Date: October 2, 2022
Faith on Display in Facing the Enemy
The Point: You can stand triumphantly in Christ over sin, the world, and Satan.
Get Into the Study
Share this story after the recap on preschoolers:
As the world watches Great Britain’s royal family grieve the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we notice how no amount of nobility can insulate any individual or family from drama. The staggering years of her reign rightfully provides ample opportunities to commend her service to her country. But with every news report describing her glowing accomplishments, people often comment regarding the dysfunction that accurately describes her family.
Whether it is the way that her father took the throne in place of her uncle, the dramatic divorces that plague her family, or the estranged grandchildren fleeing the country and avoiding relationships with one another, all of their family drama is out for the world to see.
If this family teaches us anything, it is that no one is beyond disaster. No one is immune from drama. No family is devoid of dysfunction.
This family should have all the external support needed to thrive in their roles, but it’s not enough. The problem is not outside them; the problem is inside them. They are the source of their own conflict.
Which do you think promotes more relational conflict – having a lot or having a little? Why?
Regardless of how much wealth they have accumulated or how much status they have acquired, this family still fixes the challenges like the rest of us. No matter how much protection you have from outside threats, no one can protect you from yourself. Only Christ gives us the protection and ability to stand triumphantly against the world, Satan, and our own sin natures.
Travis Agnew is a disciple of Jesus, husband to Amanda, dad to the Agnew 3, and Lead Pastor or Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. He loves writing about faith and family at travisagnew.org.
Get Into the Study [Option from Adult Leader Guide, p. 57]
In advance, play a funny video clip showing kids fighting over something. Then ask Question #1.
Study the Bible [Option from Advanced Bible Study Teacher Guide, p. 26]
Use this PDF to create bookmarks for those in your group. After reading and discussing James 4:6-10, distribute the bookmarks and challenge students to resist the devil by first submitting to God and then drawing near to God.
Ask: Why is submission to God the most important aspect of resisting temptation.
Live It Out
Share the following story as you conclude your session.
“They left like the wind…They were fleeing by any means they could.” This is how one Ukrainian described the retreat of Russian soldiers in the recently freed village of Chkalovske in the Kharkiv region. Ukraine has launched a counteroffensive against Russia, reclaiming 6,000 square kilometers of Ukraine in September. Journalists in Ukraine describe a frantic retreat of Russian soldiers, with food left on tables, mail scattered on floors, and weapons abandoned. “Trucks drove through the city honking, and they [the Russian soldiers] climbed on and left,” according to a Ukrainian in the reclaimed town of Balakliya. “They didn’t have a fighting spirit. They were afraid.” In the chaotic withdrawal, Ukrainians describe other Russian soldiers, who were left behind, desperately searching for civilian clothes to flee in.
In James 4:7, James confidently declares, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” When we submit to God and trust Christ, we launch a counteroffensive on the devil. The devil cannot stand before Christ.
Ask: How does the Russian response to Ukraine’s counteroffensive impact the way you understand the promise of James 4:7? How will this impact your response when faced with the temptation of sin?
Invite the group to review the Live It Out section and each choose one application for this week.
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. She enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser in Southern California, where she met her husband. Back in Tennessee now, she loves being a writer and mom. She is an active member at Third Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
- When you were a kid, what was the hardest thing you had to share with others?
- When you were a kid, what always led to an argument with siblings?
- What’s something you commonly fought about as kids?
- What are some motives that may taint our requests to God?
- Where do you see the truth of these verses reflected in today’s world?
- Where do you see evidence that the world is hostile to God?
- What does friendship with the world look like?
- What does it look like to draw near to God?
- What are specific actions we can take to resist the devil?
- What does it mean to submit to God?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.