Tag Archives: Spiritual Warfare

God-Sized Vision (DEVOTION)


In your groups, read the following Scriptures. Then answer the questions below.

  • Daniel 10:1-21
  • Daniel 11:1
  • Daniel 12:1-13
  • How did Daniel prepare himself to receive the vision?
  • How did the vision impact Daniel?  Why?
  • What was the response of the “one who looked like a man?”
  • How was the vision delayed?
  • Why do you think it was delayed?
  • How should this influence how we approach God when we want a God-sized vision?
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Filed under Daniel, Devotion, Future, Goals, God's dream, God's Plan, God's Will, Humility, Listening to God, prayer, Priorities, Revelation, Spiritual Warfare, Supplication, Vision

Reclaim the Promised Land (GAME)


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

30-35 minutes
Description

This game helps participants to remember that we have an Enemy (Satan) and that he is constantly trying to take away from us what God has given to us.  If we don’t do battle for it, we can easily lose it.  The “Promised Land” in our lives can be anything that you want to focus on for this lesson (e.g., a people group for Christ, God’s purposes for our lives, our children, our marriages, our health….)

 

The Bible story is about Caleb, who received the hills of Hebron as a promise from God (Numbers 14:24).  In order to reclaim the land, though, Caleb had to fight against the Anakim (or Anakites), a fierce and giant people.  (Goliath, the giant that David defeated, was a descendent of the Anakim.)

 

Scriptures

o  Genesis 13:14-18

o  Numbers 14:24

o  Joshua 14:6-15

 

Materials

o  Gameboards (one for every two people – you can make these yourself or use the template in the file, “Reclaim the Promised Land – Game Kit.ppt” at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.

o  Rules & Instructions Sheet (one per pair of participants (you can find this in the same file)

o  Sample Game sheet (one per pair of participants (you can find this in the same file))

o  Debrief questions sheet (one per pair of participants (you can find this in the same file))

o  Game pieces (24 for each player – you can find these in the same file)

o  Cutting board or scissors

o  Glue stick

o  Ziplock bags (gallon size – one per pair of participants)

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Create a gameboard (one for every pair of participants), or print out the one in the file mentioned above.  (You can do variations of this game by creating larger gameboards and larger game pieces so that groups can compete against each other, or you could even do a life-size version by marking off the gameboard grid on the floor and making the participants into game pieces.  If you make the participants into game pieces, you will need to give them cards to hold or wear around their necks that are different colors on each side so that they can flip them to show who they belong to.)

o  Print out the game pieces in the file mentioned above (48 for each pair of participants).  There is a sheet of blue pieces and a sheet of red pieces.

o  Glue the two game pieces sheets together back-to-back so that the red pieces show on one side and the blue pieces show on the other.  The “Top” of each page is labeled so that you can line them up precisely.  (Be careful not to use too much glue that it creates bumps in the paper, but be sure to evenly coat the entire page before you glue the two sheets together.  If your glue coating isn’t even, some of your pieces might not stick together after you cut them up.)

o  Allow time for drying.

o  Cut the pieces out along the border lines.  If you were careful to line up the two sheets of paper, you will then have 48 game pieces that are red on one side and blue on the other.

o  Put a gameboard, 48 game pieces, a Rules & Instructions Sheet and a Debrief Questions sheet in a plastic zipper bag for each pair of participants.  (This will make it easier to pass out the games when it comes time.)

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “When Abraham (“Abram” at the time) left his people and his home, God took him to a new land and made him a promise.”  (Have a volunteer read Genesis 13:14-18.)
  • “God gave Abraham what was then known as the land of Canaan.”
  • “Abraham lived in it for some years, and so did his son, Isaac, and his grandson, Jacob, but then God took Abraham’s descendents into Egypt for about 400 years.”
  • “While in Egypt, they became slaves to the Egyptians and cried out to God for help.”
  • “God sent them Moses, who led them out of Egypt and showed them where the ‘Promised Land’ (promised to Abraham and his descendents) was.”
  • “Unfortunately, when they saw the enemies living in their land, they lacked the faith to trust God to help them reclaim it.”
  • “So, God made them wander in the desert for 40 years, until the old generation of Israelites had died and a new generation was ready to reclaim the Promised Land.”
  • “There were only two people left from the old generation who were allowed to enter the Promised Land.”
  • “Forty years earlier, Joshua and Caleb had scouted the land, seen the terrible enemies but still believed that God would give them the land.”
  • “For their faithfulness, God allowed them lead the rest of the people into the land.”
  • “God made Joshua the leader of all the Israelites, and He made Caleb a special promise.”  (Have a volunteer read Numbers 14:24.)
  • “Caleb remembered the promise, and even though he was 85 years by the time he was ready to claim it and even though the land was full of giants, he was still strong and ready to do battle against those enemies in order to reclaim it.”  (Have a volunteer read Joshua 14:6-15.)
  • “Caleb is an inspiration for us even today, because we are still engaged in a battle for ‘the Promised Land’ in our own lives.”
  • “’The Promised Land’ in your life is anything that God wants you to have that your Enemy, Satan, has taken away.”
  • “We’re going to play a game that deals with this ongoing battle, and I hope it will help you remember that you have to keep fighting to keep position of your ‘Promised Land.’”
  • “We’ve got to be like Caleb, who continued fighting the toughest enemies into his eighties!”  (Divide group into pairs.)
  • “I’m passing out to each pair a game kit, that has the gameboard, game pieces and rules and instructions for the game.”
  • “Please read over the rules and instructions, and let me know if you have any questions.”
  • “There is a ‘Sample Game’ sheet in your game kit that shows what a typical game might look like.”  (Allow them to read over the instructions and ask any questions before beginning.  Then, allow the pairs to play the game.  Afterward, have them discuss the Debrief Questions and then rejoin their table groups.  Conduct a large group debrief to capture some of the strategies for reclaiming territory Satan has stolen and for protecting territory we have already claimed from him.  Conclude with a final comment.   You can use the following one if you like.)
  • “While the Israelites were in Egypt, Satan stole the Promised Land from them.”
  • “But God had promised this land to Abraham’s people, and it was His will that they take it back.”
  • “While we or those who came before us have been in Egypt (Egypt usually represents sin, pride and trusting in our own efforts in the Bible), Satan has stolen much of the territory that God wants us to have.”
  • “It’s time for us to have the courage and determination of Caleb to reclaim our Promised Land.”
  • “We won’t get it without a fight, but if we trust in God, He will be faithful to give us victory.”

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Filed under Abraham, Abram, Caleb, Challenges, courage, faith, Game, Games that Teach, God's Plan, God's Will, Israel, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Warfare, struggles

Strongholds (Obj Lesson)


Time
15 minutes

Description
This object lesson teaches about strongholds, what they are, where they come from and how to defeat the ones that are created by the Enemy.

Audience
Children, youth, adults

Scriptures
o    John 8:44
o    2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Materials
o    PowerPoint file – “Strongholds – Bricks.ppt  (You can find this on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at http://www.teachthem.wordpress.com.)
o    A board or wall of some sort to stick the bricks to.
o    Glue, paste or tape for making “bricks”
o    Tape or push pins for sticking the “bricks” to the wall (depending upon whether or not you use a cork board)

o     Scissors

Preparation
o    Print the bricks from the “Strongholds – Bricks.ppt” file.  (You can also create your own if these don’t suit your audience.  The positive sides of the bricks represent the Fruit of the Spirit.  The negative sides of the bricks represent the opposite of the Fruit of the Spirit.  I’ve included many different options for the negative sides so that you can pick the ones that the audience will identify with most, but you may also want to have several different words for the negative sides.  You might also want to print several copies of each brick so that you can build an impressively big “stronghold.”)
o    Fold each “brick” page in half along the dotted line, and then tape or paste them together.
o    Trim the bricks along their borders, and discard the white space that’s left over.
o    Make tape “donuts” (circles of tape), and put them where the volunteers can get to them quickly.
o    Arrange all the bricks with the negative side facing up, and put them in easy reach of the volunteers.
o    Practice the script.

Procedure
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
•    “We are in a spiritual war between God and Satan, and the battlefield is our minds.”
•    “Satan wants to control and destroy our minds, and God wants our minds completely devoted to Him.”
•    “Satan wants to control and destroy our minds, because it is the only way he can hurt an all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere God.”
•    “He tries to wound the Creator through His creation.”
•    “If we want to help God win the war, we need to know how the battle is fought.”  (Ask volunteer to read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.)
•    “We do not wage war as the world does.  We have different weapons.”
•    “We don’t use bazookas or fighter jets or nuclear missiles to fight this war, because it’s not a physical war – it’s a thought war!”
•    “We are fighting to give control of our minds and thoughts to God.”
•    “Regular weapons won’t do anything against thoughts.”
•    “But this Scripture says that our weapons have divine power to demolish strongholds!”
•    “That sounds pretty powerful!”
•    “What are these weapons that this Scripture is talking about?  Does anyone know?”  (Listen to responses.  If no one mentions them, let them know that our main spiritual weapons are prayer, the Word and the name of Jesus Christ.)
•    “Okay, so now we know our weapons.  What about strongholds?  Does anyone know what those might be?”  (Listen to responses.  You are looking for the idea of a fort or a military position that is very strong – a “strong hold” on some territory.)
•    “In war, a stronghold is a place that one side has built up and fortified.”
•    “They have a ‘strong hold’ on that place, so it’s an effective place for them to use to wage war against their enemies.”
•    “Whether it’s a good or bad stronghold depends upon whose stronghold it is.”
•    “You can find examples in Scripture of both positive strongholds (held by the allies of God) and negative strongholds (held by the allies of Satan).”
•    “In the thought war between God and Satan, spiritual strongholds are habits of thinking.”
•    “There are three ways for thoughts to get into your mind: you can think them yourself, God can put the thought into your mind through His Spirit, or Satan can put the thought into your mind.”
•    “Even when you think the thoughts yourself, they are heavily influenced by the habits of thinking you have developed by listening to either God or Satan when they gave you thoughts.”
•    “By the way, if you want to hear God’s thoughts in your mind, you have to listen carefully.  He rarely shouts them like Satan does.”
•    “So, it’s really important to know where the thought came from.”
•    “If they come from Satan, we don’t want to listen to them.”
•    “Jesus said that Satan is ‘the father of lies,’ that ‘when he lies, he speaks his native language,’ and that ‘there is no truth in him.’” (John 8:44)
•    “Everything Satan says to you is a lie, and everything God says to you is the truth.”
•    “Satan starts lying to you when you are a very young child, because he wants to build strongholds of lies in you mind.  He wants you in the habit of believing his lies.”
•    “Let me give you a picture of what this looks like.”  (Ask for three or four volunteers to come up front, and tell them that you want them to use the tape donuts to stick the “bricks” to the wall or board you are using for this lesson.  Tell them to stick them so that they look like bricks in a wall, and ask them to show only the red lettering on the bricks.  If you didn’t print them in color, you may need to mark the bricks in some way so that your volunteers can tell which side is the lie and which side is the truth.  While they are working, continue with the lesson.)
•    “When Satan gives you a thought, you have a choice whether or not to agree with it.”
•    “If you agree with it, or if you choose to just passively receive it and not evaluate whether it is right or wrong, it becomes a brick in Satan’s stronghold of lies.”
•    “Once Satan finds a lie that you will agree with or passively allow into your mind, he works full time to reinforce that particular lie until it forms a ‘strong hold’ on the way you think.”
•    “The volunteers are showing us how Satan builds his stronghold.”
•    “All of these are lies that he wants us to believe.”  (Read some of the bricks out loud.)
•    “Brick-by-brick, lie-by-lie, he builds up this stronghold, and it changes the way we think and how we see the world around us.”
•    “The worst part is, once we develop the habit of thinking in this way, we start to do Satan’s work for him.”
•    “We add bricks to the wall without him even having to lift a finger, and it gets stronger and stronger.”
•    “Now, when God’s truth comes into your mind, Satan will attack it from his stronghold.”
•    “You could be sitting in church and listening to a sermon or talking to a godly friend or reading something with truth in it.”
•    “God will often use these things to give you a truth He wants you to hear.”
•    “It enters your mind, but Satan attacks it from his stronghold of lies and convinces you it’s not true.”
•    “As long as Satan has this stronghold in your mind, it will be difficult for God’s truth to survive.”
•    “But I have some good news for you!”  (Ask volunteer to read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 again.)
•    “The Scriptures say that we can demolish the strongholds with our weapons that have divine power.”
•    “Here’s how to do it!”
•    “First, stop allowing thoughts to come into your mind unsupervised.”
•    “You’re at war!  No military commander allows some stranger to enter his base of operations without an armed escort!” (Ask for a volunteer to come join you at the front.)
•    “Let’s pretend this person is a thought and that I’m your mind.”
•    “If I recognize that I’m in a thought war, am I going to do this… (have volunteer approach you while you act out the following)  Yo! Whassup, man?  Don’t know who you are and don’t care.  Come join the party!”  (Have volunteer pass you by.)
•    “What do you think, is that how I should greet this thought?”  (Listen to responses.)
•    “Of course not!  He could be a terrorist bringing in a mind bomb!”
•    “Let’s do this again the right way.”  (Have volunteer go back to his/her original place and then try to pass by you.)
•    “Halt!  Who goes there?  Are you friend or foe?”  (Tell your volunteer to say he/she is a friend.)
•    “Oh, yeah?  Well, we will see about that!  I’m taking you to my General!”  (Gently, but playfully grab the volunteer’s arm and lead him/her to another place in the room.  Then look up as if you are praying and say…)
•    “General Jesus, I found this thought trying to gain access to our military command.  Is he friend or foe?”  (Pretend that Jesus tells you he is a foe.)
•    “He’s the enemy?  Thank you, sir.  I will dispose of him right away.”  (Playfully escort the volunteer back to his/her original starting point.  If he/she resists, you might need to ask another adult in the room to help you escort him/her.)
•    “Now that you know that thought is a lie, never let it back into your mind.”
•    “Each time Satan tries to sneak it through, reject it.”
•    “You might say something like, ‘I know that’s a lie, and I reject it in the name of Jesus!’”
•    “Whenever you reject a lie, you’ve got to replace it with the truth.”
•    “It’s not enough to say, ‘That’s not true!’  You’ve also got to replace it with what is true.”
•    “For example, take a look that the Enemy’s stronghold that these volunteers have been building.”  (Point to board or wall where the volunteers have been adding the bricks.)
•    “It’s good to say that this isn’t true about me.”  (Read off one of the bricks.)
•    “But then I also need to replace it with a similar truth.”  (Turn the brick over, and move the tape or pin to the other side so that you can stick it back to the board on the green / Fruit of the Spirit side.)
•    “So I ask God what is really true about me, and He gives me the truth He wants to occupy my mind.”  (Stick brick to the board.)
•    “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘Ask God what HE wants you to think!’”  (Allow a moment for them to do this.)
•    “The more I do this, the more I trade Satan’s lies for the truth of God.”  (Have your volunteers start flipping the bricks to the positive side.)
•    “And when you do this, you’ve got to believe what you hear God say.”
•    “It isn’t always easy, because God’s truth sometimes looks wrong compared to what is going on around us and what we thought was true before.”
•    “You may have to pray, ‘This is hard to believe, Lord, but I trust You.  Help me to see the truth in this.’”
•    “This is called taking every thought captive before Christ, and it demolishes strongholds.”
•    “In fact, it replaces Satan’s strongholds with God’s strongholds in your mind!”
•    “Then, when Satan tries to send a lie your way, God’s truth will attack it from God’s strong hold in your thinking.”  (Even if they haven’t completely finished flipping bricks, thank your volunteers, and let them return to their seats.)
•    “Let’s recite a Rhyme Time that will help us remember today’s lesson:

Satan’s strongholds really stink!
I’m letting God choose what I think!

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Filed under Belief, Brain, Christianity, demons, Jesus, Mind, Object Lesson, Spiritual Warfare, thinking, Thought war, thoughts

The Gift – A Biblical View of Sexuality (LESSON)


Time
3-4 hours (You may want to do this in segments of about an hour apiece.  The material easily breaks at the headings.  Of course, you are welcome to present only pieces of the material, as well.)

Audience
Youth and Young Adults – Please use caution and discretion when presenting this material.  It should not be presented without the knowledge and consent of parents and church leadership.

Description
This lesson helps youth and young adults to understand God’s plan for sex.  It shows that sex is a battlefield for the spiritual warfare between God and Satan and encourages kids to take a stand for sexual purity so that they can give the “gift” of sex to their life partner on the day of their marriage.

Materials
•    Participant guides – “Gift, The – A Biblical View of Sexuality – PG” (available on the “Lesson and Material Downloads” page.)
•    Pens/pencils for the kids to use to take notes
•    A box (about the size of a shoe box should be fine)
•    Ribbon and a bow
•    Tape for wrapping the gift
•    Assorted items to put in the box so that it makes noise when you shake it
•    A roll of duct tape
•    Whiteboard and markers
•    Note cards

Preparation
•    Make copies of the participant guides (one per person), and pass them out.
•    Put the assorted items into the box, and wrap it as nicely as you can.
•    At some point, I recommend giving a few note cards to each youth or young adult and allowing them to anonymously ask questions about sex on the cards.  You might want to hand out the cards before your lesson and explain their purpose, or you might want to wait and hand them out after the first or second parts of the lesson.  Collect the cards in an envelope or bag, and give yourself at least an evening to pray over them and formulate your answers.  I have found this to be a good exercise that allows them to ask some honest questions that are troubling them about sex.
•    Practice the script.

Procedure
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

“The Gift”
•    “Today, we are going to talk about God’s view about sex.  Each of you has a participant guide and something to write with, so please take notes with me.”
•    “Let’s start at the beginning.  Can I get a volunteer to read Genesis 2:18-25 for me?”  (Select a volunteer to read.)
•    “Woman came from man.  It’s a beautiful picture.  Man and woman were once one.  Now, to regain that oneness, we need each other.”
•    “Notice that they were both naked and unashamed.  It was pure and good.  In fact, Genesis 1:31 tells us that God said, ‘it was very good.’”
•    “God gave Eve to Adam as a gift – a companion that was like him, a companion who he could share everything with – his thoughts, his emotions, his body, his spirit.”
•    “Sex was a crucial part of that gift, because it was through sex that the man and the woman experienced complete and total oneness – at least as complete and total as we can experience.”
•    “Well, a lot has changed about sex since God first gave it to Adam and Eve, but He still gives it to us as a gift.”
•    “In fact, it is one of the best gifts you will ever get in your entire life!”
•    “I can’t really even describe to you how incredible it is; it is precious and wonderful!”
•    “God is a giver.  He gets excited about giving us gifts – especially one as special as the gift of sex, but He doesn’t want us to open the gift until it’s time.”
•    “Remember when you were younger and Christmas was coming?”  (Pick up gift and hold it where it can be seen.)
•    “Wasn’t it exciting to see that gift under the tree?”
•    “To look at the gorgeous wrapping?  To shake the box?”  (Shake the box.)
•    “Did you ever want to just take a peek and see what was inside?”  (Wait for some responses.)
•    “Me, too.  Will any of you admit to having peeked at a gift or two during your lifetime?”  (Wait for responses.)
•    “Sometimes it just feels irresistible, doesn’t it?  You can’t stand not knowing what is inside that package.”
•    “But what happens if you peek?” (Pretend to peek behind the paper, and listen for responses.)
•    “Right.  Guilt, dread at being caught, a ruined surprise, no joyful Christmas morning.”
•    “Why is that?”  (Listen for responses – you are waiting for someone to say something like, “We took the gift before it was time” or “We got to see the gift in the wrong way.”)
•    “Exactly!  A Christmas gift has a specific time when it is supposed to be opened.”
•    “If you open it early, you ruin the surprise and the joy of discovery on Christmas morning.”
•    “While everyone else is saying, ‘Oooooh!’ and ‘Ahhhhh!’ and ‘Wow!’ you are feeling miserable and doing your best to fake excitement.”
•    “A very important part of my message to you today is that sex is like that Christmas gift.”
•    “It has a very specific time when it is supposed to be opened, and that is on the day of your wedding.”
•    “If you open it before then, you will ruin the surprise and take away much of the joy.”
•    “But if you can just wait until the right time, that gift will be a joy and a surprise to you and your spouse for the rest of your married life.”
•    “And there is another reason why you should wait to open it…because the gift is not really for you!”
•    “Sure, you have access to it, and you can open it if you want to, but it doesn’t belong to you.”
•    “That gift was given to you to cherish and protect until the day you give it to the person it really belongs to – your marriage partner.”
•    “God has given it to you, and you are the steward of the gift.  It’s your job to keep it safe and in excellent condition until that special day.”
•    “The good news is that someone out there has a gift that God gave them for you, too.”
•    “Hopefully, they are doing a good job of keeping it safe.”
•    “Some people don’t.  They take the gift and share it with other people….sometimes a lot of other people.”
•    “When you share the gift with anyone other than your spouse, you are doing something you have no right to do.”
•    “It’s not yours to share.   You’re just keeping it until it’s time to give it to its rightful owner.  You are just the steward, the keeper of the gift.”
•    “Think about it this way.  What if I had a gift to give you for Christmas, but before I gave it to you, I shared it with several different people?”
•    “I let them open the gift and use the gift, but then I decided that they weren’t the right people to share the gift with, so I took it back.” (Start unwrapping the gift.)
•    “Unfortunately, while they had it, they took off the nice wrapping paper.  They scuffed it up and dented it.  They used it for purposes it wasn’t intended for.”  (Continue unwrapping the gift.  Toss it around some, drop it and/or step on it.)
•    “So, when it’s time for me to share it with the one it was intended for, it’s no longer new and special.”
•    “Most likely, it is damaged in some way, and it could be damaged in such a way that it could even hurt the person I give it to.”
•    “I can do my best to rewrap it and cover up the dents and the scuffs and the tears, but I’m not going to be able to hide them for long.”  (Try to rewrap the gift in a hurried way.)
•    “How special would you feel if I gave you a gift that looked like this?”
•    “Would you feel like you were the most special person in my life?”
•    “Or would you be hugely disappointed?  …especially if you had saved my gift for me even though I shared yours.”
•    “Would you be just a little angry that I had shared your gift with strangers and let them do whatever they wanted to with it?”
•    “Well, you would have a right to be angry.  That would be incredibly insensitive and selfish of me.”
•    “We should do whatever it takes to protect the gift…to save it for that one person God intended it for.”
•    “But it won’t be easy.  I don’t know if you know it or not, but there is a war going on.”
•    “It’s a spiritual war between the armies of God and the armies of Satan, and one of their main battlefields is the gift of sex.”
•    “Satan wants to destroy the gift, and he is doing everything in his power to corrupt it, distort it, cheapen it, dent it, break it, twist it, poison it and pervert it.”
•    “To know why, we need to look at God’s purposes for sex.  There are three.  You can fill in the blanks in your participant guide.”

God’s Purposes for Sex – “POP!”

gods-purposes-for-sex-fg1
•    “Procreation – it means having children.  In Genesis 1:28 God commanded man to ‘be fruitful and multiply.’  He wants us to fill the earth.”
•    “Oneness – this is a mystery – no one knows exactly what it means, but through sex, two people become one – not just physically, but also spiritually, mentally and emotionally, as well.  Genesis 2:24 says that a man will ‘leave father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh.’”
•    “Pleasure – this is the one people have the most trouble with.  Satan has so twisted our view of sex that many people think of it as dirty or bad, but it’s not.  It’s glorious and wonderful when it’s the way that God intended it.  Proverbs 5:18-19 says ‘May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  A loving doe, a graceful deer – may her breasts satisfy you always, may you be captivated by her love.’ and the book of the Song of Solomon is a picture of the beauty and joy of the pleasure of sex between a married couple.”
•    “God wants us to enjoy the gift that he has given to us, and He doesn’t want us to feel bad about it.  He rejoices when a married man and woman give themselves fully to one another during sex.”

“The War”
•    “But remember, there is a war going on in the spiritual realm, and sex is at the middle of it.”
•    “Satan absolutely hates sex as God intended it, because of the three reasons we just covered.”
•    “When a married man and woman have sex, they create families and bring joy and hope into the world through the miracle of conception and birth.  Babies are full of potential, and when they are born to Christian families, they are likely to believe in the God of their mothers and fathers.”
•    “The closeness a man and woman experience during sex is the closest picture of the oneness of God in his three Persons.  We can actually understand this mystery much better when we experience the oneness of sex.”
•    “Finally, the pleasure that we feel during sex is offensive to Satan.  He doesn’t want us enjoying what God gave us.  That might lead us to feel gratitude and love for our Creator.”
•    “Satan hates sex, because it is powerful!  …the incredible gift of a loving God.”
•    “Let’s see where all this started.  Can I get a volunteer to read Genesis 3:1-7 for me?”  (Select volunteer to read.)
•    “Notice that the first consequence of Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was shame about their nakedness.  That’s a sexual consequence.”
•    “Satan’s first attack has a sexual consequence.  I think that is very interesting.  We should be asking, ‘What does sex have to do with the battle between Satan and God?’”
•    “Everything!  It’s a key battlefield!  Because of the three purposes God has for sex, it’s crucially important.”
•    “Now, there was nothing shameful about Adam’s and Eve’s nakedness.  Nothing changed in their bodies when they ate the fruit.  What changed was in their minds.”
•    “When they ate from the tree, they started to think about their nakedness differently than they did before.  This is where their shame came from.  Not from what God created but from what they did mentally with what God created.”
•    “So, this is Satan’s strategy.  He can’t do any damage to God, Himself, so he hurts the Creator through His creation.”
•    “By attacking us and the gift that received from God, Satan brings God grief.”
•    “And it didn’t stop in the Garden.  Satan is still attacking us and the gift.”
•    “I’m going to break you into small groups right now, and I want you to brainstorm all the different ways that Satan is attacking the gift of sex in the world today.”  (Break the kids into groups of 3-5, and have them brainstorm ways Satan is attacking the gift of sex.  They can write their answers on the second page of their participant guides.  If you need to give them a few ideas to get them started, mention pornography, sexual abuse, distorted views of what beauty is, etc.  Allow them five minutes to brainstorm, then have them share one idea per group until all ideas have been captured.  I recommend writing them on a whiteboard so that they can see the arsenal Satan is leveling against the gift.)
•    “Isn’t this incredible!  Can you believe how many different ways Satan is attacking the gift?”
•    “There was an interview with a veteran pilot who flew missions in Viet Nam, and he said something very interesting that I think applies here.  He said that you get the most flak (that’s the anti-aircraft artillery that you sometimes see exploding near planes on old war films) when you are over the target.”
•    “In other words, the enemy doesn’t bother to shoot at you if you are hundreds of miles from the target, but the closer you get, the more flak is coming your way.”
•    “When you are right over the target, he is going to fire everything he has at you.”
•    “Do you see what I’m pointing out?  Satan is launching all this firepower at the gift of sex.  That means it must be hugely, crucially important!”
•    “When we get close to God’s understanding of sex, we are threatening Satan’s strongholds.  We are right on top of what Satan doesn’t want us to discover.”
•    “Sex is a key battlefield in this spiritual war.”

“Rules for the Gift”
•    “God has set down some rules for the gift.”
•    “We don’t need to read them, but there are twenty-one rules for the gift of sex in Leviticus 18, and Leviticus 20 tells us what the consequences for breaking the rules will be – mostly death.”
•    “Basically, the rules are – no sex with…family, a woman during menstruation, someone else’s husband/wife, (related to) idol worship, persons of the same sex, animals.  I know, gross.”
•    “These are pretty good rules, but there’s no death penalty anymore – at least not physically.  What will die if you break the rules is your relationship with Christ and your ability to experience the beauty and wonder of the gift.”
•    “The New Testament is more appropriate for us to read about God’s rules for the gift.  Can someone read for us 1 Corinthians 6:15-20?”  (Allow volunteer to read.)
•    “Paul tells us that our bodies…are one with Christ…are the temple of the Holy Spirit…not ours….purchased at a price.”
•    “We are to glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits.”
•    “Now, can someone read Ephesians 5:3-7?”  (Allow volunteer to read.)
•     “Okay, so we are not to allow even a hint of sexual immorality in our lives – not even sexual joking – because it is not appropriate for those who have been united with Christ.”
•    “Do you see the graphic on your third page?  Let’s fill that in.”

sex-uniting-god-with-fg

•    “God says that we are not to unite our bodies (or Him, because we are the temple for the Holy Spirit) with:
o    “Prostitutes, The Promiscuous (those that have sex a lot) or The Public (anyone other than our spouse)” – (Do duct tape example.  Invite several young men up, and put duct tape on their forearms.  This doesn’t work well in humid environments, so you might want to have some rubbing alcohol and a cloth close by to prepare the men’s arms.)
•    “This is a picture of what it is like to have sex.”
•    “The tape is now one with each man’s arm.”  (Then rip off the tape as quickly as you can.)
•    “When you are one with someone, and you separate, it hurts!”
•    “That person takes a piece of you with them that you will never get back.”  (Show the tape with the men’s arm hair stuck to it.)
•    “Now, if you unite in oneness with someone else, it’s going to be less ‘sticky.’”  (Reapply the tape to each man’s arm.  Then, rip it back off.)
•    “It’s easier to separate, but it’s also harder to create true oneness.”  (Reapply the tape and then rip off several more times.)
•    “The more you do this, the less ‘sticky’ (the less capable of true oneness) you will be.”
•    “By the time you marry, it may be very difficult for you to create oneness with your wife.”
•    “This is why God wants us to save our ‘stickiness’ (our oneness) for that one person.”
•    “Once you have lost your ‘stickiness,’ it’s very difficult (but not impossible) to get it back.”  (Thank volunteers, and allow them to return to their seats.)
o    “We should also not unite ourselves with ‘Our People (relatives), Our Parents or Our Progeny (our kids).”
o    “We shouldn’t unite ourselves (and God, remember) with ‘Porn.”
o    “…with ‘Persons of the same sex,”
o    “…or with ‘Perversions’ like animals and objects.”
•    “If you look at the list of things we are to avoid, it’s not really that difficult to follow God’s rules – especially if you never get started breaking the rules.”
•    “It’s when you cross the line that you get into trouble.”
•    “Once you cross it the first time, it’s much easier to cross it again…and again….and again…”
•    “So, that’s what God says we should stay away from.  Now let’s look at what He wants for us related to sex.”

“What God Intends”
•    “God wants us to experience the full beauty and joy of the gift of sex.  He’s given us some guidelines in Scripture that will help.”
•    “Can someone read for us 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8?”  (Allow volunteer to read.)
•    “So, we are to have no sexual immorality, and we should control our bodies.”
•    “We are unique in all of creation.  We aren’t like the angels or the animals that were created before us.”
•    “Angels are spirits without bodies.  They don’t have sex.  They don’t procreate. God didn’t create them to participate in sex.”
•    “Animals, on the other hand, have bodies and maybe spirits but not in the sense that they consider their actions.  They never worry about temptation or lust.  They just do what animals do – they mate when it’s time to mate.  It’s a simple response to a biological need.”
•    “We are between these two sets of created beings on the continuum.  We have both body and spirit.  We have the ability to consider our actions, to be tempted, to lust but also to resist that temptation.”
•    “Angels can’t have sex; animals can’t resist, but we can, and God calls us not to be angels or animals.”
•    “We are not supposed to completely abstain from sex (at least not most of us), and we aren’t supposed to have it whenever the urge hits us.”
•    “God calls us to control our bodies.”
•    “Some people act like angels, because they are afraid of awakening their desire.  This is okay if God has called you to be single and to devote your life to serving Him, but Paul says that most of us can’t do that.”
•    “Some people act like animals, because they feel that they can’t help giving in to their lust.  But this is settling for so much less than God has planned for us.”
•    “God wants us to have sex, but He wants us to control our bodies so that we don’t open the gift before it is time.”
•    “Now, can someone read for us 1 Corinthians 7:3-5?”  (Allow volunteer to read.)
•    “This Scripture is for married couples, but it’s good for you to know it ahead of time.”
•    “It says that the husband has authority over his wife’s body, and that the wife has authority over her husband’s body.”
•    “Neither of them has authority over his/her own body in marriage.  They are to submit to each other sexually, because depriving their spouse from sex might lead your spouse into temptation.”
•    “Remember, the gift is not for you; you’re just holding it for your spouse.  Part of that gift is your body.”
•    “When a married couple follows this teaching, there is such harmony in their marriage.”
•    “It teaches them to always think of their spouse first, and by doing that, they become one.”
•    “The more they put their spouse ahead of themselves, the more they look like Christ, who always put the Father’s will ahead of His own.”
•    “Marriage is a beautiful wonderful tool that God uses to shape us in His image.  The less we think of ourselves, and the more we think of our spouses, the more we resemble Him.”
•    “Finally, there is the Song of Solomon.  We’re not going to read it here, because, honestly, it’s very graphic.”
•    “God gives us a very erotic picture of sex between a husband and wife in this book, and you should know that it’s there as you get closer to marriage.  It will help you understand what God intends.”
•    “You will probably need a commentary to unlock its symbolism, but it doesn’t take much help before you start to realize how graphic the book is.”

“What If You’ve Messed Up?”
•    “But what if you’ve messed up already?”
•    “I know that there is incredible pressure out there on young people to have sex before you get married.”
•    “If you’ve messed up, I have to tell you that you can’t get your physical virginity back.  It’s just not possible.”
•    “The gift will not be new and perfect when you give it to your spouse on your wedding day.”
•    “But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be special and wonderful.”
•    “God can redeem any sin that you bring to Him.”
•    “All you have to do is confess it and repent of it – make a 180 degree turn and head the other direction.  Commit to cherishing your gift from now on, and God will bless your commitment.”
•    “On your wedding day, you will still have something very special to share.  It won’t be exactly as God intended it, but it can be the next best thing.”
•    “The important thing is that you’ve got to put an end to whatever you’ve done or are doing, and you’ve got to do it right away.”
•    “In the first chapter of Joel, God tells about His judgment on the people of Israel for their sin.”
•    “He sent armies of locusts to devour everything in their path, and they left the land desolate.”
•    “He says in Joel 1:4: ‘What the locust swarm has left, the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten.’”
•    “This is what happens to Christians who continue in sin that they know they shouldn’t be doing.  God disciplines His children, because He wants them to return to Him from their sin.”
•    “If you continue in sexual sin, the ‘locusts’ will do their work.  Your relationship with God will dry up; your prayers will stop receiving answers; your relationships with other people (especially those you are sinning with) will start to suffer…”
•    “But there is hope!  Restoration is closer than you think.”  (Have a volunteer read Joel 2:12-13 and then 2:25.)
•    “God says that if you will just turn back to Him, He will restore the years that the locust have eaten.  He will restore your relationship with Him and He will restore what you’ve lost in other areas, as well.”
•    “But the longer you persist in sinning, the longer and harder it is going to be to get back to God’s best for you.  God forgives you for your sins, but He will often allow you to suffer the consequences of them so that you will grow.”
•    “I would like to finish by telling you a story:”
•    “Maybe you’ve seen the e-mail that’s made several trips around the world or maybe you’ve heard the song. They are about a young girl who saw a string of gleaming white pearls at the dime store and fell in love with them.”
•    “They weren’t real, but to her, they were beautiful.”
•    “Working hard over the following weeks, she earned enough money (two dollars) to buy them and began wearing them everywhere she went – even to bed.”
•    “She only took them off for bath time, because her mother told her that they would turn her neck green if they got wet.”
•    “The girl’s daddy loved her immensely and would make time every night to put her to bed with a story and a kiss.”
•    “After finishing the story and tucking her in one night, her daddy asked her, ‘Sweetheart, do you love me?’”
•    “Enthusiastically, she answered, ‘Oh, yes, Daddy! Of course I love you!’”
•    “’Then give me your pearls,’ he said.”
•    “’Oh, no, Daddy! Not my pearls! But you can have Princess. She’s my favorite toy horse.’”
•    “’That’s okay, Sweetheart. I love you. Good night.’”
•    “He kissed her cheek and turned out her light as he left the room.”
•    “This exchange was repeated every night for a few weeks.”
•    “Each time, the young girl offered something other than her pearls, and each time her daddy patiently declined, kissed her goodnight and left the room.”
•    “Then one night, her daddy entered her room to find her sitting up in bed.”
•    “Her chin trembled, and a tear rolled down her cheek as she held out her pearl necklace to him.”
•    “’Here, Daddy. These are for you.’”
•    “With tears in his own eyes, her daddy reached out and accepted her dime store necklace.”
•    “Then, he reached inside his pocket and drew out a blue velvet case and handed it to her.”
•    “When she opened the case, she found a beautiful strand of genuine pearls.”
———-
•    “The story is such an accurate description of the exchange our Daddy wants to make with us if we are engaging in sexual sin.”
•    “Tight-fisted, we hang onto something cheap and unworthy of us.”
•    “The relationship might seem so important to us; it might seem like it’s the most important thing in our lives right now.”
•    “Maybe we aren’t sure how we can do without it…without him or without her.”
•    “Patiently, God continues to ask us to give it up.”
•    “Patiently, He listens to our excuses.”
•    “He waits for us to come to the point where we love Him more than we love this other person or this other thing and our sin.”
•    “When we do, He shares His plan for us, and it’s always ‘exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…’” (Ephesians 3:20, KJV)
•    “If you are in sexual sin right now, whether it’s a relationship or porn or something else, God wants you to know that it’s a dime store necklace compared to what He has planned for you.”
•    “The sooner you give it up, the sooner He can bless you with His best.”

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Point to Christ Relay


Time

15-25 minutes

Description

This is game that helps participants understand how difficult it can be sometimes to keep our lives pointed toward Christ.

 

Materials

  • Blindfolds (one for each team)
  • Prizes for “enemies or demons.”
  • Prizes for the winning team (optional)
  • Flipchart and markers

 

Preparation

·      Find a wide-open space in which to run the race.  Make sure that there are no obstacles that the runners might stumble over.

·      Select a point in the room or outside that can represent “Christ.”

·      Select starting points around the room or outside that are equidistant from the “Christ” point.

·      Mark off the starting points and three to four relay points of equal distance.  In other words, you want to divide each path to “Christ” into three to four segments.

·      Post the debrief questions on a flipchart, but keep it concealed until the activity is over.  (See the end of this lesson for questions.)

·      Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

·      “We’re going to run a race today, but it’s going to be a different kind of race.”

·      “This race will be a relay race, which may or may not be familiar to you.”

·      “But in this race, you will be blindfolded!”

·      “AND…each racer will have an enemy who tries to keep you from finishing your race!”

·      “Interested?”

·      “Okay, I’m going to divide you into teams.”  (Divide group into teams of 5-6.  Each team needs to be equally sized.  Extras can serve as additional “enemies/demons.”) 

·      “Now I need a volunteer from each team to be the ‘enemies or demons.’” 

·      “Your job will be to try to prevent the runners on the other teams from reaching their goal, and if you help your team win because you confused the other teams, your team will get a prize (optional).”

·      “So, here’s how this race works.”

·      “Each team will start from their starting point.”  (Indicate starting points for each team.)

·      “One team member will line up on each of your team’s relay points (including the starting point).”  (Indicate relay points for each team, and have the team members take their positions.)

·      When it’s your turn to race, you will have to put on a blindfold.”  (Indicate blindfold and how to put it on.)

·      “If your blindfold is not on correctly, your team can be disqualified, so make sure you get it on so that you can’t see.”

·      “The first racer will put on his blindfold and run to the first relay point.”

·      “Once there, he will take off the blindfold and give it to the next runner, who will then put on the blindfold before starting to run.”

·      “The first team to reach this point, which we are calling ‘Christ,’ wins!”

·      “But remember the enemies/demons?  These enemies/demons will run up to you as soon as you put your blindfold on, and they will spin you around 3-5 times.  When they are done spinning you, they may point you in the wrong direction.”  (Assign “enemies/demons” to opponents’ teams.  Extra “enemies/demons” should be instructed that they can are to stand off to the side and shout confusing directions to the runners to keep them from reaching the goal.  Be sure to reward these extra “enemies/demons” after the race, since they aren’t part of a team.)

·      “One team member is your “Holy Spirit.”  He or she will stand off to the side and call out directions to you about which way you should go.”

·      “You will have to listen very carefully to hear your “Holy Spirit” telling you how to face toward ‘Christ’ and to separate the voice of your “Holy Spirit’ from the voice of any demons.”

·      “Is everyone clear on the instructions?”  (Answer any questions.)

·      “Okay, everyone get on your places.  First runners, put on your blindfolds.  “Enemies/demons,” get ready to spin them.  Ready, get set….GO!”  (Help everyone to follow the rules, but try not to interfere in the race.  When the race is over, award prizes if you choose and have the teams reassemble to answer the debrief questions, listed below.)

 

Debrief Questions

o   “What made that difficult?”

o   “Even if you didn’t win, how were you able to succeed in running the race?”

o   “How is this like real life for a Christian?”

o   (Have a volunteer read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.)

o   “How was running this race like the race Paul describes?”

o   “Why do you think Paul compares our Christian life to a race?”

o   “What does Paul mean by ‘running aimlessly’ and ‘fight(ing) like a man beating the air?’  How do these apply to us?”

o   “Why would Paul need to ‘beat (his) body and make it (his) slave?’”

§  “Do we need to do this, too?  If so, how?”

o   “What other lessons can you take away from this activity?”

 

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The Race


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that the Bible compares our lives to a race. Our sin and our past often become like heavy clothing or baggage to us, but God wants us to throw these off and run freely.

Materials

  • Lots of heavy clothing – boots, shoes, coats, sweaters….
  • Several backpacks, pieces of luggage (preferably without rollers), and bags loaded with heavy stuff.
  • Lots of wadded balls of paper or soft balls
  • Candy that will tempt the kids. Candy bars will work better than small candy.
  • A few small prizes for the racers.  It’s best to have prizes for everyone for both races, since it’s not important who finishes first in the race of life.
  • (Optional) Whistle to start the race.
  • (Optional) Water guns and/or water balloons
  • (Optional) Tape or twine to mark the finish line

Preparation

· This can be an indoor or an outdoor activity. Outdoors is preferable, because you can let the kids really get into the lesson, but either will work.

· Find a good starting place and finish line for your race, and make sure they are well marked.

· Put all your heavy clothing in a box and set it to the side.

· Put all your bags and luggage off to the side.

· Wad up your paper balls, or fill your water guns / water balloons.

· Put the candy in your pockets, or conceal it in some other way.

· If you have other creative ideas for encumbering the runners, use them. The idea is to make the first part of the race a frustrating experience.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “Let’s run a race today!”

· “Who is interested in competing for the prize?” (Take up to six volunteers, depending on your class size. You will need several kids to stay in the role of spectator.)

· “Okay, the race will be from here (designate starting point) to there (designate finish line).”

· “Everyone ready?”

· “Okay! On your mark, get set…….oh, hold on a minute. You guys aren’t ready yet.”

· “If we want to make this race more realistic, I’m going to need you guys to wear these.” (Set out the box with all the clothes, heavy shoes, etc., and start handing them out to the volunteers. They should all get dressed up.)

· “Okay, that’s more like it. On your mark, get set……hmmmm….something’s still not right.”

· “Oh, I know! You need some of this!” (Hand out backpacks, luggage, bags, other articles for them to drag.)

· “Yes, that’s it! Okay, on your mark, get set…..Wait! Wait!”

· “I completely forgot to prepare the spectators on the sidelines and in the stands!” (Hand out wadded paper, soft balls (or if you’re brave) water guns or water balloons.)

· (To the spectators in a low voice so that the runners don’t hear…) “You guys are going to throw (squirt) these things at the runners as they run.”

· “I also need you to try to get them to leave the race to come and get these from you.” (Secretly hand them the candy.)

· (Still to the spectators…) “You guys are also going to boo at them and tell them things like, ‘You’ll never be able to win! Why are you even trying? My grandmother runs faster than you!…’ – Okay, you guys ready?” (Check to make sure that they understand what they are supposed to do.)

· “Okay, is everyone ready? On your mark, get set……GO!” (Blow whistle if you have it. Despite all the obstacles you’ve set up, it’s likely that a competitive spirit will drive kids to finish the race anyway. But whether they do finish or not is not too important on the first race. Just modify your questions for the runners to match what happened.  Award prizes for anyone who finished.)

· (After they’ve run the race or given up…) “So, how did that feel?” (Listen to responses.)

· “Do you feel like you were able to run your best race?….Why or why not?” (Listen for responses.)

· “What would have made the race easier to run?” (Listen for responses.)

· In today’s lesson, the race represents our life as Christians.”

· We are the runners.  The starting line indicate the moment we accepted Christ.  The finish line is heaven.”

· The heavy clothes and baggage represent the burdens that we bring into the race – our sin, bad stuff that has happened in our past, our weaknesses, our misunderstandings about God…”

· The spectators represent the demons, who are watching God’s plan for your life play out as we run the race.”

· The things they throw are fears, worries and doubts.”

· The candy they try to tempt you with represents Satan’s armies doing whatever they can to distract you from your mission.”

· “You see, most of us are not equipped to run this race we call life.”

· “We bring so much junk with us to the starting line, and we have no idea how to deal with Satan’s attacks.”

· “But as odd as it may seem, we do our training while we round the track.”

· “If we carry our Bible with us and pray and try to learn as we run, these strategies will help us get rid of the junk, ignore the distractions and make us faster.”

· “So, we need to start our race every day with our Bible, and we need to quit listening to all the voices that want to discourage us.”

· “They aren’t the only ones watching us run, by the way.”

· “God and the angels are also there, and if we listen carefully, we can hear their cheers for us above the discouraging shouts of our enemy.” (Have a volunteer read Hebrews 12:1.)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

· “That ‘great cloud of witnesses’ refers to all the angels – the heavenly host – that are watching us and cheering for us and even helping us at times while we run our race of life.”

· “So, what do you say we run that race again?”

· “This time, I want you to throw off everything that hinders you or slows you down.”

· “And this time, spectators, I want you to represent the angels in heaven, and I want you to cheer on the runners and encourage them to run their best!”

· “Okay, runners….On your mark, get set……GO!” (Blow whistle if you have one.)

· (After the race… Award prizes to everyone, and then ask…) “So, how did that feel? Was it different?” (Listen for responses.)

· “That’s the way God wants us to feel when we are running the race of life.”

· “But in order to feel that free, we’ve got to throw off our sin, our fears, our worries, and our doubts. We’ve got to get to know God better and refuse to believe the lies of the Enemy.”

· “As you go through your life, I want you to remember this lesson.”

· “Every time you sin, I want you to think of it like it’s putting on heavy clothing or boots or picking up a heavy bag that you’ll have to carry or drag through your race of life.”

· “And when you ask God for forgiveness, I want you to think of it like it’s throwing off that heavy clothing or dropping that heavy bag.”

· “That’s the way God wants us to run our race!”

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Filed under Angels, Challenges, Christianity, Daily walk, demons, Fear, Focus, forgiveness, Hands-on, Obedience, Object Lesson, Spiritual Warfare, struggles, temptation

Cord of Three Strands


Time

10-15 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches the old maxim that there is safety in numbers. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says that “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” This lesson will demonstrate that.

Materials

  • A skein of yarn
  • Scissors
  • Several pairs of gloves
  • Whiteboard or flipchart and markers

Preparation

· Write Ecclesiastes 4:12 on whiteboard or flipchart (see below).

· Cut the yarn into 13 lengths of approximately five feet.

· Keep one length unbraided.

· Braid three strands into one length.

· Do this three more times so that you now have four lengths of braided yarn.

· Braid three of the braided strands together so that you now have nine strands of yarn in this one length.

· You should now have:

o A single strand of yarn.

o Three strands of yarn braided into one length.

o Nine strands of yarn braided into one length.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “One of the most common and most successful strategies that Satan uses against us is called ‘Divide and Conquer.’”
  • “Does anyone know what that means?” (Take responses, but if they don’t know for sure, continue with script.)
  • “Divide and Conquer is Satan’s strategy to separate you and me from other Christians in our lives.”
  • “He knows that if he can get you alone, you are no match for him.”
  • “I’m not saying that Satan is all-powerful. He’s not. But he has had thousands of years to practice tempting us, and we are not all that difficult to figure out.”
  • “All by yourself, you are no match against Satan in a spiritual battle. Let me demonstrate.” (Ask your two biggest / strongest children (or even adults) to come up front. Give them each a pair of gloves to put on.)
  • “Okay, let’s say that these two guys are Satan’s henchmen. And let’s say that this strand of yarn (use single strand) is you.” (Give one end of the yarn to each of the “henchmen,” and ask them to wrap it around their hand to get a secure hold.)
  • “In a spiritual battle, these guys are going to do everything they can to break you.” (Have the “henchmen” pull on the yarn until they break it. Make sure that the room is clear of anything that could harm them if the yarn breaks and they fall backward.)
  • “Oh! Look at that! That’s not good! They broke you!”
  • “But you’ve got a defense. The Bible says that:” (Put on board or flipchart.)

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

· “In a spiritual battle, two are better than one, and three are better than two.”

· “You shouldn’t try to go it alone. You need Christian friends and Christian family members who can help you.”

· “How can Christian friends and family help you in your Christian walk?” (Take responses. Some ideas might be: encouragement when you are struggling, advice when you don’t know what to do, a positive example, sharing your burdens…)

· “Those are great reasons not to be a cord of one strand!”

· “ So let’s try this again with three strands braided together.” (Give the “henchmen” the three-strand braided yarn, and ask them to pull on it as hard as they can. Again, make sure that they won’t fall into anything if the yarn breaks. Depending on the size of your “henchmen,” it’s likely that they will not be able to break the three strands.)

· (If they break it…) “Hmmm. They were able to break the three strands, but it was much harder, wasn’t it? ‘A cord of three strands is not quickly broken,’ but sometimes even it needs more…” (Pull out the nine strands of yarn.)

· (If they don’t break it…) “Hmmm. They weren’t able to break it this time. It looks like “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Now, what if you had even more strands…” (Pull out the nine strands of yarn.)

· “What if instead of two friends or family members, you had eight friends or family to help you resist Satan’s temptations or to encourage you in the spiritual battle? Do you think you would be strong then?” (Take responses.)

· “You bet you would! But let’s check just to make sure.” (Give the “henchmen” the nine-strand braided yarn, and ask them to pull on it as hard as they can. For effect, call up more volunteers to help. They shouldn’t be able to break it.)

· “That’s impressive, isn’t it? So what do you think you need to do after seeing this demonstration?” (Take responses, and listen for things like: build relationships, go to church, make Christian friends, share my struggles with my Christian friends and family, help others who are struggling…)

· “Fantastic! Let’s strengthen your strands right now! Find two other people, and practice memorizing this verse together.” (Allow them to practice and then recite for the group.)

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

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Filed under Christianity, Coping skills, Hands-on, Object Lesson, Satan's tactics, Scripture memory, Spiritual Warfare