The Forgotten War (The Chaser Bible Study Companion Part 1)

Scripture to Read: Ephesians 6:10-20, 1 Peter 5:8, Psalm 46:1, 1 John 2:1-2

There is a war constantly going on, and we frequently lose sight of it.  We lose sight of it because we can’t always see it.  It is not a war that we see happening through the lens of instant news clips on our social media accounts.  It is not a war that we see men in uniform leaving to fight in.  The book of Ephesians tells us that this war is not one against “flesh and blood”.  Instead, this war is against the spiritual forces of evil.  And here’s the kicker---alone, we are completely overmatched against these evil forces.
Obviously, I’m talking about spiritual warfare.  You’ve probably heard the term thrown around in Christian circles, but how much do we truly respect the fact that there are forces consistently working to tempt us and pull us down?  Not only that, the end game of these forces is our complete and utter destruction!
Sounds a tad depressing, right?  Well, it doesn’t have to be.  There is wonderful hope available!
In the book, The Chaser, the protagonist of the story is named, Julius Talbot.  Julius is a young Christian man navigating the world of a typical college student, and regularly having people pop up in his life that are getting wrecked in the realm of spiritual warfare.  Fortunately, Julius recognizes that spiritual warfare is real.  He admits in the story that “no one is immune”. 
Now, spiritual warfare may be a little fuzzy for us to see.  It can appear as things like depression, PTSD, anxiety, mental illness, heartache, temptation, and anger.  We can get help from counselors, chaplains, pastors, or doctors.  However, the spiritual forces can still breach even the strongest of human capabilities.  
Much like a train that Julius continually sees in his own personal nightmares, the spiritual war is always coming.  The question we might ask ourselves is---what can we do?
Fortunately, in Ephesians chapter 6, we can read the instructions Paul gave the church at Ephesus about putting on the full armor of God.  We can arm ourselves to combat the forces of evil.  A full review of this passage is imperative in the spiritual conflict we all face.  However, to truly respect and understand how crucial this is in our lives, we first have to identify that spiritual warfare is real.  It’s not a ghost story.  It is not the angel and devil sitting on opposing sides of our shoulders.  It is a real struggle that can crumble our lives.
It addition to identifying the legitimacy of spiritual warfare, we also have to identify that we are in need of help.  The good news is that there is help available!  Through a relationship with Christ, we have access to the Father.  God is able, where we aren’t able.  As my former youth pastor used to say, “God will pick up the slack where we lack.”
As we make our way through life, we will have difficult days.  We will meet people that are struggling.  There will be moments when it seems like a dark rain cloud is hovering over our heads.  As we lean on Christ at all times, we can also work to be reminded of great scriptural truth that refocuses our hearts on true joy and acts as the bright ray of sun poking through those dark clouds.
The next few parts of this study will look at ways to overcome common obstacles to remaining healthy in a world ravage with spiritual turmoil.  
The biggest themes of The Chaser will help us relate just how real this journey can be in our lives, and much like the characters of the story, we can be reminded of hope.  

Discussion Questions:  In what ways do we see the characters of The Chaser going through spiritual warfare?

In chapter 11, when Julius talks to God on behalf of Dex, he prays "wreck those things which are destroying his life."  How was Dex's life being destroyed in spiritual warfare?

How are our lives impacted by spiritual warfare?