Spiritual Warfare – Part 4

In this series, we are going to deal with the subject of spiritual warfare and bring correct, biblical teaching to this often-misunderstood subject.

As a point of reference, we will be referring to content from the following books:

Dressed to Kill
by Pastor Rick Renner


The Triumphant Church
by Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin

  • We must always remember that the real battle with Satan was won at the Cross and the resurrection by Jesus Christ.
  • We must approach spiritual warfare from a place of already obtained victory (by Jesus) instead of trying to get the victory.

There are three different aspects to spiritual warfare:

  • Taking control of our minds
  • Crucifying the flesh
  • Dealing with the enemy
  • Whatever the devil does, Jesus wants to match that attack with an even greater blessing and victory in your life!
  • 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.

As you grow and your understanding of God’s Word begins to increase, you will probably have many opportunities to use your faith and to resist the devil.

Don’t be surprised by pre-emptive strikes.

Don’t be surprised when the attack comes and Satan whispers to your mind no one else has gone through the difficulties you are going through right now. This is a trick to make you fix your eyes on yourself.

1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT (13) The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.

A fight nearly always follows illumination.

Mark 4:14-15 NKJV The sower sows the word. (15) And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.

Your knowledge of how and when Satan attacks will equip you to deal with these assaults more intelligently.

James 1:2 NLT Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

Notice this verse says “when” and implies that these attacks will come. The Greek tense suggests:

    • These attacks normally come when you least expect them.
    • They usually come from a direction you would have never dreamed of in a million years.
    • They are specifically designed to catch you off guard and to take you by surprise.

Remember, we said that it is possible to have a strategy for dealing with these attacks.

2 Corinthians 10:4 NKJV (4) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

If you are mentally prepared and alert to how the enemy operates and to the potential of attack, you have already eliminated half of the battle.

Having a strategy and being mentally prepared eliminates the element of surprise. This will always give you the upper hand against the enemy.

As long as we do nothing for God, we can be confident that we will face no challenge from the enemy.

However, when we do begin to do what God has called us to do and start experiencing a measure of success in it, we must stay mentally alert and aware.

Luke 4:13 AMP And when the devil had ended every [the complete cycle of] temptation, he [temporarily] left Him [that is, stood off from Him] until another more opportune and favorable time.

But we can know, when the attack comes, we can overcome in every situation and God has a way to make the plans and attacks of the enemy backfire on him.

Romans 8:35-37 NKJV Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written: “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE KILLED ALL DAY LONG; WE ARE ACCOUNTED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER.” (37) Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

“More than a conqueror…” comes from the compound Greek word: “hupernikos”.

“Huper” is where we get our word “super”. This word means over, above, beyond, way beyond measure. It conveys the idea of superiority, higher, better, more than a match for. It means to be first-rate, top-notch, un-surpassed, un-equaled, and un-rivaled by any person or thing.

Putting these two words together means that we are: greater conquerors, superior conquerors, more than a match for any foe. We are utmost conquerors, paramount conquerors, first-rate conquerors, top-notch conquerors, un-surpassed conquerors, un-equaled and un-rivaled conquerors.

In other words, we win!

There are many cases in the Scriptures where the attacks of the enemy backfired on him.

Example of Paul in prison in Rome and pens the Epistles of the New Testament that have laid the foundation for the Church.

James 3:13-16 NLT If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. (14) But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. (15) For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. (16) For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

2 Timothy 2:23-26 NLT Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. (24) A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. (25) Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. (26) Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.

While Paul was imprisoned at Rome, he literally was chained to a fully dressed, lethally trained, and armed Roman Soldier. That is why in Ephesians he so clearly addresses the armor of God. He had a clear point of reference.

In his letter to the church at Ephesus we see some things that are clearly addressed in specific ways to this church.

In Chapter 1, we see the following doctrinal truths covered:

  • Election
  • Predestination
  • Adoption
  • The seal of the Holy Spirit
  • The earnest inheritance of the Spirit
  • Our complete, glorified redemption

In Chapter 2, we also see:

  • The reality of spiritual death and its fruit
  • The intervention of God’s rich mercy
  • The doctrine of grace versus man’s works
  • The redemptive work of the Cross
  • The foundation of the apostles and prophets in the New Testament Church

In chapters 3, 4 and 5 we see:

  • The mystery of Christ revealed
  • The eternal plan of God
  • The unity of one Spirit, one Lord, one faith and one baptism
  • The ministry gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers and their ultimate purpose
  • Renewing of the mind and putting on the new man
  • Grieving the Holy Spirit
  • Being continually filled with the Holy Spirit
  • God’s plan for husbands and wives and the corresponding example of Christ and His Church

Then we see Paul write in Ephesians 6:

Ephesians 6:10 NKJV Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

The word “finally” in the Greek language lets us know there might have been a problem in this early church.

The word “finally” in the Greek language means the familiar saying, “If you don’t get anything else out of what I am saying to you, get this…”

Why would he have said this?

The believers in this church were not unlike a lot of believers today. They had gathered a vast amount of doctrinal knowledge, information and facts, yet they were still defeated in their lives.

In Ephesians 4 we see issues such as:

  • “…Putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor…” (Eph. 4:25)
  • “…Let not the sun go down on your wrath…” (Eph. 4:26)
  • “…neither give place to the devil…” (Eph. 4:27)
  • “…let him that stole steal no more…” (Eph. 4:28)
  • “…let no corrupt communication come out of your mouths…” (Eph. 4:29)
  • “…Grieve not the Holy Spirit…” (Eph. 4:30)
  • “…let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice…” (Eph. 4:31)

Brief History of the church at Ephesus:

  • Founded by Paul where he stayed for three years raising up elders to lead the church.
  • After Paul’s departure, Timothy was sent to pastor the church.
  • The Apostle John was a member there and because of his assignment, brought Mary, the mother of Jesus there.
  • It was the largest church in existence at the time
  • Great men and women such as Peter, Apollos, Aquila, and Priscilla came and ministered there.

With all of these rich spiritual resources available, there the Christians were still not living the victorious lives Jesus planned for them.

Could it have been that they were spiritually lopsided?

They were mature and developed in the realm of doctrine but had failed to develop in other critical areas.

As the Early Church leaders developed, analyzed, and taught sound doctrine inside the church at large, they also needed to equip the saints to deal with the hostile surroundings outside the church.

While the Ephesian believers were growing in their intellectual understanding of the Word, they needed to simultaneously grow in their understanding of spiritual armor and spiritual conflict.

The needed to start acting on the knowledge they had obtained.

  • They needed to learn how to take their intellectual understanding of the Word of God and turn it into a “sword of the Spirit.”
  • They desperately needed to grab hold of the faith they intellectually possessed and turn it into a “shield of faith.”
  • Their knowledge of salvation had to be forged into a “helmet of salvation.”
  • Their understanding of God’s marvelous grace still needed to be transformed into a “breastplate of righteousness.”

Ephesians 6:10 NKJV Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

“Brethren” – Greek: adelphos

Means: “You and I are brothers! We came out of the same womb of humanity. We have the same feelings; we have similar emotions; and we deal with the same problems of life…”

Paul was identifying with these believers and their personal struggles and their victories.

In Greek culture, to call someone “brother” like this was a high honor. It was saying, “Like me, you are still in the fight and are giving it your best shot. Therefore, I am personally proud to be affiliated with people like you.”

It isn’t how well we fight that really counts in life. What really counts is that we keep on fighting.

This “never give up” kind of attitude will eventually produce victory for us every time.

Ephesians 6:10 NKJV Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

“Strong” – Greek: en-dunamis – Means: being infused with and excessive does of dynamic inner strength and ability

We are specifically designed by God to be receptacles of His divine power.

Paul used the present passive imperative tense in these words.

He was commanding them to receive this power. He was commanding them to open their hearts to receive a brand-new touch of God’s power into their lives.

The passive tense describes it as an ongoing, lasting effect of this power upon their lives.

Paul was commanding all believers to:

    • “Be infused with supernatural strength and ability.”
    • “Be empowered with this special touch of God’s strength.”
    • “You must receive this inner strengthening.”

Why was he so emphatic about this? Because he knew that we need to receive this power before our fight commences.

Without the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit operating in us, not one of us can ever be a match against Satan’s schemes and devices.

Satan is intelligent, keen, brilliant, canny, cunning, quick, brainy and shrewd. He is strong, capable, influencing, and determined. He is a wise strategist, orderly planning and arranging systematic assaults against humanity. He is the epitome of an opportunist, knowing when to strike with his destructive power.

When the Holy Spirit’s supernatural strength is released within us, we are empowered to deal victoriously with this archenemy of the faith.

Yes, it is true that Jesus stripped him of his authority but his intelligence is very much still intact.

This is superhuman power for a superhuman task!

In Greek culture, this word “endunamoo” would have been used in Greek writings for someone like Hercules who demonstrated superhuman strength.

Our only hope of reinforcing Jesus’ victory and demonstrating Satan’s defeat is by receiving the help of the special, supernatural power.