Sermon by Dr. E. Dale Locke
Series: Fixer Upper (Making the Changes that Matter Most), Week 4 – “Demo Day”
- FOUNDATION: In week 1, we considered the foundation you are building your life upon.
- CLARITY: In week 2, we suggested that you first become clear about what needs to change in your life and what it may cost you to change it.
- PLANS: In week 3, we considered the balance between God’s sovereignty and our own plans. We noticed that, in order to see change happen, we need to take initiative and make plans, but we should also include God in those plans.
- Now, in week 4, it’s demo day! Sometimes we need to tear some things down in order to build things back up. Ecclesiastes 3:3 says, “There is a time to tear down and a time to build up.” Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, and as you read, underline the word “demolish” each time it comes up.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5:
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
- What are some of the things that Paul says we might need to demolish in order to change to become more like God would want us to be? What is a “stronghold”? What does it mean to demolish these things?
- Read Ephesians 6:10-18:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
- What thoughts and questions come to your mind as you read this passage?
Pastor Dale made 3 observations about making the changes that matter most in our lives:
- All of us are rebuilding somewhere.
- If we’re honest, each of us has some areas where our lives are broken – unhealthy habits, grief, loss, compulsions, damaged relationships, past mistakes, doubts about God and faith, hurts, insecurities, etc. Name an area where you currently need some rebuilding.
- When rebuilding, be sure to look all the way around.
6. Pastor Dale warned against the danger of sitting in your stuff and stewing and getting overly focused on yourself. If you’ve ever started to fall into that trap, what has helped you get out of it?
- One reason not to get so self-focused in our battles to change is because there may be something deeper going on. What we’re experiencing could be the kind of spiritual battle that Paul describes in Ephesians 6. What do you think of that idea? Do you find it difficult to believe that Satan and his demons are seeking to destroy us and our relationships and make a mockery of Jesus Christ?
- When it comes to the topic of Satan and spiritual warfare, there are two extremes to avoid. Talk about the dangers of each of these extremes:
- To focus too much on it and think about it all the time.
- To ignore it or doubt that it’s real.
- When I fight spiritual battles, I will need spiritual weapons.
- Circle the word “stand” each time it occurs in Ephesians 6. Why does Paul repeat the word “stand” so many times as he describes how we should do battle with Satan?
- When we’re in a battle with Satan, it is difficult to stand if we are on our own. Who do you have in your life to help you stand in the midst of life’s battles?
- List the weapons Paul mentions here and tell what each one does. As you list each one, consider whether or not you are making full use of it in your own life.
- Notice that all these weapons are defensive (protective) except for one: the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. How can you use the Word of God as an offensive weapon in your battles against Satan’s attempts to destroy your life and your faith?