When speaking of a war, it is always important to look at the beginning to see what started the conflict. With spiritual warfare, it goes back much farther that any of us can remember. It goes back before any of us were ever created. There is a good side and a bad side. There are oppositions, strategies, schemes, and battles to both win and lose. Before entering a battle or war, one needs to understand the who and what of the conflict.
There needs to be a general underlying concept to the overall tactics.”How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. 13For you said to yourself, `I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars.
I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. 14I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’ 15But instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths. (NLT)The two main components of spiritual warfare involve two kingdoms. Both with power, yet one spawned from another due to pride, arrogance and rebellion.
Satan was an angel in heaven. He began to get a little haughty and wanted to gain honor and clout where none were deserved. Long story short, he was kicked out of heaven and sent out. He and those following him would develop their own kingdom which would oppose the Kingdom of God. Satan and his followers want revenge. Thus the spiritual battle of the Kingdom of Darkness verses the Kingdom of God; i.e.
, spiritual warfare. The components of this war are God, Satan, Angels, Demonic, you and I! Thus the battle begun.Webster defines warfare as: military operations between enemies: an activity undertaken by a political unit (as a nation) to weaken or destroy another 2: struggle between competing entities (Webster Dictionary). Spiritual warfare consists of two forces (Kingdom of God & Kingdom of Darkness) rubbing against each other in conflict over power with human souls as the evident prize. However, it is more that just winning souls, it is a battle to obtain power and praise on Satan’s behalf to steal from the Father. Satan’s chief purpose is to oppose the redemptive purpose of God.Understanding the character and tactics of the enemy are crucial in doing warfare.
This case in point, Satan definitely has a character and personality. Satan is a created being. Being a created being, limits Satan to his authority and power. He is not self-existent or eternal, but finite and limited. He feeds upon the injustice, fallen, prideful, puffed-up and circumstances of the world.
All of this said, we must look to other side and see exactly how we are fighting and contending against this kingdom of darkness and revolt. Many Christians have become passive and fearful. Some are satisfied just to believe the right things and attend church services and activities each week. This type of lifestyle is quite different from that which Jesus had called believers.
Like the apostles (Luke 9:1-2) and the seventy (Luke 10) who were told by Jesus to go out and preach and teach about the kingdom of God, and he also said they were to heal the sick and set the captives free. This would ultimately bring those who believe in Christ and obey his commands, freedom, liberty and peace (Rogers).Joyce Meyer makes comment to spiritual warfare saying that we first must take initiative and recognize what is going on.
We must stand on the front lines and battle ourselves. There may be times when it seems that one cannot go forward, but at least one does not have to go backward. “You may not know how to press forward, but you can stand firmly on what you know of God” (Meyer). Meyer even continues on talking about how we have to stand firm.
Instead of passively yielding to the enemy, you can say, “This is the ground I have gained, and I am not giving it up, devil. You are not driving me back into the hole that God pulled me out of. I am going to stand strong in the power of God until He delivers me.”Some simply get discouraged and simply allow the tactics of the enemy to overwhelm them and to allow the enemy have his way without much of a fight. Personally, I think it is due to a lazy and misconception of the power of Christ.
Hebrews 13:8 says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Much of our modern day Christianity believes that God does not work like that today. This just causes the power of Christ to do extraordinary things in our lives to fade away because of our unbelief.
Some do not hold firmly to the truth and the word! Hebrews reminds us that God continues to work the way He did with the first century church and with the disciples (Rogers).We are given several ways to combat these feelings of unbelief. Spiritual warfare is a pro-active approach to our faith. We actively resist the devil when his hosts, or demonic influences, harass us. We should actively pursue spiritual disciplines that will make us stronger and better prepared. We come against the enemy when people are in spiritual bondage (Murphy, 62-3).
One way that we do that is through prayer. We utilize prayer as “a weapon to penetrate strongholds that cannot be reached in any other way”. Spiritual warfare is the putting aside of passive attitudes towards faith which keep us from commitment and cause us to pursue only those things that will benefit us. Instead of seeking our own agenda, we submit our will to God and accept the sacrifices He calls us to make (Stedman, 150-154).”Submit yourselves therefore to God and resist the devil” (James 4:7). We put ourselves under the blood and covering of God and the enemy must flee. Surrender to God, draw near to Him, and live close to Him are just ample ways that E.M.
Bounds prescribes ways of overcoming the Enemy of God (Bounds, 68-69). Fighting against the enemy is the way we will see victory and will gain in our spiritual strength.One thing we see throughout the Old and New Testament is the persistence of the enemy and his tireless activities and efforts. Bounds says that Satan works by imitation. He will try and to make his deceptive plans as genuine and close to authentic as possible. This is one of the enemy’s favorite tactics and methods.
It is just a slight deception and twist on the truth (Bounds, 94-95).Often where the enemy is most effective is on the Battleground of the Mind. Joyce Meyer’s best selling book to date deals with this subject in Battlefield of the Mind. You must take those thoughts that are not yours, and take them captive unto the obedience of our intercessor and king, Jesus Christ (2 Cor 10:5). We must contend for our freedom and continue to battle against the thief who is coming to steal our freedom and joy (John 10:10).
We stand, not on our own accord, but on the word and promises of God the Father. We walk hand in intimacy so that we do not become empty and drained (Meyer, 74-77).We are constantly walking in the spirit. This way, our eyes are open we are not completely caught off guard by the enemy. We are not living in fear, but not in ignorance either. We take the necessary precautions needed to stand and resist. The Message states it best when it says, “Keep a cool head. Stay alert.
The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). We hold the Word of God strictly, strongly, and rigidly. The truth of God “inflexibly held will make one invincible to the Devil, unyielding to his assaults (Bounds, 136).Through all of this, we know that there is one thing that the Enemy fears the most.
The blood of Jesus! The Devil will not dare tread upon a heart that is sprinkled with the blood and power of Christ. The blood is like the “charge of an irresistible military force that destroys everything in its path” (143). We overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.Our greatest weapons are mentioned by Paul in Ephesians chapter six.
Paul tells us to put on the Armor of God. Every single piece of the armor is required to be put on so that we are fully prepared to battle and to battle victoriously! The helmet, breastplate, shoes, sword, etc., are all given to us to protect us in the war! Personally, and many others concur, that prayer and praise are two incredible weapons used to pierce the heart of the enemy.Through praying to the Father, it brings the situation to Him and he is able to now join with you in your battle. We are to ask all things to the Lord (Isaiah 45:11) so that he can work through us. We know the word of God and have it hidden in our hearts, so that when we do begin to have those thoughts of condemnation, we can go right against those thoughts with the truth (Romans 12:1-2). We wage spiritual warfare when we give radical praise to God in the midst of our need and lack.
When we are thankful to God for all He has done and is doing, we are defeating the enemy. When we hold peace in the midst of the storm, we are warring with our God given spiritual weapons (2 Cor 10:4-5).Joyce Meyer closes one of her devotionals about Spiritual Warfare in a direct and perfect way quoting from the Amplified Bible. “Jesus said, ‘Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you..
.[Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled]’ (John 14:27). Jesus has given you peace! Put it on, and wear it everywhere you go! (Meyer)”