Demons are vicious and cunning thieves. We must be aware of the fact that demons exist and of how they operate in order to protect against them.
Have you ever had something stolen or experienced a robbery?
Here is a personal story that I believe illustrates the concept of an “Open House.” Several years ago I came home from a meeting and found my door unlocked. I chalked it up to forgetfulness and continued inside. Inside I found a bag emptied and things strewn about on the floor. My first thought was “how did the cat get into that bag and drag everything out?” Then I noticed a wide open window and it finally dawned on me that our apartment had been burglarized. I immediately left and called the police.
How did the thief get in? I had mistakenly left our window open a crack, and the thief took that opportunity. Why did it take me so long to realize the truth? I was operating under a false assumption that burglary was not a threat. The evidence of burglary was all around me, but I was unable to see it because I did not see the potential enemy.
Demons are our enemies and we must be aware of their existence and their potential to wreak havoc in our lives. We need to make sure that our windows are shut and our doors are locked.
ENCOUNTERING GOD THROUGH BIBLE STUDY
Read 1 Peter 5:8
1. What does it mean to be of sober spirit or be alert?
2. What kinds of things can impair our alertness?
Read Acts 20:29
3. Have you ever felt like you were being hunted-like the enemy knew just where to hit you so it hurt?
4. How does being isolated from other Christians make us more vulnerable to attack by the Enemy?
5. Do you know anyone who might be isolated? What can you do to invite them back into connection and relationship?
Read Revelation 5:5, and Ephesians 6:11, 13-17
6. What is our defense against the enemy?
- Look at Ephesians 6:16 again. How can our faith extinguish the enemy’s arrows? Can you give an example of when your faith helped you to avoid temptation or sin?
- Ephesians 6:17 refers to the sword of the spirit which is the word of God. Is everyone reading their Bible regularly? Is there some way that the group can help keep each other accountable?
7. Can you think of any windows you may have left open to the enemy?
1. Transliteration for “sober” is “to be sober, to be calm and collected in spirit”
Transliteration for “alert” means “to watch” — occurs 15 times in the NASB and 9 of those are words of Christ! It is very important to be alert!
2. Things that keep us from being alert (to the enemy)–distractions, addictions, focusing on past hurts and not the present, prioritizing wrong things (not Christ). Even prioritizing good things like our family or our marriage over Christ can be disastrous.
4. Note parallels between wolves attacking sheep and demons attacking humans. It is easier to attack a sheep who is isolated than one in the midst of the flock. Steer discussion towards how to avoid being “picked off” by a wolf (stick with the flock and with the Shepherd). See Habakuk 1:7-9 for description of the Chaldeans, an Old Testament shadow of demons.
6. Jesus, the Lion of Judah is our Savior. We need to fill out lives with the Holy Spirit so there is no room for the enemy to come in. We are to put on the “armor of God”: truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, and the sword (the word). Dig in to this passage and talk about how we pursue each of these things. For example we might pursue truth through listening to sermons or Bible teaching, and we may sharpen our “sword” by studying the Bible and scripture memory.
7. This can be a take-away question to think about during the week if your group does not feel comfortable sharing.
Written by: Kate Kerekes