The Point: Satan fights against us, but we can stand in Christ.
Get Into the Study
Use this story to introduce the point of Session 1: Satan fights against us, be we can stand in Christ.
Baltimore’s homicide rate for 2017 is on track to be the highest in the city’s recorded history. Baltimore has one of the highest per capita rates in the country, higher than that of Chicago, Detroit, and New Orleans.
Community members recently organized a city-wide call for a 72-hour ceasefire. Known as the Baltimore Ceasefire, the members’ plea was simple, “Nobody kill anybody for 72 hours.” The ceasefire attempt took place August 4th-August 6th.
Activists coordinated with city leaders, passed out fliers, made t-shirts, and held rallies. The movement saw wide-spread community support. Nonetheless, the ceasefire lasted only 41 hours. Two homicides marred the weekend.
We live in a world where our efforts toward good are often thwarted by evil. Satan fights against us, and we may be disheartened. The Book of Revelation shows us who Satan is. It also shows us what happens to him: Satan is defeated. In Christ, we can stand against evil and stand against Satan.
Nikki Wilbanks is a stay-at-home mom, writer, Bible study leader, and commercial real estate appraiser/investor. She graduated from Pepperdine University, and lives with her husband and two children in Murfreesboro, TN.
Get Into the Study (Activity)
To introduce the idea of the battle between good and evil, play a brief video clip of the final battle scene of the 2012 movie The Avengers. Then ask, “What stands out about the ‘bad guys’ and ‘good guys’?” Share that in the movies, the bad guys are easily identified and create significant damage, but they always lose in the end. In the movies, the good guys always prevail over evil.
Click here for the 0:58 second clip. [This idea supports the group plan in the Young Adult Leader Guide.]
Use the following illustration as you wrap up your study of the Revelation 12:11-12 section. This will create a natural lead in to the Live It Out section in the Personal Study Guide.
Watching game footage is written into the DNA of America’s top college football teams. Three years ago, current University of Miami coach Mark Richt, then head coach at University of Georgia, gave USA Today an exclusive tour of the multi-million dollar football complex in Athens. The impressive nature of the tour was not bound in the practice fields, facilities or equipment, but the technology. UGA’s director of video operations likened the tech-obsessed program to a “tech start-up.” The video suite adjacent to the head coach’s office was heavily stocked with MacBook Pros, Mac Pros and iMacs that can run up to 64 screens of game film.
“The top college football programs in the country are accelerating their use of technology in all facets of their organization. They’re investing in iPads as digital playbooks, elaborate video equipment to break down game footage and sophisticated data crunching to gain a strategic edge.”
Georgia wasn’t the only university utilizing technology. Troy Finney, senior director of sports technologies at Alabama said, “We are constantly looking for the next technology that is going to give us that slight advantage over the competition.” Hall of Famer Jerry Rice cited the importance of film study to his success: “I want to know what a cornerback does on artificial turf in the rain in a tie game. I want to get inside his head.”
The threat of Satan against God’s people is infinitely more urgent than a football team’s rival. The expensive and determined investment in acquiring the absolute best knowledge of one’s competition in college football reveals the unmeasured value for Christians in knowing their personal, initiating enemy.
- What information do I factually know about Satan? How are his abilities different than God’s? How are they different than mine?
- How does this information pragmatically help me as I daily defend myself against my accuser?
Emily Jennings (Master of Arts, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary 2009) serves and lives in the greater Atlanta area. She is wife to Brian and mom to three wonderful boys. She teaches the Bible to 8th grade girls at First Baptist Church Woodstock and you can find her on Twitter and Instagram: @emilyejenn
Where do you see evil most often in our corner of the world?
Who was your nemesis as a child?
What saying about the devil has really made an impression on you?
How would you respond to the person who tells you they don’t believe in the existence of Satan?
How does Satan’s influence impact the world you live in? Give specific examples?
In what ways does Satan try to deceive the world?
What do you dislike most about the devil?
What steps can you take to overcome Satan’s lies?
What emotions come to the surface when you feel accused?
What does overcoming the devil look like for believers?
How should the reality of these verses shape our lives?
When have you seen Satan’s accusations take a heavy toll?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional:
Here’s a brief five-minute teaching video about this session: The Dark Side, Session 1.