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Waging Spiritual Warfare

Waging Spiritual Warfare by Elizabeth George

The Super Bowl is this Sunday. Are you hosting or attending a party? Me? I’m not really a football fan, but after growing up with three brothers and my dad, living with my husband, Jim, and having two sons-in-law, I’m somewhat familiar with the game. When the players on a team gather in a circle during a game, this is called a huddle. That’s when the players are told what the play will be.

Well, today I want you to imagine such a huddle...a huddle of two. The pair is made up of a seasoned coach—the apostle Paul—and a young player—timid Timothy.

Perhaps with his arm affectionately around the young Timothy’s shoulders, the aged Paul gives his protégé a few words of exhortation on how to handle the battles he’s encountering at Ephesus.

“This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience.” (1 Timothy 1:18)

Waging Spiritual Warfare

How about you, my friend? Do you need some encouragement today? Do you need a little advice for handling your difficult situations? Like many good coaches, Paul uses images to help explain to Timothy his position on the team.

A Christian must be a good soldier. Paul encouraged Timothy to “wage the good warfare” (verse 18). Paul isn’t referring to a single battle but to a military campaign.

Like Timothy, we too must... 

  • maintain a hold on faith and a good conscience
  • cling tightly to our faith
  • refuse to give in to temptation
  • live out our faith with a clear conscience

A Christian must be a good sailor. In 1 Timothy 1:19, Paul switches from the picture of a military campaign to that of a shipwreck. What will help you and me navigate through sin and error? A good conscience—one that is guided by these forces:

  • God’s Word
  • prayer
  • Christian fellowship

A Spiritual Battle

The Christian life is a battle—a spiritual battle. We may not like it, and we may wish otherwise, but it’s true. Therefore we, like Paul and Timothy, must fight the good fight. We must cling to two inseparable, valuable, dispositions of the heart—faith and a good conscience.

Is the Holy Spirit sounding any warning to your conscience about some aspect of your behavior? Are you doing what you know is right in every area of your life? Or are you deliberately ignoring an inner tug?

Take some time to reflect on these tough-but-important questions.

Huddle with God and ask Him for the game plan. Heed His wisdom and instruction. When you fumble, when you drop the ball (and it will happen), God has given you a way back to His plan: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

And then accept God’s forgiveness and grace and get back into the game.

RESPOND

Lord, You know I need Your guidance and instruction daily. I confess my sins to You today so that I can continue in Your plan. Please lead me through the battle to victory. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES  

Relying on the Power of the Holy Spirit by Elizabeth George—Learn about...

  • the Spirit's promises and provision, and what they mean to you
  • your unique place in God's church and how the Holy Spirit uses you
  • being a blessing to both believers and unbelievers

This encouraging Bible study will draw you closer to God.

REFLECT

Are you doing what you know is right in every area of your life? Or are you deliberately ignoring an inner tug? 

REMEMBER

Accept God’s forgiveness and grace and get back into the game.

Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.


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