Northstar Presents At The Movies –  Captain Phillips

Introduction:

In April 2009, the U.S. containership Maersk Alabama sails toward its destination on a day that seems like any other. Suddenly, Somali pirates race toward the vessel, climb aboard and take everyone hostage. The captain of the ship, Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), looks to protect his crew from the hostile invaders, and their leader, Muse (Barkhad Abdi). The pirates are after millions of dollars, and Phillips must use his wits to make sure everyone survives and returns home safely. It is a thrilling, gripping and emotional movie about a real life event. 

Something To Talk About:

Much like the Somali pirates, our enemy, Satan, wants to hijack the lives of every Christian in an effort to keep them from reaching our destination of growing into spiritual maturity. He wants to destroy us. Dealing with this is so intense and so strenuous that Scripture describes it as fighting a man-eating lion or waging warfare against an enemy. The devil is a liar (John 8:44), a deceiver (Revelation 12:9), a tempter (Matthew 4:1-11). He comes to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). What can we do to prepare for the attacks of the enemy?

Stay alert: Be aware that you will attacked. and thus be prepared. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV).  Be ever on guard:”Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”  (Matthew 26:41). “See that no one leads you astray.” (Matthew 24:4). In any battle situation being alert and watchful are necessary.   

Stand firm: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7). “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,” (Ephesians 6:13-14). These Scriptures tell us not to compromise with, or negotiate with, or try to appease the devil. If we stand our ground against him, then he will go away. He may try to come back again, but if we continue to stand firm, he will go away. 

Be strong: Paul in Ephesians 6:10 tells us “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” The term “finally” is a conclusion. Being strong is to be strengthened, to be empowered. The need for the Lord’s power is constant as the battle rages. Our strength comes from being in prayer. (Ephesians 1:16-19). And from knowing God. The more we know about the Lord, the more we value our Savior, the stronger we will be and the more prepared for battle with our enemy.

Questions:

  1. Read Ephesians 6:10-20.  What are the weapons we need to have in order to conquer our spiritual enemies? How do we learn how to use our weapons?  How do we prepare for spiritual warfare?
  2. List the reasons why prayer is so important to spiritual warfare?
  3. Read John 10:10. What are the descriptive terms Jesus uses to describe the Devil?
  4. Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-6. Based upon this Scripture, how should we “fight back” against the lies of the Devil?
  5. What experience have you had of spiritual warfare? What weapons did you use and how effective were they in winning spiritual battles?

Take One Thing Home with You

In our war with Satan, his society and our human weaknesses, we need spiritual help. God provides the powerful armor we need for protection. Ephesians 6:11 describes how the strength — the power that corresponds to his might — is employed. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might,” Then Paul states, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” The power Paul is speaking about comes from being equipped by God for the battle. The spiritual body armor will equip the soldier so that he can stand firm in the fight.   

Every component is important, and because it is the armor of God, it is effective. We can only persevere in this conflict if we use God’s armor, His strength and His power. Without divine help we are in trouble. Without this preparedness, we cannot stand. We must stand against the “wiles of the devil.”  We should expect a well-thought-out, methodical approach to leading us astray. The plural word “wiles” suggests that the devil is not a one-trick pony, but has additional strategies and techniques to use.  We cannot underestimate our foe.

When we put on this whole armor of God, we will be prepared for Satan’s attempts to attack us with pride, envy, itching ears, disappointment, discouragement, doubt or division—or any other tricks he may use.

There is so much more we can learn from this powerful list of defenses God makes available to us. Hopefully, our discussion of the movie Captain Phillips has whetted your appetite to study this important subject in more detail. Take the time to study the armor of God in greater depth.

Remember, we’re at war. Be alert to Satan’s devices, and be strong by putting on the whole armor of God.