||The Game You Must Win!
||1 Peter 5:8-10
People play games for a variety of reasons. Some play for enjoyment or socialization, some to prevent boredom, and some for challenge and achievement; but most play to win. Any good game strategist would say that knowing your opposition is one of the most important ways to succeed. In this message, Nate Heitzig examines our opponent, Satan, who uses the world’s system and our sin nature to undermine and distract us. We discover that one of our greatest advantages is knowing that the Devil has already lost and Jesus has already won.
Connect Group Guide: July 18, 2021
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: “The Game You Must Win!”
Text: 1 Peter 5:8-10
People play games for a variety of reasons. Some play for enjoyment or socialization, some to prevent boredom, and some for challenge and achievement; but most play to win. Any good game strategist would say that knowing your opposition is one of the most important ways to succeed. In this message, we examine a game that we must win. Our game has an opponent who fights dirty and wants to win. He uses his closest allies (the world’s system and our sin nature) to undermine and distract us with our losses. We’ll see that one of our greatest strategies and advantages is knowing he’s already lost and we’ve already won.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” —1 Peter 5:8-10
Talk about It
- What game brings out your competitive side? Share a story.
- Discuss how we should engage our adversary. What resources and strategies do we have?
- Discuss the hope we have knowing that God is perfecting, establishing, strengthening, and settling us. How does this affect your outlook on life’s circumstances and trials? What are some verses you hold onto when going through trials?
“God is there with His eye on the thermostat and His hand on the dial.” —Pastor NateMake It Practical
- Share the load. One of the ways you can use one of your greatest resources, community, against your adversary is sharing your struggles and triumphs.
- Take inventory. Read 1 John 2:16. We all face temptation in three categories. We may fall into fantasy, our thought life, which usually turns into action. We may fall into simple gratification of whatever desire hits us: food, sleep, sex, pleasure, accumulations, etc. We may fall to the pursuit of knowledge, morality, or bettering ourselves. Even the pride of being righteous keeps us from Christ. What is deterring you from living in victory?
- When you fall, get back up.
Father, Your kindness called us to share in eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. Thank You that this fight isn’t really ours; it’s Yours. You keep Your hand on the thermostat and prove us through suffering, perfecting, establishing, strengthening, and settling us. We are not alone in this fight. You are with us alongside our brothers and sisters around the world. Help us to stay alert and be watchful, standing firm in Your strength. You’ve already won—Jesus our great Victor. In His name, amen.Facilitator Tips
Cross references: Genesis 1:31; 3:15, 24; 1 Kings 18:16-45; Isaiah 43:2; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Matthew 4:8; Luke 22:31-32; John 12:31; Romans 8:33; Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 2:14; 13:5-6; 1 Peter 5:7; 1 John 2:1, 16; 5:19
- There may be some in your group who have yet to read Scripture or pray aloud in your setting. Acknowledge that it may be new and seem scary, but they are in a safe place. Lead the rest of the group in celebrating when they take the step.
- Consider meeting with your group outdoors, weather permitting.
- Know Your Adversary
- To Win the Game, You’ll Lose Some Pawns
- Play the Endgame
Keywords: the Devil, the Enemy, Satan, spiritual warfare, temptation, victory