- The Scripture instructs us to deal with the unseen, invisible forces that have been positioned against us.
(John 10:10 NKJV) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
(Ephesians 6:12 NLT) For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
- Setting people free from Satan’s power is a primary concern of Jesus Christ, and it should be a concern of ours as well.
(1 John 3:8 NKJV) … For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
(Acts 10:38 NKJV) how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
There is actually much more to spiritual warfare than just dealing with the devil.
There are three different aspects to spiritual warfare:
- Taking control of our minds
- Crucifying the flesh
- Dealing with the enemy
- The truth is, the devil’s attacks against our lives would not work if our flesh did not cooperate.
(Colossians 3:5 NKJV) Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
(Romans 6:1-2, 7 NKJV) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? (2) Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (7) For he who has died has been freed from sin.
The words “war” and “warfare” are only used 5 times in all of the new testament. Not once were they used in the Gospels during Jesus ministry.
In light of this, it is abundantly clear that the New Testament usage of the words “war” and “warfare” primarily has to do with conquering the flesh and taking charge of our minds.
Yes, the devil may attack the mind, and he may attempt to energize the flesh to work against us. However, if we will keep our minds and our flesh under the control of the Holy Spirit, most of the spiritual warfare we encounter in life will have already been settled.
(2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV) (3) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. (4) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, (5) casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
In these verses, the devil is not mentioned one time.
Battling the flesh can be a war.
- Living the crucified life is a critical part of spiritual warfare.
Pastor Rick Renner says in his book Dressed to Kill:
“A person can scream at the devil all day long, but if that person has willfully permitted some area of his mind to go unchecked and unguarded – if he is aware of sin but has not been willing to deal with it – he has opened the door for an attack on himself.
In that case, all his prayers against the devil will be to no avail because his real enemy is not the devil. Rather it is his own carnal mind and flesh which must be submitted to the control of the Holy Spirit in order to eradicate these attacks.
“If people only focus on the devil as they pursue the subject of spiritual warfare and fail to consider other equally as important areas, their emphasis on spiritual warfare can and will be very damaging to them.”
- We must approach spiritual warfare from a place of already obtained victory (by Jesus) instead of trying to get the victory.
We must base our understanding on the sound teachings of the Bible.
Example – teachings that the best ways to deal with demonic forces in the heavenlies or the prince of the power of the air, we must climb to the highest floors of skyscrapers or rent an airplane so we can get where they are.
If this is necessary and how it is done, then Jesus never got the victory over the devil or used any authority because none of those things existed in His day.
Yet somehow, Jesus was able to fully carry out His earthly ministry and fulfill God’s will.
- We must always remember that the real battle with Satan was won at the Cross and the resurrection by Jesus Christ.
- This same victorious Christ who single handedly defeated the devil lives in us in the person of the Holy Spirit!
(1 John 4:4 NKJV) You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
(Colossians 2:11-12, 15 NKJV) (11) In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, (12) buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. (15) Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
Greek translation: He completely stripped principalities and powers and left them utterly naked with nothing left at their disposal to retaliate. Jesus boldly, confidently, and loudly exposed and displayed this now defunct foe to Heaven’s hosts.
Satan tried to destroy the Church at its inception – and it is certain that he will try to attack and victimize the Church as we approach the coming of the Lord.
- Just as the early church arose in the power of the Spirit to meet the challenge, so will we!
(1 John 5:4 NKJV) For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.
The reality is the harder the devil hit the early Church the more it thrived, grew and multiplied. The same will happen today!
- No evil force has ever prevailed over the power of God or the people of God, and it never will!