Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson:
1. Military movies like Unbroken (2018), Hacksaw Ridge (2016), Saving Private Ryan (1998), and Braveheart (1995) depict fierce, bloody battles and thrilling acts of courage displayed by soldiers and warriors who stood bravely opposed to their enemy. Share your favorite battle scenes from any movie or book. (The Hobbit, anyone?) What makes these stories so epic?
2. Did you ever find yourself in a conflict only to realize the enemy wasn’t who (or what) you thought it was? Explain.
Read Ephesians 6:10-14a
1. What is the source of your strength in the Lord? Read and discuss Philippians 4:13 in light of this passage.
2. Curiously, this paragraph never mentions the word victory. However, there’s one word used four times. It means to take a position, to have a (fighting) stance. Thinking about your daily life, where and on what do you take a stand? What have you admired in others who have taken a stand in faith? If there was a battle that ensued, what did that battle look like?
3. The idea of standing on a spiritual battlefield in the face of darkness, demons, and the devil can be frightening. But make no mistake; you can be fully equipped for battle! Without fear, David stood against Goliath. (Read about it in 1 Samuel 17:32-51.) Talk about why David, a young man, was so confident going to battle with only stones and a sling. What skills and experiences had made him battle ready? Explore how people in your group have endured spiritual battles and how their faith grew as a result.
Read Ephesians 6:14b-17
4. Recruits in basic training are given gear they’re expected to master and maintain, along with careful expert instruction. In battle, without that training or equipment, they’re dead. Christians are given the armor of God—six distinct pieces—as a result of our salvation and obedience. One is offensive, the rest are defensive. What role does each piece play in a believer’s life?
5. Two pieces of this armor, faith and the Word of God, are wielded through our choices and obedience—one for protecting, one for attacking. Where is your faith? How about your sword of the Spirit? Are they hanging at your side, or do you have them in hand, mastered and maintained? How can you encourage your fellow Christian soldiers this week to hold them high?
This week, memorize the component parts of the armor of God as you prepare for spiritual battles. (This is a great section of Scripture to use and share as a morning prayer with children and grandchildren, too.)
Read Ephesians 6:18-20
6. What is the correlation between verse 17 and 18? What do these armor items have to do with prayer? What are the weapons of our warfare?
7. You’ve talked about spiritual battlegrounds and armor. So, how do you fight and win a spiritual battle? Brainstorm what you can do together this week to pray for your church leaders and members, missionaries, and for each member of the group to boldly make a stand so that the gospel of Jesus Christ can be known to a lost and dark world.
Conclude with prayer using the following as a guide: It is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves—but by his faithfulness, lovingkindness, and goodness. Father, strengthen our stance in your great and mighty power against the forces of evil in our days. Help us to be alert and to pray for all the saints. Grant us boldness to speak about the good news of Jesus Christ and take territory from the enemy of our souls.