Consider this boot camp for spiritual warfare.
What if you knew someone was waiting to attack you and your family at any moment? Wouldn't you do everything possible to protect yourself?
Unfortunately, many of us do little to strengthen ourselves when it comes to the area of spiritual warfare. As a result, the forces of hell have a heyday messing with our lives. We wonder why our lives are in such turmoil instead of realizing how unprepared we are.
In this workbook, you'll prepare yourself for the battle against Satan. Inside you'll see how to:
- Know the enemy
- Recognize who you are in Christ
- Arm yourself
- Understand the biblical view of angels
- Realize the power of prayer and God's Word
- Overcome your flesh
Each thought-provoking lesson contains:
- A Scripture text for meditation
- An opening prayer
- A variety of questions to discuss and answer
- Insights on how to spiritually equip yourself
Preparing for Battle also includes challenging sidebars that deal with matters such as cults, how to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit, and signs of involvement in the occult. Packed with real-life scenarios and revelation from God's Word, this workbook is ideal for groups, couples, families, and individuals.
|Edition description:||New Edition|
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About the Author
MARK BUBECK is the founder and president emeritus of ICBC, Inc., now Deeper Walk International. He graduated from Moody Bible Institute and received his D.Min. degree from Talbot Theological Seminary and a diploma in Theology from Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary.
A pastor for more than 40 years, Dr. Bubeck is author of The Adversary, Overcoming the Adversary, The Rise of Fallen Angels, and Raising Lambs Among Wolves, now updated and re-published as The Adversary at Home.
He lives in Sun City, Arizona.
Read an Excerpt
Preparing for Battle
A Spiritual Warfare Workbook
By Mark I. Bubeck
Moody PublishersCopyright © 1999 Mark I. Bubeck
All rights reserved.
UNDERSTANDING SATAN'S STRATEGY AND PERSON
Scripture Memory Verses:
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31–32)
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
Unit Learning Goal:
Knowing the Enemy.
Overview of Unit 1:
Lesson 1: The Biblical Perspective of Warfare
Lesson 2: Where Did Satan Come From?
Lesson 3: The Kingdom of Darkness
Lesson 4: Satan's Kingdom Rising
In order to defeat our enemy rather than be defeated by him, it is critical that we understand who he is, where he came from, where he gets his power, the means he uses to attack us, and the deceitfulness of his methods.
Unit 1 Thought Focus:
John 10:10 says it all in very plain language: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." This is the description Jesus applied to Satan. In stark and total contrast, Jesus claimed of Himself, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
Satan's strategy is to use whoever and whatever, wherever and whenever, however and why ever to destroy our God-given, blood-bought opportunity to live out our eternal, glorified life in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you knew someone was planning to break into your home, you would be prepared, on guard, ready to take appropriate action. But what if you knew someone was intent on destroying your marriage, hurting your children, and wreaking havoc in your life? What would you do? Certainly you wouldn't stand by and do nothing.
But too often, when it comes to the spiritual realm that's exactly what we do — nothing. As a result, the forces of hell have a heyday messing with our lives, and we seem to be clueless, stumbling around in the dark, moaning, "Why is this happening to me?"
The reality is just as Jesus said — and Jesus is not a liar, is He? — Satan is intently focused on our destruction. No one is too precious, too young, too sweet, too good, or too anything else to be immune to his attacks. And Satan is quick to take advantage of the person who is unsure, doubtful, skeptical, or cynical about his existence and power. People such as these are easy targets for Satan and his devouring fallen angels.
In 1998 in Greenville, Tennessee, six young people who had been dabbling in the occult were sentenced to life in prison without parole. Why? Because their dabbling had led to death — they kidnapped, terrorized, and murdered a husband, wife, and their six-year-old daughter. A two-year-old son, Peter, survived a bullet in the eye. Perhaps these six young people began giving ground to the devil by playing with tarot cards or reading horoscopes. Maybe they were fascinated by angels or by the darker side of rock music. However it began, their ill-fated spiritual quest led to a deepening involvement with the occult.
It's amazing that there is such a resurgence of interest in the spiritual realm even as many people are insistently cynical when it comes to warning about the danger of dabbling in the occult, witchcraft, New Age thinking, spirit guides, and more. They refuse to believe that not all angels are good angels. They don't want to acknowledge that even Satan and his demons can appear as sweet angels of light.
Many professed Christians don't really believe that the spirit world is real or relevant or needs to be dealt with. They may not often verbalize this, but it is obvious by the way they react. As Timothy Warner, professor emeritus at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an advisory board member at the International Center for Biblical Counseling (an agency counseling people suffering from spiritual oppression), says, "People may not always live what they profess, but they will always live what they believe."
We are in a fierce battle with the Enemy of our souls. Spiritual warfare is a biblical reality. It occurs whether we acknowledge it or not. Satan doesn't need our assent to attack us. If we are not on guard, wearing our spiritual armor and equipped with the tools of biblical warfare, he will try to rip our lives apart.
These attacks may be viewed as merely struggles with drug dependency, juvenile delinquency, emotional instability, family dysfunction, mental illness, or a thousand other labels for problems we view as normal. Or perhaps we or our family are plagued with unusual illnesses, injuries from frequent accidents, and other medical maladies. We'll spend thousands of dollars on therapists, doctors, detox therapies, surgeries, enlightenment seminars, books, retreats, and more, but fail to consider spiritual oppression. Some problems seem to get better, but new ones always surface. And many of the old ones come back. It never ends, and we scratch our heads wondering why.
The question is not whether we wrestle demonic spirits, but who's winning. Do the spirits have us pinned down in defeat? Have we conceded our souls and our families to the rule of bondage to darkness?
It's not too late to take action. But first we need to understand who and what we're dealing with. Then we need to become equipped with the tools of warfare and begin fighting back. The good news is that even though we may be wounded at times, the battle is guaranteed to be a victory for those who stand in Christ!
Are there areas in your life or members of your family you believe are being attacked by Satan? List below those areas or the names of family members, describe what's happening, and give a brief explanation of why you think Satan is involved. Do not share this information with others at this time. Rather, as you proceed through this study, keep these in prayer before the Lord. As you receive new insight, add or delete from this list as the Holy Spirit directs:
LESSON 1: The Biblical Perspective of Warfare
Scripture for Meditation:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
A Beginning Prayer:
Heavenly Father, open the eyes of my heart that I might see the truth of who my true enemy is so that I can avoid the snares and pitfalls he lays before me. Through the quickening of Your Holy Spirit, help my mind to grasp the power of the truth who lives in me. Let the blood of Jesus Christ cover all areas of my being to cleanse, protect, and deliver me from the fear of him who has no authority over or rights to my life or family. In the name of my precious Lord Jesus Christ, seal me with Your salvation and righteous protection and make me be an overcomer in all things. Amen.
SELF-CONTROLLED AND ALERT
A common lament heard when believers sin goes something like this: "The devil made me do it! I couldn't help myself!" Oh, how we love to assign responsibility for our failings on someone other than ourselves. And if we can tack it onto the devil, all the better. However, this is not the scriptural view of why we sin.
A more accurate statement could be: "The devil influenced me to do it, but I made the final choice."
That the Enemy of our souls will use every trick in the book — and then some — to defeat us is reality. We all like to quote the second half of 1 Peter 5:8, which says, "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." We too often ignore the first part of that verse that states, "Be self-controlled and alert."
Being in control and alert applies to several aspects of our lives. Below, highlight the activities where we need to be in control and alert. Discuss your responses.
1. Driving our children to school
2. Eating dinner with the family
3. Operating heavy construction equipment
4. Preparing our income taxes
5. Disciplining our children appropriately
6. Disagreeing with a friend or our spouse
7. Walking in an unfamiliar neighborhood
8. Making ethically sensitive business decisions
9. Choosing whom to marry
10. Talking about people and events at our church
If our stumbling was all due to the devil's attacks, why would we need to be self-controlled? Wouldn't being alert be enough? But we are called to be both. Satan sets the snares, and he's clever in his trapping. But the Holy Spirit who lives in us is clear-eyed and quick to alert us to the pitfalls. Once alerted, our responsibility is to avoid the dangers — to flee evil desires and pursue righteousness (2 Timothy 2:22).
In each of the examples in the exercise above, being in control and alert are critical. For example, around the dinner table we need to be alert to what others are saying, alert to our own responses, and in control of how we react toward and treat each individual. The bottom line for Christians is that there is never a time when it's safe not to be in control and alert.
Success in spiritual warfare needs a biblical, doctrinal approach. Subjective emotions, sincere feelings, and fervent desire mean nothing to Satan. He yields no ground to emotion or sincerity. He backs off only when he is confronted with the authority we possess in the Lord Jesus Christ. This authority is grounded in God's Word.
Hebrews 4:12:For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Ephesians 6:17:Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Revelation 19:15:Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.
With what weapon is the Word of God frequently compared? Why?
What is the Word of God?
What are some effects of reading and knowing the Bible?
(to make holy, cleansing by the washing with water through the word)
(renewing of the mind)
(life and strength)
List other Scriptures that describe benefits from reading and learning the Word. List the benefits described. (A concordance or Bible dictionary will be useful.)
In Matthew 4 Jesus gives us an example of how to stand against and defeat the devil when he comes against us. Knowing the Word allowed Christ to stand confidently in His position of authority. Using the Word against Satan was the same as wielding a powerful broadsword. Victory in this encounter was not instantaneous, as Satan attacked at least three times that are recorded. So it is with us. The Enemy is persistent and will attack over and over. To be able to stand means knowing all the Scripture we can and being alert to use it.
Read Matthew 4.
What did Satan use in his attempts at tripping up Jesus? Highlight the correct answer:
D. All of the above
When did Satan approach Jesus in the desert? Highlight the correct answer:
A. As soon as Jesus entered the desert
B. After Jesus had prayed and fasted
C. After forty days
D. Both B and C
What did Satan offer Jesus? Highlight the correct answer:
D. All of the above
Under what authority or influence did Satan tempt Jesus? Highlight the correct answers:
A. Satan was just very clever and smart.
B. Satan was and is the ruler of the air and the earth.
C. Satan really had no basis for his temptations.
D. God allowed Satan to approach Jesus.
Satan is our enemy. He is ruthless and ceaselessly persistent in his attempts to rob us of the promises of God and blind us to our position in Christ. He knows that his efforts are pointless and that in the end he is destined for an eternal damnation that defies imagination in the fires of hell. Satan is a loser who irrationally refuses to acknowledge his defeated, impotent status. He functions from the defeated state of dysfunctional denial.
The evil character of Satan is what drives his destructive behavior. He is the epitome of the human concept that "absolute power corrupts absolutely." Satan's power is not absolute, yet it is fathomless compared to any earthly power, and he seeks constantly to expand his range of power.
Before the beginning of time, Satan was a true angel of light ordained by God to guard the holiness of heaven. He was perfect in goodness, appearance, and motives. There was no other created heavenly host that outshone Satan. He was the "morning star, son of the dawn" (Isaiah 14:12).
So what happened? We'll look at that in the next lesson.
LESSON 2: Where Did Satan Come From?
Scripture of Meditation:
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37–39)
A Beginning Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, let me know and walk in the reality of Your power in me. Clothe me in Your righteousness and protect me with Your holiness. Let Your shed blood cover every area of my life and keep me marked as one bought by Your grace. Amen.
Satan once enjoyed the pleasures of heaven. He was chief among the angels who guarded the throne of God and the choir director of glory. The startling reality is that Satan came from heaven. So what happened? Let's consider some biblical references to Satan, his fall, and his nature.
Isaiah 14:11–17:All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you. How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: "Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?"
What two names are applied to Satan in this passage?
What position did Satan aspire to attain?
Who alone is to rule our lives and sit on the throne of our hearts?
Excerpted from Preparing for Battle by Mark I. Bubeck. Copyright © 1999 Mark I. Bubeck. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Unit 1: Understanding Satan's Strategy and PersonUnit 2: Our Position in ChristUnit 3: The Armor of GodUnit 4: Angels and Their RolesUnit 5: Giving and Reclaiming Ground; Overcoming StrongholdsUnit 6: Wielding the Sword: Warfare Prayers and MoreUnit 7: Dealing with the Flesh: Sexual and Other BondagesUnit 8: Daniel, Nehemiah and Other Biblical ExamplesUnit 9: From Foothold to Stronghold: Curiosity to PossessionUnit 10: Protecting the Family in a Wicked Day