"We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments." - 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NLT
Thoughts for Today
Preoccupation with a substance or behavior generally develops into a growing rigidity in lifestyle.
- Rituals develop that lead to use/behavior in small, seemingly innocent steps. (e.g. a gambler need to check the odds daily)
- Frustration and anger occur when the ritual is interrupted or when someone interferes with the ritual. (e.g. becoming angry with a spouse who comes home early or who asks for help with tasks that interfere)
- Particular times of the day are set aside for use or practice. (e.g. after-work drink, bedtime pill, etc.)
- Self-imposed rules are adjusted or ignored as the need grows. ("My 'no drinking at lunch' rule can be broken just this once.")
- Social events and free time activities are limited to those that accommodate the practice or usage. ("I cannot go anywhere without my medication.")
We might try to fool ourselves into believing that some of these rituals are actually good for us because they appear to "limit" our use or practice to certain times of the day some other kind of "safe limit." In fact, they are far from harmless as they begin--step by step--to take over the shape and structure of our lives.
Consider this …
There is only one way to stop this progression of a life-controlling problem--God's way. His weapons of warfare are found through prayer and in His Word. Using His weapons can knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and destroy false arguments.
It's time to do battle against this substance or behavior that is gaining hold in your life. God has provided an arsenal of weapons in his Word. Are you ready to fight?
Father, I'm ready to do things your way. I know this behavior has to stop before it goes any further. Forgive my sin and help me to wage war using your weapons. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …Insight Group: Discover the Path to Christian Character by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. With its emphasis on developing Christian character it is a powerful group for those who want to be sure to prevent life-controlling problems from developing in their lives, as well as for those who need to overcome a current problem.
- It enhances people's understanding of themselves and others.
- It helps people bond together in meaningful relationships.
- It helps prepare people for more meaningful relationships in subsequent small groups like home groups and Sunday school classes.
- It surfaces people for help who may otherwise never seek help.
- It helps break down the segregation of people in churches, turning "those people" and "our kind of people" into just "us."
- It helps prepare people to minister to others.
- It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by ministering to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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