you were trying to resist, but how you were trying to resist it. If you can, write down your way of resisting on a small piece of paper for later.
A note to leaders: Please review the wealth of information in the Leader’s Notes at the bottom of the discussion guide.
Primary Scriptures: 1 Peter 1:8, 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, 1 Timothy 6:10-11, 1 Corinthians 6:18, 2 Timothy 2:22
- The Bible says that Satan goes about “as a roaring lion.” Compare 1 Peter 5:8 to Revelation 5:5. Can you see how Satan’s actions show his lies and illusions at work?
- If someone were to come to you and say, “I don’t think God loves me or anyone,” how would you respond?
- If someone were to come to you with their lust and say, “I really want to commit adultery,” how would you respond?
- When you look at the scriptures above, do you see two basic ways to respond to the temptations and lies of Satan?
Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read James 5:13-20 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.
Getting to know you: Facts and reasoning destroy Satan’s lies, because they cannot withstand much examination. Satan never has an argument—just fancy presentation. Lusts, however, cannot be reasoned with. You simply have to decide that you want something else more (for instance, God). In the Introduction, what were you resisting? A lust, or an ‘evil imagination’? And, importantly…how did you handle it? Did you give a counter-argument, or flee? Or did you try to do something else?
Getting to know them: In the interest of being ‘raw and real,’ share how you resisted with your group. And (buckle up!) share how that approach has worked out since then. Did that method of handling the problem lead to sliding back into that same spiritual problem, or did you experience victory?
Getting to know Him: God controls everything, including the temptations He allows us to face. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, we see that God also creates “a way to escape” with every temptation. Why would God would allow us to face temptation at all? Does it have something to say about how God intends to change us?
Engaging at Faith Promise: Be eager to greet people who just last week began to trust Christ and be transformed by Him. They need to know we’re thrilled to have them, and that they are in good company: we all struggle with the same things, and we’re all a mess. But most importantly, we all have the same Savior, and we want to help each other.
Engaging in Community: Find ways to talk about issues that are important to your neighbors and co-workers. They are all interested in, and even passionate about, all sorts of different things. Maybe social media has created an ‘illusion’ of enmity because you disagree about politics. Tear down the illusions, and sow God’s truth in your conversations.
Engaging the World: In some countries, people (wrongly) imagine that they do good when they murder Christian missionaries. So, pray for Christ’s missionaries to be safe and not to be discouraged. Scripture is clear that our prayers matter (James 5:16).