Mission Incredible: The Battle
Spiritual warfare is the opposition we face when we live our “Mission Incredible” for God!
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Mission Incredible: The Battle
(For your convenience, we are providing a PDF download version of the interactive lesson below. This will save to your downloads on your device, or your folder of choice on your computer.)
What does the Bible say?
Memorize this verse
This week’s verse: 1 Timothy 6:12 – “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called…” (ESV)
What truth is God speaking to us through His Word?
Listen for God’s voice through the verse
– We are in “the good fight of the faith” when we live for God!
– Our Mission Incredible is part of a battle.
What can we learn about these truths?
Draw your kids into this concept through this reading
It is so exciting to live for God and be on His team! In the past lessons, we’ve talked about training for godliness and practicing our spiritual disciplines. I’m so proud of you are learning about your “Mission Incredible” with me in discipleship!
But here’s the thing: whenever we follow after God, train for godliness and practice our spiritual disciplines, we can be sure of this: we have an enemy. The Bible teaches that we are in a spiritual battle.
The spiritual battle we face is the opposition that comes against us when we live for God and are on His team.
This battle is sometimes something we can’t even see with our physical eyes, but it is just as real as putting your hand in front of your face.
Background Info: Paul trained young Timothy about the battle he would face as a believer. This may have been the very thing that prepared Timothy for the dangers and hard times that he experienced later in life, such as being imprisoned for his faith (Philemon 1:1). When you disciple your kids, you are preparing them, too, for the hard times that lie ahead in life.
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10 NIV). The thief is our enemy, also known as Satan or the devil. Satan has powers of darkness, evil, and wickedness that he brings against us. The one thing Satan hates the most in this universe is God. And, whenever we try to live our “Mission Incredible” for God, Satan hates us, too, and will use all his powers to defeat us. Because of this, Paul wrote:
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:10-12 CSB)
The devil has “schemes” – or, plans – to demolish the “Mission Incredible” in our lives. He wants to destroy everybody who desires to live a life of godliness. In fact, Paul wrote that the enemy throws “flaming arrows” at us (Ephesians 6:16), which is a way of saying how he attacks us with hard things.
I’m not teaching you this to make you afraid but to help you learn how to be prepared.
On “Mission Incredible,” we are in a fight – but the Apostle Paul says it is a “good fight” when we face challenges because we are living for God instead of for ourselves. The “good fight” is a worthwhile fight, because we get to be on the winning team: God’s team. We don’t have to be ashamed about being on God’s team or afraid of Satan’s schemes. Instead, we get to train for godliness and learn how to be strong in God’s power.
There are other spiritual disciplines, as well, such as fasting, serving, giving, and more. We will talk about these more in the future, but, for now, I love that we are learning to practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible reading, meditation and memorization!
So, let’s memorize our verse about this! It says:
1 Timothy 6:12 – “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called…” 1 Timothy 6:12
(Let’s be sure to say the reference before and after the verse, so that we can remember its “address” in the Bible!)
I love that we are learning about being incredible for God! I’m so proud of you kids!
What questions do we have about this?
Talk about the questions that arise
– What is the “good fight”? (living our “Mission Incredible” for God!)
– What’s the difference between a “good fight” and a bad fight? (one is worthwhile because it’s the mission God has given us; the other is not worthwhile)
– Who is our enemy? What does he try to do? (Satan; defeat us as we live for God)
– What are spiritual disciplines? (good, godly habits we do on a regular basis to train for godliness, help us grow closer to God and live for Him)
– Why does Satan hate us and make it hard for us to live our “Mission Incredible”? (because he hates God and he hates those who love God)
– What are some ways the enemy tries to “steal, kill and destroy” in your life? (This may be the most important question in this whole lesson. Let it lead to conversation about where and how your family battles: bad dreams, scary nightmares, deception, meanness, disobedience, lies, etc)
What else does the Bible say about these truths?
Look at this concept in other places in God’s Word
Old Testament: The book of Daniel tells the story of someone who was determined to live his own “Mission Incredible” for God. From the time he was a young man, Daniel trained for godliness. He always practiced his spiritual disciplines of reading God’s Word (Daniel 9:2), praying (Daniel 9:3), confessing sin (Daniel 9:20), and fasting (Daniel 10:2-3). Daniel couldn’t see with his eyes what was happening in the spiritual realm, but he kept pressing into the mission God gave him.
One time, God sent an angel to help Daniel understand the spiritual battle around him. The messenger said:
“Don’t be afraid, Daniel…your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia” (Daniel 10:12-13 CSB).
The princes and kings of Persia were trying to keep Daniel from living his “Mission Incredible,” but the angel Michael came to help so that Daniel’s prayers could be answered.
What an incredible story to help us “see” what could be happening when we are on our “Mission Incredible” for God! As we fight the good fight like Daniel, we will face opposition and challenges, too. But God will always help us when we live for Him!
New Testament:Like Daniel, the Apostle Paul was very aware of the spiritual battle believers face. As Paul was in prison for his faith, he was probably surrounded by Roman guards wearing full armor. While we don’t see soldiers in full armor of this sort any more, Paul used this as an analogy (or, story picture) about the good fight, writing:
“Take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.
“In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:13-18 CSB).
Paul used a very real example to help his readers understand how to fight the “good fight of the faith.” Let’s take a few moments to talk through this:
Suggestion to Parents: the following bullet points are meant to stimulate conversation between you and your kids. Read each phrase and perhaps the statement that follows each one, then ask your kids what “Whispers” God is speaking to them through His Words.
- “Take your Stand” – being ready to go on your “Mission Incredible”; being in an action pose rather than resting position
- “Truth like a Belt” – having what is really true wrapped around your life
- “Righteousness like Armor on your chest” – living a life in right relationship with God
- “Feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel” – being ready to go share the good news of who God is and what He is doing through Jesus
- “Shield of Faith” – trusting that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do
- “Helmet of salvation” – having given your life to Jesus (let’s talk about when you gave your life to Jesus; if you haven’t, what is God speaking into your heart these days?)
- “Sword of the Spirit” – this is Word of God – the very thing we are learning in discipleship!
- “Pray at all times” – never stop talking to God along the way about every battle you face
- “Stay alert” – keep training for godliness and practicing your spiritual disciplines (like we talked about in the prior lessons) so that you can stay strong and live for God.
God is so good that He doesn’t send us out to live our “Mission Incredible” on our own! When we train for godliness, practice our spiritual disciplines and put on the full armor of God, we can be prepared to do whatever missions He has for us!
How can we live out these truths?
Suggested Idea: Think through, age-appropriately, and according to availability, what your family can demolish. Literally. What can your family destroy – for the sake of this example? For preschoolers, it may be a huge pile of blocks you let them build and knock own. For elementary kids, you may let them destroy a piñata. For older kids, you may think through what they can (legally) demolish with a sledgehammer. Just before doing this activity, read this to your kids:
We are in a battle when we live for God, but we are strong in God’s strength. His power works in and through us as we “fight the good fight.” The Bible says:
“For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 CSB).
When we live for God, we are truly in a battle. This passage of Scripture says that there are strongholds that we face in the good fight. Strongholds are obstacles that keep us from living our “Mission Incredible” for God; strongholds are the ways Satan tries to “steal, kill and destroy” our lives. (Parents of older children: continue to talk about what strongholds your family faces.)
However, God’s Word promises us that, through His strength, we can “demolish” everything that comes against us when we live for Jesus! To help us see this, we’re going to “demolish” something today…
Suggestion: Let this be a fun moment where you use a physical example to teach a powerful spiritual truth. Emphasize this to your kids!
How shall we respond to the Lord for these truths?
Praise and prayer as a family
Lord Jesus, thinking about a spiritual battle can be scary, so we pray that You lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. When challenges come our way, help us to listen to You and to pray. Help us to put on the whole armor You give us so that we can live our “Mission Incredible” for You! Amen!
Family Disciple Me
Speak this blessing prayer over your children
As my child, you do not have to face any of your battles alone. It’s my job and blessing to help you in the battles you face. In our home, we fight the good fight together. There is no secret, lie, temptation, situation, fear, thought or idea that you have to battle all by yourself. I am here with you, fighting for you in Jesus’ Name, Amen!
© 2018 Tosha Lamdin Williams, Mommy Disciple Me