There are certain things about spiritual warfare that we need to be aware of. This post will be based on the passage from Ephesians 6:10-20.
- Fact of Warfare
Everyone is involved in spiritual warfare all of the time, whether you’re saved or not. Spiritual warfare is not an event but a lifestyle. The great news though is, the knowledge that you’re in the battle is a major part of the victory. In order to prepare for the battle there are two crucial things that need to be addressed. We need to know who we are in Christ and we need to live responsibly before God. Being in the Lord is actually a state of being, the bible always mentions living or residing in the spirit and we need to make this a priority as we face attacks from the enemy. Once those two things are being put into practice, we’re “finally” ready to prepare for the battle referenced in verse 10.
- We’re NOT fighting against flesh and blood.
We are not fighting against people but against the supernatural. Verse 12 states “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” We are all fighters by nature. God has built each one of us to need to see justice done and good triumph over evil. Because we’re fighters by nature, if we don’t end up fighting the devil we’ll end up fighting people. In other words if you don’t take all the things of this world that bother you and deposit them into spiritual warfare, intercession and loving service to others, you will end up depositing them into someone’s ear instead. You’ll end up fighting people. Believe it or not spiritual warfare is actually necessary for your mental health. If you are fighting people then you’re having a negative effect in the spirit world. Think about it: What is happening in the heavenly’s when you’re stuck on being right? Choosing to be “right” keeps you from relating to one another. A person who has a hard time getting along with people doesn’t understand the spirit realm.
Verse 11 gives us strategies to fight against the enemy. Right now there are new age/eastern ideas of positive and negative energies, good karma and bad karma, impersonal light and dark forces (energy systems). An example of this is in the movie Star Wars, the impersonal “force” they use to fight their adversaries. In the Biblical Christian worldview, there is a misconception that all good and all evil comes from a personality whose name is God when in reality all good in the universe comes from God and all evil comes from demonic and human personalities. Did you know that demons talk, listen and reason? That’s how the enemy tempts you, by the words they speak to you. Verse 11 references the “schemes” of the enemy, you can’t have a scheme without intelligence and you can’t have intelligence without personality. Therefore this proves that they can talk, listen and reason. Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies of the enemy, refusing to cooperate with him and cutting them off in Jesus name. A specific area that the enemy uses to serve his strategies are with the occult world. These include but are not limited to: horoscopes, palm reading, psychics, spiritualistic healers, and the masonic lodge (freemasonry). Every culture on Earth knows where they can go to get information or power from the supernatural and this is the occult. Christians aren’t to participate in any of this, it is a great opening to the enemy in your life. There is a very real devil who would guide your life everyday if you let him. The reason we shouldn’t even play around with the things listed above are because 1) Every strategy of the enemy leads to deception, bondage and destruction. You won’t be able to believe or see certain things that are true. He’ll blind you to the truth. 2) We don’t need it, God is the one who leads us. The Lord is our shepherd and God has strategies for our lives to prosper us. If you have allowed access to any of these in your life, repent so that you can make things right with the Lord and shut that door that the enemy has been using to attack your life. With revelation comes responsibility. Are we going to be those who learn the truth and turn from it or run to it and change our ways? Anything that keeps us further from our Precious Jesus is not worth keeping.
Ways to recognize strategies of the enemy
It’s important that we know the nature of the enemy. John 10:10 TPT describes it: “A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!” What would you try to trip yourself up with if you were the enemy?
The devil always takes away and pulls down. Even the wrath of God brings about good things and the “good” things of the enemy (the things he tries to tempt us with that seem good) only bring destruction and bondage. Look for statistics and conditions, anything that is continuous or pervasive is the nature of the enemy. When trying to identify what is of the enemy, another great tool is to simply ask God.
- We are Ready
Once we know the strategies of the enemy, we’re ready for the battle. Now we have to put on and use the weapons and armor of God. Paul in verse 13 used the armor of God to encourage the Ephesians since almost all of them came from occult backgrounds. Something important to note is that we have the armor on and we also have to put it on. Ephesians 4:17-32 is a great illustration of this. We have to be responsible and take on our new identity. We need to proclaim with our faith that this is Who I Am in Christ and this is what He’s doing in me. Putting on the armor is to acknowledge the good things that are in you in Christ. We also need to have a clean consciousness and deal with anything that has crept its way in by our old ways or even anything currently that is trying to get a foothold (1 Timothy 1:18-19). Is there anything wrong in your righteousness today? We need to keep ourselves ready for whatever the enemy may use to attack our lives (Ephesians 6:18).
- Function of Warfare
The function of warfare is to be praying, speaking and living in the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-21). The devil is into corrupting and twisting communication so we need to be speaking by the Spirit so that it penetrates through the darkness. In order to do all those things in the Spirit we need to first remove hindrances. We are to not quench or grieve the spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19, Ephesians 4:30). Second, we need to yield ourselves. To yield means to allow, to come under, give over to, surrender, open up to, focus on or seek after. Praise is an act of yielding which is why his Spirit manifests during times of worship. Third, we’re to be led by subjects and details. The Holy Spirit wants to lead you. Lastly, we are to energize/empower the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is to flow through your prayer, speaking and living (John 3:5,8; 7:37-38). The Holy Spirit is a type of personality but also a dynamic flow and force. Something to keep in mind is you cannot combat a hurricane by agreeing with theology, it takes active spiritual warfare. Don’t pull back when the enemy tries to overwhelm you but Fight back. Everybody can come into attack, that attack can be stronger at times or in certain places but you are meant to understand that YOU have the Victory and can throw the attack off. Through the Power of Jesus Christ, we are seated ABOVE ALL power. Praise God!
The great thing about dealing with the devil is it not only benefits us however it enables us to help other people get saved so that they can live in victory too! We do spiritual warfare to meet people’s needs, so that the World can be reached. Your part in spiritual warfare can change nations, what a privilege and honor it is to be able to war on behalf of God. He has equipped and empowered us to do this! Our lives have such impact, everything we do or don’t do, say or don’t say has an effect on the spirit world (Galatians 5:25). Lets not just be hearers of the word but doers. All of this proves to me that our God loved us so much that he gave to us power and authority to fight against our/his adversary. This challenged me to never interpret God by my circumstances but to Always interpret the circumstances and scripture in the light and character of God; and to never forget my identity in Christ, for it carries great Power and Authority.