Working on a spiritual goal is like working out at the gym with a guy standing next to you saying,
Look at you. You’re a slob. Why not just give up right now and get it over with? On the way home you can stop and get a donut.
The truth is, we have an enemy who doesn’t want us to follow through on all our goals. He doesn’t care if we learn to play the guitar or buff up those muscles or become gourmet cooks. But he does care if we work on a goal that will help us love God and others better.
If your new year’s resolution is a goal God wants you to accomplish, you have an enemy who is doing his best to keep you from reaching it. Let’s take a look at how that enemy operates.
Bible Study: Spiritual Warfare and Your Goal
1. Read Genesis 3:1. Eve’s goal is to obey God. Satan doesn’t want her to obey God so he
begins his attack. First, he gets Eve to question God: Did God really say you can’t eat the fruit, Eve?” Think of your own goal. Do you ever find yourself asking, Is it really that big of a deal if I work on this goal? Or does God really care if I do this? If so, answer the following questions:
- Do you think God wants you to reach your goal? If so, why?
- Do you think Satan wants you to reach your goal? Why or why not?
- Do you want to reach your goal? If so, why?
2. Read Genesis 3:2-4. One of Satan’s best techniques is to get us to ignore the consequences of our actions. Think of your own goal. Do you ever say, Nothing will happen to me if I break my boundaries, or I’ll still be able to reach my goal even if I don’t follow through on my plan or renew my mind? If so, answer the following questions:
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how diligent have you been about renewing your mind when you break your boundaries or fail to follow your plan?
- Do you need to revise your boundaries, secondary boundaries, or your plan of action? If so, could you take the time to do that now?
3. Read Genesis 3:5-6. After telling Eve she wouldn’t die, Satan goes on to tell her why it would actually be a good and even helpful thing to disobey God. Think of your own goal. Do you ever say, There’s a good reason to forget about my boundaries or plan today? If so, how does that keep you from reaching your goal?
4. If Satan doesn’t want you to follow through on your New Year’s resolution, what will you need to do if you want to follow through on it? (Ephesians 6:10-18)
5. If you’d like a more complete study on spiritual warfare, here’s a Bible study I posted last spring: Spiritual Warfare and Your Project. The sad thing is that I’m still working on that project!
If you’ve been struggling with your goal, try not to get discouraged. I’ve been struggling, too. It’s hard to keep going when it would be so much easier to quit. Like Paul says in Hebrews 12:11, discipline isn’t joyful when you’re smack dab in the middle of it.
But I press on because I want that peaceful fruit of righteousness. Shall we press on together?
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