Prayer Challenge


I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said to me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You, God, are Holy. Your word is the truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”



Superhero Discipleship



Team Bonham Ministry

Superhero Discipleship

Overcoming the Enemy


 Sallee Bonham

1/20/2011








Superhero Discipleship


 

Introduction


“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.”                      Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

     Growing up, many of us read comic books and we all have our favorite hero. Usually, our favorite superhero had an archenemy or nemesis. Every issue contained a new struggle between the champion and their enemy. By the end of the issue, the victor would be our costumed superhero and their nemesis would be slinking away to recover for the next attempt to gain power, money, and domination of the world.

·         Superman struggled with Lex Luthor

·         Batman fought  The Joker

·         Iron Man battled a corporation to stop weapons development

·         Green Lantern joined the interstellar Lantern Corp. to be Earth’s defender

Who’s your hero and their enemy?

      Now let’s imagine that a comic book writer is trying to come up with a new superhero. The writer has decided to call this hero “Super Disciple” and his foe will be called “The Dragon” …


Secret Identities: Advisor versus Conventional Person


     The Dragon is an attractive, charismatic man who always  stands out in a crowd. His piercing dark eyes, thick black hair, and 6’3” height seems to fill the space that he’s in. An air of power surrounds this handsome, expensively suited man and he is always surrounded by a small group of fawning followers at all times. He doesn’t appear to work anywhere, but lives a life that leads people to believe that he is independently wealthy. He wants to be the center of attention and likes power.He only has the best of everything that can be bought.
      2 Corinthians 11:14 (NIV)

 The Dragon originally lived in Heaven and was named Satan, but he gathered a group of angels and rebelled against his Father in Heaven. The Dragon and his angels fought a great battle with the angel Michael and his army of angels.  The Dragon lost his place in Heaven and was cast down to Earth. The Dragon wants to rule the Earth.
Revelation 12:7-9 (NIV)

Satan is willing to say or do anything in order to have his way. He befriends people and uses power, money, and material things to achieve his goals. He appears to be a wise counselor who wants only the best for his friends, but in reality he is only interested in creating death, destruction, and famine. 
Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV)

Super Disciple will appear to be an average, conventional guy – not too tall, not too muscular, not too handsome – just ordinary. He will not stand out in a crowd. His coworkers will describe him as sheep-like, not a leader, just one of the many workers who are following a routine, daily schedule. BUT his boss and coworkers know that he is trustworthy, honest, and will always complete any assignment given to him in a cheerful manner. He looks like an innocent who would be easy prey for worldly wolves.  However, underneath this outward appearance is a shrewd, self-controlled, and alert guy. Many people will underestimate him. Our hero likes to help people and doesn’t like bullies. His motto is, “Be kind to one another,”
Matthew 10:16; Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

·         What qualities do you think Super Disciple should have?

·         Synonyms for sheep: conventional person; traditional person; follower

·         Aliases for The Dragon: Satan, devil, serpent


Wise Mentor: Spirit of Truth versus Self-Will


Many superheroes have one person who knows their true identity and works with them to overcome their foes in battle.  This is the person to whom they turn when they need to share their doubts, hopes, dreams, and fears.

·         Batman has Alfred

·         Superman retreats to his Fortress and talks to his Father

·         Wonder Woman would talk to her Amazon Queen Mother

 Our hero will have an invisible spirit to help him. This spirit will only be heard by Super Disciple and is called, “The Spirit of Truth”.  The Spirit of Truth was sent to Super Disciple by the Father in Heaven to help him in his battles with The Dragon. With the Spirit of Truth helping him, our hero can see right through the plans of his scheming nemesis. Super Disciple will always be strengthened and supported by the Spirit of Truth. However, many people will think our hero is a little on the odd side when he talks about the help he receives from the Spirit of Truth!
John 14:16-17 (NIV)

The Dragon is a leader who prefers to use his own wisdom in achieving his goals and believes he needs no one. His rebellion against his creator shows the full extent of his self-will. Revelation 12:7-8 (NIV)

Super Powers: Overcoming versus Temptation


  Super Disciple will have the power to prevail against the temptations of his foe. The Dragon will try to lure our superhero with persuasion and excitement. The enemy will use money, power, and worldly attractions to try and persuade Super Disciple to join forces with him. If this fails, The Dragon will whisper lies of weakness, powerlessness, and self-doubt into our hero’s ear while pretending to be a concerned counselor. BUT Super Disciple knows better…he’s been given the power to prevail…he can prevail against the worldly attractions of his nemesis. He knows that even when his faith falters; he will emerge victoriously from this battle!
1 John 5:4; 1Thessalonians 3:5; Ephesians 6:16 (NIV)

·         What are worldly attractions?

·         Make a list of worldly attractions.

·         What is your favorite worldly attraction?

·         Synonyms for overcome: triumph, defeat, prevail

·         Synonyms for temptation: attraction, excitement, persuasion

Super Powers and Costumes


     The Dragon will cloth himself in angelic attractiveness and goodness. He will be disguised as a concerned councilor, but beneath the disguise is a prowling lion waiting to devour unsuspecting victims. The enemy will be your friend; telling you untruths disguised as truth. Gossip, slander, and lies will be used as flaming arrows to cause chaos and woe in his efforts to gain power over Earth.

     Super Disciple will stand firm against his foe. He will use his Belt of Truth to see through the lies of the enemy. His Breastplate of Righteousness and Shield of Faith will extinguish all the flaming arrows hurled by his adversary. He will be ready to use the Gospel of Peace to overcome the chaos and woe.
Ephesians 6:14-17; 2 Corinthians 11:14; Genesis 3:4-5; 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

Conclusion


     We are living in a battleground. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. Let us not be deceived. Satan is powerful as the “god of this age” BUT Super Disciples need not cower before him in fear, BECAUSE “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

Come on, Super Disciples! Pick up your sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Study your bible daily so that you can emerge from your battles victoriously. Claim your power to overcome the enemy of this world! 
1 John 2:16; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 4:4 (NIV)

 

Bible versions for scriptures are:

  • New International Version (NIV) Disciple’s Study Bible  
  • The New Scofield Reference Bible; Authorized King James Version (KJV)


Scriptures in Alphabetical Order


·         1 John 2:16

NIV For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world.

KJV For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

·         1 John 4:4

NIV You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

KJV Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

·         1 John 5:4

NIV For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

KJV For whoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

·         1 Peter 5:8

NIV Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

KJV Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, like a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour;

·         1 Thessalonians 3:5

NIV For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.

KJV For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain.

·         2 Corinthians 4:4

NIV The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

KJV In whom the god of this age hath binded the minds of them who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

·         2 Corinthians 11:14

NIV And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

KJV And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

·         Ephesians 6:14-17

NIV Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  

KJV Stand therefore, having your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 

·         Genesis 3:4-5

NIV “Your will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

KJV And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.

·         John 14:16-17

NIV And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

KJV And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, and he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it has seen him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

·         Matthew 10:16

NIV I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

KJV Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye, therefore, wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

·         Revelation 12:7-9

NIV And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

KJV And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not, neither was there place found anymore in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, who deceiveth the whole world; he was cast down to earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Sources


1. LifeWay/Adults Learner Guide Fall ’09, pgs. 44 and 46

2. Our Daily Bread, Sept-Nov 2009, October 28

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Thank-you for stopping by and visiting today. SalleeB