Watch the Video for Session One of Truly Free
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but… against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. — Ephesians 6:12
We live in a dangerous world. Just turn on the news, check the top stories online, or listen to people talking around the office or your neighborhood. The world is a perilous place and growing more so with each passing day. Going through an airport reminds us terrorism is real because everything is scanned, searched, and scrutinized. War rages around our planet, and reports are given twenty-four hours a day on cable news. Sickness and disease loom, financial crisis threatens, and political turmoil is ever present.
You might expect people to be paralyzed with fear and sobered by the reality of all the potential disaster surrounding them. But this does not seem to be the case. We have learned to adapt and press on. Consumers head to the mall and shop online with increasing optimism. Many people hop on planes with confident certainty everything will be fine. Viewers watch cooking shows, sitcoms, reality programs, and talent shows day after day as if everything is fine.
Let’s be honest — pressing on and acting like things are okay are ways of coping. If we fixate on all the danger and trouble in the world, we will be consumed with it. We still need to sing, play, go to church, shop, raise families, and live our lives… even when the world is in turmoil. Part of survival involves not letting these realities dominate our lives or control our thinking.
But wait! When it comes to the spiritual battles and dangers around us, we can’t take the same posture.
If we ignore the spiritual attacks, landmines, and dangers around us, it will cost us more than we imagine.
We can’t look the other way, become numb, or just move along with our lives. We must wake up, pay attention, and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. If we look the other way, we will find ourselves in spiritual bondage. If we want to be truly free, we need to face the battle and resist the work of the devil in this world. To do this we must walk in the power of the One who is greater and infinitely more powerful than the enemy of our souls.
When we understand this, we are on the path to freedom.
Talk About It
Welcome to the first session of Truly Free: Breaking the Snares That So Easily Entangle. To get things started, discuss one of the following questions:
- What are some of the battles, dangers, and struggles in this world we often learn to live with and press through?
- What are some of the spiritual battles Christians face today that must not be ignored or treated lightly?
- The devil will sneak in by any means made available to him.
Video Teaching Notes
As you watch the video teaching segment for session one, use the following outline to record anything that stands out to you. In particular, ask the Holy Spirit to help you honestly assess where you need to experience freedom and what steps you need to take to become truly free.
- God’s power is greater than the power of Satan!
- There really are demons. However, while it’s wrong thinking to believe demons are not real, it’s also wrong thinking to believe Satan is behind everything.
- Demons really do enter people, and they can even influence and oppress believers. There is a real danger in leaving doors open even a crack.
- But Jesus really does cast demons out!
- We really only have two options when it comes to demons: cast them out or leave them in.
- It is possible as believers to fail to walk in all the freedom that belongs to us.
Greater is He
Bible study and Group discussion
Take a few minutes with your group members to discuss what you just watched and explore these concepts in Scripture.
Tell about one great thing God has done in your life or in the life of someone you know and care about. How did God reveal His presence and power when He did this great thing? God’s power is greater than the power of Satan!
Read 1 John 4:1-4. In this short passage, John refers to spirits, false prophets, and the antichrist. He is crystal clear that evil spiritual beings are at work today. Tell about how you have seen the enemy at work in the world, your community, or even your life.
After acknowledging the very real and present activity of evil and demonic beings, John declares with absolute confidence that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). How should this spiritual reality impact the way you view the work of the enemy in our world today?
How have you seen the amazing and infinite power of God unleashed against the work of Satan as you have walked on your journey with Jesus? The promise of being set free from slavery is a promise to be set free completely.
Read Mark 5:1-13. What do you learn about the reality of the presence and work of demons in this passage? What do you discover about the power and authority of Jesus in relationship to these evil spiritual beings?
There are two views of demons and the spiritual world that are equally dangerous and unhelpful: (1) demons are not real and we do not need to be concerned with them, and (2) demons are behind every struggle, problem, or tough thing we face. What are some of the unhealthy consequences associated with each of these attitudes?
What is the difference between discipleship and deliverance? Why is it essential to seek the power of Jesus for deliverance when we are dealing with demonic activity rather than simply trying to be more disciplined?
What possible dangers might Christians face if they are being antagonized by a demon but seek to handle the affliction with their own power?
Read John 10:1-10. During the teaching, we saw how a Christian can come under the power of a demon. What does this passage teach about how the enemy seeks to get into our hearts, minds, and lives? How have you seen him accomplish these things in your life or the lives of people you love?
None of us would ever peek out our front window, see a burglar standing at the front door, and go unlock it. We would certainly never open the door and invite the thief inside. But in a spiritual sense, this is exactly what we do with demonic influences. What are some of the ways Christians open the door of their lives to the work and ways of the enemy? What can be done to shut the door and keep it tightly locked?
You can’t disciple a demon, and you can’t cast out the flesh! — Jack Hayford
Read Matthew 8:16-17 and Matthew 10:1. What does the Bible teach about the power of Jesus to cast out demons? What does the Bible teach about followers of Christ casting out demons in the power of Jesus’ name?
What is one area of your life in which you feel Satan is most likely to send a demon to come knocking on your door? What can you do to keep the door shut and locked tight?
How can your group members pray for you and encourage you to stand strong against present or future efforts of the enemy to sneak into your life with the intention of stealing, killing, and destroying?
Whenever we live by the flesh, we provide for the devil an opportunity in which he can influence us.
Spend time in your group praying and calling out to God in any of the following ways:
Ask God to help you be profoundly aware of His power and presence in your life. Pray for confidence, knowing “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Invite the Holy Spirit to open your eyes so you can see where the enemy is seeking to break into your life to steal, kill, and destroy.
Confess to God where you have left the door open a crack — or all the way open — and allowed the enemy easy access to your heart, mind, and life.
Pray for power, in the name of Jesus, to slam the door shut and keep it shut.
Ask God to help you lift up daily prayers against the work of the enemy in your life or in the lives of those you love.
Excerpted with permission from Truly Free by Robert Morris, copyright Thomas Nelson.
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