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battleofbritain

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Battle of Britain

Battle Of BritainThe original 'Battle of Britain' was the air battle in World War II fought between the German air force (Luftwaffe) and the UK (and her European / world allied pilots based in the UK) between 10 July 1940 and 31 October 1940.

There was huge destruction on either side, with 544 British / allied deaths and 2698 German aircrew deaths. 1547 British / allied planes were destroyed and 1887 German aircraft were destroyed. Eventually the Germans ceased their campaign with a British / allied overwhelming victory.

What the media won't tell you is that this was definitely God answering the prayers of Churchill and the nation against the Nazi evil. This was the first defeat that Hitler suffered and in some ways marked the turning of the War, although there were many other things that happened.

This session is looking at the 'war' that we are in between good and evil and will hopefully help us to identify the enemy and how he works and find ways to fight back and win!

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PDF icon PDF to download for the session

Real 'Movietone' clips from the Battle of Britain

(This is 10mins long so maybe just show a bit of it, not all of it unless people are loving it!)

Direct link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0-fVLCnsBs

Today

Battle of Britain (Bible)Today, there is another Battle of Britain and this time it is not being fought with weapons and fighter aircraft but it's a spiritual battle that we need to fight with spiritual weapons. And the main weapon we need to know and be sure of is the Bible and what God says. It helps us in every area of our lives - from thinking about technology, to thinking about hard issues through to life.

All across the nation there are forces of real darkness rising up and coming out into the open. In Psalm 12.8, the Bible describes these as wicked people, "who freely strut about when what is vile is honoured by the human race." Another book of the Bible called Isaiah talks about people who do evil in this way: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." Isaiah talks about a world where things are the wrong way round - a bit like our world many times!

These forces hate God and hate anything to do with God and we have to decide which side we're going to fight on. In Matthew 12.30 Jesus made this pretty clear: "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." By this he meant whoever isn't involved in doing God's work actually ends up undoing God's work. It's like typing something on a keyboard and someone deleting what you've typed!

This is what the Bible says:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. Therefore put on the full armour 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.

Some Questions

1. Can you think of any ways that people hate God?

2. Can you think of why they do this?

3. How should you react to people who hate God?

4. What kinds of ways can we show people that God is good and show God's love?

5. How can we pray for people to understand who God really is?

(Use the form on the included PDF downloaded at the top of the session)

The Battle

Right from the start of when man went wrong (read the Bible in Genesis 3), there has been a battle between good and evil. In Genesis 3, God said this to the snake (the devil):

"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

Basically what this meant was that God had a plan (that plan was Jesus). He told the devil that while the devil would strike the 'heel' of Jesus, Jesus would crush his head. So right from Genesis 3 there was a battle and one where the enemy knew he was already beaten. So he tried to do everything he could to stop God's plan (including killing all the baby boys in the Bethlehem area who were under two years old).

When we read through the Old Testament we find that the people of God (Israel) were always having to fight battles with other people, with themselves and in their own hearts and minds.

Today we are the same. There are enemies of God who are killing Christians across the world. There are other enemies who want to silence God and the Bible, trying to make Christians look bad. There are Christians arguing about how they do things, what they think and what they believe. Then one main battle we face is in our own minds. We can have lots of fear, doubt, worry. Then there are things we think that are wrong like being greedy or lying or stealing or lust, porn, addictions or even sex. Other people struggle with depression, feeling bad about themselves, bullying or believing lies about themselves. In one way or another we all struggle with these things that the Bible sums up as 'sin' (things that are wrong).

Battle of Britain Movie Clip

Direct Link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43zVRey2XEs

Winning The Battle

First of all we have to remember that as the Bible says, our fight is not againt people. The fight is a spiritual fight and can only be fought with spiritual weapons.

In the Battle of Britain when the Nazi planes came towards Britain, the response wasn't, "quick let's launch the submarines" but instead was, "let's get our planes in the air to fight them off." They used the right weapons for the fight. And that is the same for us. Ephesians 6 gives us spiritual weapons to use. So we need to know what those spiritual weapons are!

1. We need to use everything that God has given us to help. The Bible calls this the 'full armour of God'. In the time of the Bible, the Roman soldiers would be kitted out with armour to cover their bodies to protect them and weapons to fight with - and this is what Paul had in mind when he wrote Ephesians. Everything the Roman soldier had was there to help him fight, move quickly, be protected and work as a team. So we should do this too. This means obeying the Bible, praying, going to church, being open with people about our struggles, trusting God, doing the right things and having good people around us to be there for us.

2. We have two spiritual weapons that are 'offensive' and not 'defensive'. So if these weapons were footballers, they would be attackers trying to score goals! These are prayer and the Bible.

James 5.16 says, "The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]."

So prayer has incredible power. It can change situations, bring healing, bring relationships back together, change lives and most importantly bring people to God. Prayer doesn't have to be long or posh sounding. It can just be as simple as "God help me" or "God help John". And we just believe and know that once we've prayed, God will go to work!

The other weapon is the Bible. Hebrews 4.12 says this:

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

So the Bible is very much relevant and alive today! Don't let anyone tell you it isn't. It is alive and it is active. So when we learn the Bible, obey the Bible, speak the Bible and pray the Bible, something happens. Sometimes we face a situation and we don't know what to do. We can ask God to speak to us through the Bible because there is something there for every situation (see 2 Corinthians 1.20). We can also pray Bible verses for things we or other people are going through. It is incredibly powerful (which is the real reason why the enemy uses people to try to ban the Bible or keep it out of schools!)

3. The final thing is that most of the 'internal battles' we have start in the mind. It's what we think that can cause lots of problems and often we go by what we feel and not by what the Bible says. So for example we may feel rubbish and guilty for something, but the Bible says (Romans 8.1) there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. So if you feel bad about something, ask God to forgive you and know that it's forgiven, no matter how you feel. The Bible also tells us we are sons and daughters of God and that God wants to do good things. So if we feel rubbish about ourselves and think we're not worth anything, it's not true! The Bible tells us that God loves you, died for you and that he wants the best for you. You are unique and valuable.

But sometimes our mind plays tricks with us and this can even be the enemy messing with our head. In World War II, the British went to amazing lengths to pretend that their invasion of Europe (so-called 'D-Day') was going to be in one place. They planted fake information on a body and made sure the enemy found the body 'accidentally'. In fact, the D-Day landings happened somewhere else - the British tricked the enemy into thinking the wrong thing. We need to be careful the enemy doesn't trick us.

So the answer comes in 2 Corinthians 10.4-5 (NLT version):

We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

So what this means is that when the enemy puts wrong thoughts in our head we say "No! I'm not agreeing with that. I believe the Bible." What we do is we say, "God, you have your way and devil, you get lost and out of my head!"

Tactics

Every battle sees the different sides using different tactics - different ways of winning the battle. In the Battle of Britain there were different tactics used by the two sides to try and win.

For example, the British used radar to discover the German attacks and then communicated to each other using what was called the 'Dowding System'. This meant that the radio stations around the country all passed their reports to a central place which assembled all the reports together. This meant that when German fighters attacked, the Allied planes were able to find them more reliably - finding them 75% of the time as opposed to only 30% of the time before the Dowding System.

So when we pray and when we obey the Bible it should also lead us to act, to do something. We should see what is going on around us and take action depending on what is happening (for example terrorism, injustice, poverty, hate, persecution of Christians etc). So here are some questions to think about...

What is the 'enemy' doing today in your country and around the world?

What kinds of tactics can we use (ask God for his ideas) to defeat the enemy?

(Use the form on the included PDF downloaded at the top of the session)

1 John 3.8 says this, "... The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work."

End

At the end of the war Churchill spoke about the Allied fighters and said this famous phrase: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

The spiritual 'Battle of Britain' is raging all around. Will you be someone who gives your life to God and to 'fight' for him?

But remember - this is not fighting with weapons or with hate. This is always with spiritual weapons, with love and with practical action to do good. In World War I, people went along to sign up to fight the Germans. Think about this, but will you sign up for God?

Sign Up

I ……………………………………………………. commit myself to the army of God, to fight with spiritual weapons against evil so that God’s kingdom will come, God’s will be done on earth and so that the works of the evil one can be destroyed and turned around for good and for God.

(Use the form on the included PDF downloaded at the top of the session)

A Prayer For You

May what Churchill said be said of you and your life and all you do to see God's kingdom come, God's will be done and to see the evil work of the enemy pushed back, destroyed and turned around for God. Amen!

Links

Christian Concern - http://www.christianconcern.com

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