I thought I’d share today a few things that have been on my heart regarding spiritual warfare and the battles that we all face. Especially since I believe we are in ever increasing times of warfare. This means we need ever increasing faith and continual encouragement.
Whether we like it or not, or even want to believe it or not, spiritual warfare is real. God is real. The devil is real. But victory over our spiritual enemy is also a reality that we can experience.
I think we can all agree that the enemy doesn’t fight fair. The devil is a streetfighter. He comes at you when least expected. He hurls unfounded accusations at you from surprise sources and bombards your mind with fear and confusion. He curses you, punches you with false judgments, and twists your words … to name just a few of his tactics.
So while we rack our brains and pull out our hair trying to figure out what on earth is going on, we must remember that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness and wickedness in high places.
Jesus himself was misunderstood, demonized, cursed, betrayed, and eventually executed as an innocent man. The devil hated him and the devil hates you. He will attempt to stop your spiritual growth, sabotage healthy relationships, and divert the destiny God has for you. But God!
WHAT TO DO?
First discern if what you are going through is spiritual warfare or not. While we live in a world of the seen and unseen – both angels and demons – not every conflict has a demon behind it. However, some common ways you can know if an evil spirit is at work includes experiencing:
- An unusually oppressive atmosphere and sadness
- Complete confusion and feeling utterly “baffled”
- Overwhelming fear or anger
- Strong sense of intimidation, manipulation, or domination
- Being stripped of your dignity and worth
Also, here are some questions that can help determine if you are under spiritual warfare:
- Does what you are hearing agree with God’s Word and ways?
- Are the actions involved manifesting the work of the Holy Spirit or works of darkness? (Gal. 5)
- Are the words you are hearing edifying and ministering life, peace, and joy, or are they destroying these?
- Do the words and actions coming at you reflect God’s character or the opposite?
- Does your spirit sense demonic activity, or do you sense the Holy Spirit warning you that something is off?
Discerning the warfare is a huge step on the path of victory. As you do, recognize too that God is greater and stronger than your enemy. Next, get the wisdom and action steps you need from the Lord for your situation. In Him, you have authority to deal with the enemy and command the enemy to leave. You can also take practical measures to safeguard yourself from further enemy assault.
Some of these other measures include:
- Make sure there is no area in your life giving place to the devil to operate. A.k.a, disobedience or sinful practices to name a couple.
- Practice Forgiveness towards any individuals who are the agents of this assault.
- Break agreement with the destructive words hurled at you and let the Word of God and His presence minister healing to your heart, mind, and soul.
- Make sure you have prayer partners covering you during intense times of warfare.
- Spend time in prayer and fasting as you seek the Lord for His answers.
- Take communion daily for a time and pray the blood of Jesus over the situation.
- Establish healthy boundaries as needed, don’t forget to love people as Jesus does – you will need Holy Spirit to show you how.
One final key thought for you as you battle through whatever situation you are facing – know that God designed you to succeed as His image-bearer on earth. He is always triumphant and as you seek His face, He will pull you through the door of victory. He is with you and He is for you as His beloved son or daughter.
One of the greatest warriors of the Old Testament who fought countless battles and saw victory time and again – on both a national and personal level – was King David. David wasn’t perfect but he loved God and knew that God’s presence was the key to everything, especially in times of trouble and warfare. To cultivate a life of God’s presence, begin by doing as Jesus said, “Whoever wants to follow Me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Me.”
The truth is, many times when we experience warfare we want to pick up rocks and throw them back at the individual hurting us. We want to war with fleshly words and actions to stop our own pain. But all that does is cause more hurt.
Paul said, that because our warfare is spiritual in nature, our weapons must be spiritual and not fleshly (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). This includes denying our own desire for revenge or feeling we have a right to withhold forgiveness or love. That isn’t easy, but it’s necessary to win the war not just for our situation, but for our own destiny and the purposes of God through us to be fulfilled. I can’t afford to be hateful back at someone who is hurting me. My following the lead of the Holy Spirit in battle, instead of the leading of my flesh, is the reward that I give Christ for His sacrifice for me to be free from the demands of my carnal mind.
As I close, I want to read an excerpt from my book The Believer’s Identity Devotional Handbook. The entry is called “I am Crucified with Christ.”
In Galatians 2:20, the Apostle Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20 NASB)
“To be crucified with Christ means that my old life hangs on the cross with Jesus. It is dead. It is over. It is finished. The old sinful life is buried with all its passions and lusts and rebellion against Elohim. I now live with Christ in me, filling my days with fellowship and purposeful living for the Father’s desires.
“I used to trust in myself, following my own ideas, my own wisdom, and my own way of doing things, but now I put all my trust in Jesus, following Him, and walking in the life He has for me. He gave Himself for me, now I give myself for Him. I commit my way to His leading.
“Jesus, thank You for your life given for me that I might have a new life in You. Show me today any place where I may be living by a dead pattern that has no part in this new life. May Your resurrection life fill me and flow out to touch others.”
Beloved, I want to encourage you that if you have never given your heart and life to Jesus Christ, do so now. He loves you and is waiting to take you to the Father to become His son or daughter as a new creation, and to learn the truth of who He created you to be and His purposes for you.
Remember, it’s your time to rise and shine. The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord cause His face to shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His face to you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)