(Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (11) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (13) 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.
- The Scripture instructs us to deal with the unseen, invisible forces that have been positioned against us.
There are three different aspects to spiritual warfare:
- Taking control of our minds
- Crucifying the flesh
- Dealing with the enemy
- We must approach spiritual warfare from a place of already obtained victory (by Jesus) instead of trying to get the victory.
(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.
- We must always remember that the real battle with Satan was won at the Cross and the resurrection by Jesus Christ.
How Real Warfare Begins
- The Holy Spirit is faithful to show us of any areas in our lives that leave us vulnerable for attack.
(John 16:7 AMPC) However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].
He will urge us to repent and change before the devils builds strongholds in our thinking. However, it is still up to us to see that these opened doors are slammed shut and forever closed.
- Most battles are fought and won because we are faithful to heed the Holy Spirit’s warnings to deal with some area of our lives before it got out of control.
- Spiritual warfare is not a momentary gust of emotion to temporarily frighten away the devil.
It is not so much an action as it is a determined and committed attitude of the mind.
- Real spiritual warfare is a specific condition of the mind that involves a lifelong commitment.
In spite of all of the attacks that Apostle Paul withstood, he never failed morally or compromised in his ministry. Paul’s personal consecration to the Lord was his greatest defense against the enemy.
Nothing in him cooperated with the devil’s devices and temptations. Paul’s personal holiness paralyzed the devil’s ability to make Paul fall morally.
- Some have gotten off course where spiritual warfare is concerned because they are looking for a “quick fix” to change their deeply rooted, habitual, and often self-imposed problems.
There is no such thing as the instant cure. It is a process!
- Sometimes there are genuine attacks on our lives from the enemy that catch us off guard when we are doing everything that we know to do in obedience to the Lord.
Anytime you are on the frontlines of battle and are doing something significant for the Kingdom of God, the enemy’s attacks against your life will escalate.
We see that this happened in Jesus ministry:
Mark 4:35-41 NKJV On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” (36) Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. (37) And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. (38) But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (39) Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. (40) But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (41) And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
In verse 37, the phrase, “And a great windstorm arose…” comes from the Greek word “ginomai” which means “something that happens unexpectedly or something that catches one off guard.”
These disciples were fisherman and based on their experience did not expect a storm that night. These winds over-took them unexpectedly.
Mark 4:37 says that it was a great windstorm. Wind cannot be seen but they certainly could feel the effects of it.
Jesus was on His way to Gadara where the Gadarene demoniac lived. The enemy wanted to stop Jesus from being able to deliver one of his prized possessions and thus perform a great miracle.
So when Jesus was on the edge of a breakthrough, this un-expected attack of violent and destructive turbulence came down upon Him and His disciples to kill and destroy.
The devil didn’t want Jesus to arrive at the country of the Gadarenes. This was a preemptive strike of the devil to undo the work of God.
- This attack of the enemy came right before one of Jesus’ greatest triumphs in ministry.
So, what do you do when an attack like this arises?
Make sure that you have left no doors open for the attack by obeying the Spirit’s promptings in the various areas of your life.
Then, like the Lord Jesus, you must rise up to take authority over the wind and the waves.
Mark 4:39 NKJV Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
- When everything was said and done, Jesus matched a great storm with a great calm.
- Whatever the devil does, Jesus wants to match that attack with an even greater blessing and victory in your life!