Week 4: Introduction
Topic: Fighting Spiritual Battles
Read: Galatians 5:16-25
Memory Verse: “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16 NKJV).
Examine: Did you know there is a battle going on continually in our spirits? Paul instructs us to feed our spirits so that our flesh with its ungodly desires is defeated. He tics off a long list: “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like;” and concludes that “…those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (verses 19-21).
How do we fight against such ungodly desires to stop their attacks? We will all be tempted at times, but we must know that God has provided us with spiritual weapons to overcome those temptations. What are
But here’s the good news. After we put on our spiritual armor, we can easily defeat the enemy with its wicked temptations. The flesh with its passions and desires are crucified with Christ. Then we can feast on the fruit of the Spirit, walking victoriously in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Discuss: Do you remember the hymn called, “Onward Christian Soldiers?” I remember singing it in Sunday School as well as in church. God provided us with spiritual armor to put on daily as we go out to fight our enemy, Satan, who comes to us in many forms. Ephesians 6:11-12 defines this war: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.“
Let’s define the fruit of the Spirit, so we always choose it. Here’s the list: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Can you choose one from the list and give an example of what it looks like in today’s culture? Which ones do you want to see grow and mature in your life?
Prayer: Dear Lord, may we deny the temptations of the flesh by putting on our spiritual armor and always choose the fruit of the Spirit in our daily lives. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ~ James 5:16.
8 thoughts on “The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 4”
I reared seven boys (3 I birthed and 4 were grandsons), and they loved dressing up as soldiers and wielding swords! You can purchase sets at Christian book stores–the helmet of salvation, belt of Truth, shoes to go shade the Gospel of Peace, breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith that quenches every fiery dart and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God! God gave me a new song to put on my armor. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w03H0aOehaY )
A beautiful picture of self-control and peace was the recent one of a Christian teen on a field trip when the Native American playing a drum got into the boy’s space, chanting and beating his drum. That young man exhibited such self-control.
I’d say I need more gentleness in my life, especially in the face of evil or injustice. I’ve always been more like a charging bull than a gentle dove.
Thank you, Karen, you are a blessing. Love you!
I agree with you, Caryl, that I’m more like you when it comes to evil and injustice. Learning self-control in those situations has been continual for me. I was very upset when I saw those poor students being abused in Washington—especially because I’m from that same area. That young man was so controlled and I admire his strength to not react.
Thanks for commenting, dear friend. I love the idea of dressing up in the armor! Your song is beautiful! So glad you attached the link so we can enjoy it. Love you! ❤️ xoxo
I am singing “Onward Christian Soldiers” right now. Thank you for reminding me about that song. I do love that song. I pray that I will remember to put on the full armor of God in every moment. Attacks from evil can appear at any time in any situation. When the armor of God is on us, we can stand proud and strong again the evil. Thank you for another great lesson.
I can’t even remember singing that song recently, but it’s a great way to remind ourselves that we are engaging in spiritual warfare on a daily basis. We don’t realize how much we’re protected! If I forget to put it on my armor, it does make a big difference. I’m humming along with you, dear Mimi! Love and hugs. Xoxo ❤️
I am also singing “Onward Christian Soldiers”. In answer to your question to choose one from the list and give an example of what it looks like in today’s culture, love is such a warped word today. It’s everything opposite of what The Word tells us true love is. In today’s culture, love is not patient; it is often unkind; it is jealous; it brags & is arrogant; it acts very unbecomingly; it seeks only its own interests; is it easily provoked; it does take into account a wrong suffered & even remembers every one of the wrongs; it does rejoice in & with the unrighteousness; it does not rejoice with the truth, but instead mocks truth, … The list can go on & on of how warped love is today!
In answer to your second question about which ones do I want to see grow and mature in my life: All of them. They are intertwined to me and impossible to separate. Each fruit affects the others, and each one is vital to my life as a He molds me & makes me more like Him. I am constantly and desperately in need of His mercy & grace. Philippians 3:12 says it best for me: “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” Love that I was laid hold by Jesus for a purpose!
I love Philippians 3:12, Becky. Yes, pressing forward into all that the Lord has for us to live victoriously. Paul was so right when he, as such a good example, mourned that his life was but a journey toward the goal of perfection. So are we.
And I also like your reference to the Word’s definition of love. Satan has twisted and turned real love inside-out in today’s culture. I agree. May we continue to grow and be nurtured in the light of God’s perfect love, watered with His Holy Spirit, and draw all men to the cross by our witness. Blessings, sweet friend! ❤️xoxo
Karen, thank you for another excellent, timely message as you wrap up the month of January with Lesson 4. We are living in dire, dark times where many unGodly people are perpetrating such evil things against their fellow humanity. I agree that we must contstantly put on the armor of God and go forth as Christian soldiers as He prepares us for battle to combat the spiritual blindness around us.
In today’s culture hatred is becoming louder than love. I am praying that He will show me new ways in which to show His love to overcome the hatred and turn those hardened hearts to God. Galatians 5:22-23 are my life verses. I have said this from the beginning of Heart”wings” – a women’s fellowship: “Heart”wings” is a ministry of God’s great love. As we humbly serve Him, let us be a living testimony of His love as He walks beside us on our earthly journey. Go out and make a difference in the world around you today!”
I am looking forward to your February lessons which will focus on Love and the months that follow as you lead us through each one of the Fruits of the Spirit. 1 John 4:7-8 points us to God’s pure love: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” j
Oh, Joyce, I love the Scriptures in 1 John because they address the love of God. And since God IS Love, it is difficult to choose just four lessons about it. Just as God plants seeds of love in us through His Word, our words also are seeds that are planted in the souls of others. Our beginning lessons have focused on getting the soil in our own hearts pure and fertile to receive these seeds God is planting in us. Then those seeds will be watered and nurtured through the Holy Spirit living inside us, and they will sprout and grow into mature plants. How exciting to see what the Lord will do this year!
I agree that our culture is in dire need of God’s love. The spirit of lawlessness grows stronger every day, which scatters seeds of rebellion and destruction into hearts and minds. But here we can make a difference and BE the difference, casting our seeds of love far and wide. Heart”wings” ministry is God’s calling, and many have answered that call. It’s only in heaven that we will know how God will have used it to touch and change lives and to bring souls into His Kingdom. What a day of rejoicing that will be!
I am so thankful to have you as my partner in this ministry, dear friend, as we labor in the fields of the Lord together. May you be blessed in all you say and do, and may God’s abundant grace rest upon you. xoxo