Chapter 5


Home Newsletter Study Guide Pastors Purchase Book Chapter Summaries Finances Contact Us Meet the Board FAQ'S Reading List Statement of Faith

horizontal rule

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Welcome

 

   These studies guides are designed for you to print and study at your leisure.  Learning about the special truths of God's word as they apply specifically to the widow will be an encouragement to your heart.  Please feel free to share them with others and maybe they will be a tool for you to use in small groups as well.  

    If you click on the topic you want from the index below it will take you directly to that section.

 

  

Deeper Study on Spiritual Warfare

 

Study on Godly Goals vs. Ungodly Goals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Widow for a Season Studies

Study on Spiritual Warfare

 

 

Who is the enemy?

   Our enemy is not made of flesh and blood but is the rulers, powers, world forces of darkness, and spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  And Satan is the master behind every form and power that is against us (Ephesians 6:12).

·        Ephesians 2:1-7

·        Ephesians 6:11

·        1 Peter 5:8

·        2 Corinthians 11:14/ Satan will come to us in disguise

·        Luke 22:31-32

·        Job 1-2

 

 

Where is the battleground?

   The battleground is the mind

·        2 Corinthians 10:5

·        Colossians 2:8-10

 

 

What is under attack?

   It is our relationship with Christ that is under attack. Satan desires our worship above all.

·        Ephesians 1:4-6

·        Isaiah 14:12-14

 

Satan and his host against God’s predestined plan for relationship with His creation let the spiritual battle of the heavenlies.  Christ leads the battle with victory because He earned a position of final and total authority at the cross.

 

Read:

bullet

Job chapters 1-3 and 42

Focus on:

bullet

Job 1:5

bullet

Job 3:25-26

 

THOUGHTS ON JOB:

   Satan feeds upon the fear he tries to create in our heart.  We see from these verses above that Job had fears concerning his family and their relationship with God so much that he was offering sacrifices on their behalf.  He was trying to save them from human effort (1:5).  And in 3:25 Job says, “For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.”  Through the events of Job’s life God disabled his fears because his thoughts were not of faith (Romans 14:23).  What Satan meant for evil God used for good.  He did the same thing in Joseph’s life and Joseph came to this same conclusion (Genesis 45:4-7, Genesis 50:20).

   The same parallel may exist for us in some of the roles we play like motherhood.  Don’t we have an attitude and concern for our children’s protection?  This places us in a position of vulnerability before our enemy.  Satan is master at finding our Achilles heel.  What is your fear?

 

What is the enemy’s strategy?

   As the targets of spiritual war in the heavenly places we need to be aware of Satan‘s strategy, which is three-fold:

  1. To prevent salvation

  2. To create unbelief (we are not talking about believing in God but believing Him/ for study on the important differences see chapter 4). 

  3. bullet

    Faith is a powerful weapon against the enemy (Ephesians 6:16)

    bullet

    If our faith is crippled we will not be able to  extinguish every missile        no matter what form it takes.

 

   3.    To push us to fall when tempted (this separates us from 

          God until fellowship is re-established)    

         

·        Isaiah 64:6-7

·        Luke 17:10

·        Matthew 4:1-11

·        James 1:13-15

 

If Satan comes in disguise, how will we recognize him and how will we know when and what God is speaking to us?

 

bullet

1 John 4:1-6

bullet

Jeremiah 29:11-14a (King James Version)/ God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.  We will have peace and not unrest about decisions that God is directing us to.

bullet

1 Corinthians 14:33

bullet

John 14:27 (remember Job)

bullet

2 Timothy 1:7

bullet

James 4:7-10

bullet

Colossians 2:8

bullet

Ephesians 4:26-27

 

2 Corinthians 10:4 tells us that Satan defeats us through the building of strongholds in our life and that we have been given weapons that have the power to tear those strongholds down. 

 

 

What is a stronghold?

   A stronghold is an idol or anything that we trust in the place of Christ.  Unconfessed sin is another form that strongholds can take.  Also, a stronghold can come in the form of unforgiveness, bitterness, and anger.  Ephesians 4:27 specifically tells us that unresolved anger actually gives ground or opportunity for Satan to defeat us.  It is Christ alone that must restore our soul when we have given control to Satan through sin, anger, idolatry, etc. (Psalms 23:3, 5).  Ezekiel describes this work of Christ in chapter 36.  God sprinkles us with clean water and removes the idols from our hearts.  We must be surrendered to Him for His work to be accomplished in our heart and mind.  It is important to believe God for His promises.

 

·        Matthew 9:27-29

·        Romans 12:6

 

What do we take to the battle?

1.   If we are saved we are undefeated in this war.  Christ has

      won and it is only a matter of time before His return. 

      Satan will make a lot of noise and try to hurt us but in

      the realm of eternity nothing can be done once we 

      accept Christ as Lord and Savior.

 

·        Colossians 2:10-15/ The authority of Christ is our most important protection as we put Him on and are baptized in Him.

·        Romans 3:23

·        Romans 5:23

·        John 1:12

·        Ephesians 2:4-10

·        Galatians 3:27

·        Titus 3:5-7

 

  1. Other weapons of our warfare are found in Ephesians chapter 6.  They are spiritual weapons used to defend against the schemes of the devil:

 

·        Righteousness/ verse 14

·        Gospel of Peace/ verse 15

·        Faith/ verse 16

·        Salvation/ verse 17

·        Word of God/ verse 17

 

Prayer for self and others you observe in the attack/ verse 18

 

RETURN TO TOPIC INDEX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Widow for a Season Studies

Study on Godly Goals vs. Ungodly Goals

 

 

   When we accept Christ as Lord and choose to get serious about our relationship with Him we enter into a more intense battle for the control of our minds.  Satan would like to lead us into temptation and entice us to sin.  Once we realize we have sinned, he will accuse us in an effort to discourage us and crush our faith.  He wants us to be identified by our sin instead of our righteousness and freedom in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21, 7:9-10, Jeremiah 15:19).  You may think that sin is an action, but in fact, by the time the actions of our sin are seen it is the end of the event.  Confess your sin as soon as you become aware of it – don’t let it own you!

 

Anatomy of sin:

James 1:13-15 / Sin is defined by James as being carried away and enticed by our own lust so that when the lust is fulfilled it results in sin.  Sin begins with a thought.  It is not the thought that is the problem, however, but what we do with it that is important.  Our thoughts should be concentrated on those things listed in Philippians 4:8. 

 

We think lots of thoughts on any given day.  Some of our thoughts lead to evil and some to good.  One thought leads to another and another.  If our thoughts are driven by fear we begin to imagine the worst.  Before we know it we are on what I like to refer to as the “thought train.”  Satan who is the accuser of the saints and the father of lies controls the destination.

 

What does God have to say about thoughts?

·        Jeremiah 29:11-14b

·        2 Corinthians 10:3-5

 

If our thoughts originate with God they will bring peace and they will be consistent with His Word when measured by it.  It is when we don’t take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ that we are “carried away” from the God center that we must guard (Proverbs 4:23).  The heart is the will of man and the center of decision-making.

 

One way we can be carried away and enticed is by the goals and expectations we may set.  Some of our expectations may be godly ones and some may not.

 

Godly Goals:

  Any decision you may make and act upon that you believe God has directed you to.  This decision cannot depend on people or circumstances because it is outside of your ability or right to control them.

  You alone are the only one you have the ability (your will) and right to control.  You must separate what you have control of from what they have control of.  If your goal is God’s goal, nothing can block it.  In order to know what God’s goals are we must be driven to reading and meditating on the Word and prayer.  We can always take it to the Lord and let Him handle it.  DON’T LET SOMEONE ELSE CHEW YOUR FOOD!

If our thoughts are the beginning, what thoughts should we be looking to keep in check?

bullet

Anger, anxiety, and depression (three degrees of the same thought problem)

bullet

Fear

bullet

Discouragement

bullet

Worry

 

ANGER

bullet

Anger is the signal for you that you have set an ungodly goal and someone or something has blocked that goal.

bullet

You realize that success is out of your hands.

bullet

Ephesians 4:26-27/ Do not give the devil an opportunity.

bullet

James 1:19-20/ Slow to anger.

bullet

Ecclesiastes 7:9

 

Try to identify the goal and re-examine it.

 

Do not let someone else assign identity or character to you.  You are who you are in Christ and He has made that so.  No one by his or her words can change that truth.

 

Try to figure out what part of the goal you own and what someone else owns.  It may be a goal not related to a person but a circumstance.  God is the one in control of our circumstances, so leave that with Him or go to Him with your frustration.

 

ANXIETY/ NERVOUSNESS

·        You are unsure about the goal.

·        You think you can control some of the factors but not all of them.

·        You must let what you can do be the only goal in the situation (what you cannot control you must trust with God).

·        You will tend to ask the question, “But what if it doesn’t turn out the way I want it to?”  Remember that it will always turn out the way God permits it to.  He is always in control.

 

DEPRESSION

bullet

Future success and contentment are based on an impossible goal.

bullet

Expression of hopelessness

bullet

Remember that whatever is not from faith is sin (Romans 14:23b).  That means that you must be sure that you believe more than that it is possible, but that it is God’s will and He has confirmed to you that He will do it.  If God has not given you that confirmation, then set it down.

 

How do we re-evaluate our goals?

bullet

Determine what our part is in the goal.

bullet

You may need to search God’s Word for His promise in a given situation and set your focus on that.

 

FEAR

 

   Fear is a red flag telling us we have given ground to the enemy.  Set it down.

bullet

Fear is never from God/ Different than the fear of the Lord

(2 Timothy 1:7).

bullet

Satan is not omniscient but can use evil thoughts he puts into our mind.

bullet

Satan will capitalize on our unhealthy goals or our ignorance about our identity in Christ.

 

Victory:  Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ!  Watch what you entertain and meditate on and weigh it against God’s Word.

 

WORRY

·        Make godly goals and leave the rest with the Lord.

·        Story of Job reminds us that everything is by God’s permission.

 

DISCOURAGEMENT

   The state of lost courage; to deprive of confidence

bullet

Example: Gideon/ Judges 6:12-13; for full story see Judges 6:11-Judges 8.

bullet

Look at verse 14 (We cannot fail if it is God’s plan).

 

 

 

 

 

Satan knows the “power of temptation and sin is in the fainting of our own hearts (will).”  This may come from:

  1. Fear

  2. Not believing God.

  3. Ungodly goals and expectations.

  4. Taking our eyes off of God.  Example: Peter (Matthew 14:22-23).

 

All of this depends on our deliberate will to choose.  God has given us many weapons in this spiritual battle.  See Ephesians chapter six and spend some time in study about what those weapons are and how we can use them and how they protect us.

 

RETURN TO TOPIC INDEX