Spiritual Warfare – Part 6

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 

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.

Ephesians 6:11 NKJV Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Paul is using the imperative tense in this text. This means he is not suggesting; rather he is issuing the very strongest kind of command that can be given.

We have a choice – we can reject Paul’s command, or we can accept it and do it.

Ephesians 6:11 NKJV Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

This verse can be accurately translated, “Put on the whole armor that comes from God…

Just as we draw our life, our new nature, and our spiritual power from God, this spiritual armor also comes from God as well. 

The Armor of God is ours by virtue of our relationship with God!

In other words, Paul wanted us to know that this armor originates in God and is freely bestowed upon those who continually draw their life and their existence from God.

As long as our fellowship with the Lord is unbroken, the Power Source for our spiritual weaponry also remains intact. Your unbroken, ongoing fellowship with God is your absolute guarantee that you are constantly and habitually dressed in the whole armor of God. 

Ephesians 6:11 NKJV Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

This phrase comes from the Greek Word “Dunamis”. When we are equipped with the whole armor of God, we have explosive and dynamic power at our command!

To stand means in the spirit we are standing in an upright and victorious position as a Roman Soldier would stand. 

It also means that in a military sense, we are to maintain a critical and strategic military position over a battlefield.

We are to stand guard over the battlefields of our own lives.

(Like the Guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery)

You must stand guard over the will of God for your life! 

Maintain a critical position over the assignment that God has given you until it is completed. You must determine that you will not give the enemy an inch.

Ephesians 6:11 NKJV Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

The most important battlefield of your life is your mind!

There are three words that we all need to know in studying spiritual warfare:

    • Wiles
    • Devices
    • Deception
    1. The word “wiles” comes from the Greek word “methodos”, and it literally means “with a road” or “on a road.”

The enemy does not have as many tricks as he wants us to believe he does.

What Paul is saying to us is that the enemy travels one road, one lane, or one avenue. In other words, he primarily has only one trick in his bag, but he has learned how to use that one trick very well.

If the devil operates on one single avenue, what is the destination that diabolical road is headed toward?

2 Corinthians 2:11 NKJV (11) lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

    1. The word “devices” is the Greek word “noemata” and denotes the insidious plot of the enemy to fill the human mind with confusion.

Another way of saying this is that it bears the notion of “mind games”.

“…we are not ignorant of the mind games that Satan tries to pull on us…”

The devil loves to make a playground out of people’s minds!

He delights in filling their emotions and senses with illusions that captivate their minds and ultimately destroy them. Like Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, we must bring every thought to the captivity of Christ.

We must make a mental decision to take charge of our minds. We must stop listening to ourselves and start speaking to ourselves.

We must speak to our emotions and senses dictating to them exactly what to believe.

The enemy knows that whoever controls a person’s mind also controls that person’s health and emotions.

If we do not renew our minds and yield to the work of the Holy Spirit in our souls, it will be only a matter of time before a solid stronghold of deception begins to dominate and manipulate his self-image, his emotional status, and his overall thinking.

    1. Deception occurs when a person believes the lies that the enemy has been telling him.

For instance, the devil may assault your mind by repeatedly telling you that you are a failure. As long as you resist the demonic allegations, they can and will exert absolutely no power in your life.

The moment someone begins to accept Satan’s lies as truth is the very moment those wicked thoughts and mind games begin to produce the devil’s reality in his life.

When you embrace the devil’s mind games and perceive them as truth, you give power to them!

We begin to put faith in those lies and give them power to create that reality in our lives. The believers’ false perceptions empower the lies, and the devil uses those false beliefs to create his reality in the natural realm in their lives.

Example of Goliath and his Mind Games:

1 Samuel 17:1-11 NKJV Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim. (2) And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines. (3) The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. (4) And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. (5) He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. (6) And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. (7) Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him. (8) Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. (9) If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” (10) And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” (11) When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

1 Samuel 17:16 NKJV And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening.

The devil wants to take you captive and destroy you with the same tools Goliath used against the Israelites. Satan wants to ruin your effectiveness with deceptive suggestions and lying allegations!

Once you pull the plug on Satan’s intimidating threats and lies, he will no longer be able to hold your mind captive. Learn how to SPEAK God’s truth to yourself rather than LISTEN to the enemy’s lies.

The enemy works just as Goliath did, striking repeatedly every day several times a day.

David was not afraid of the Philistine Giant – he was annoyed by Goliath’s verbal arrogance! We must get to this same place. We must grow annoyed at the arrogance of our adversary to constantly malign us with his taunts and lies like David.

Before the giant’s threats had an opportunity to take root in his soul and produce paralyzing fear, David spoke forth his declaration of war against the enemy!

1 Samuel 17:45-47 NKJV Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. (46) This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. (47) Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

The name “Devil” comes from the Greek word “diabolos” and means the repetitive action of hitting something again and again, until the wall is so worn down that it can be thoroughly penetrated.

Make up your mind today that you are someone he will not be able to “wear down” until he can “pave a road” into your mind and confuse your emotions with “mind games.” You are not going to be able to be “deceived” until you believe his threats and false perceptions and cause them to become a reality in your life!

Ephesians 6:12 NKJV 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.

Wrestle (Greek: pale) struggling, wrestling, hand-to-hand fighting

Palestra was a huge complex for combat sports in the day. There were boxers, wrestlers, and pankratists that worked out in these facilities. These were dangerous and barbaric sports; extremely violent. The victories often went to those that killed their opponents. Boxers wore spiked gloves and had serrated blades attached. Wrestlers could break fingers, choke, gouge the face and eyes, etc. Pankratists were a combination of all of the above.

Paul uses this wording to convey to us that this is an intense conflict we are waging.

Whoever fights the hardest and the meanest and whoever lasts the longest is the winner in your confrontation with the enemy. Therefore, you had better be equipped, alert, and prepared before the fight begins.

We stated earlier that the majority of spiritual warfare is with the flesh and the mind. Is this a conflict with this thought?

Absolutely not.

Our real adversaries are an unseen host of wicked spirits that are working behind the scenes. However, they can’t do anything unless our flesh cooperates with them. That’s why they come to tempt, seduce, deceive, and assault our flesh and our minds.

By living a crucified, sanctified life on a continual basis, we are able to neutralize any attack the enemy would try to wage against our flesh. 

Ephesians 6:12 NKJV 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.

Notice that Paul (by the Holy Spirit) uses the word against four times in this verse. When the Holy Spirit repeats Himself, he is trying to emphasize something because it is important.

The word “against”, is used because it depicts a forward position or a face-to-face encounter. 

Paul tells us there are four classifications of demon spirits: 

    1. Principalities
    2. Powers
    3. Rulers of the darkness of this world
    4. Spiritual wickedness in high places

At some point in our Christian experience, we will come into direct contact with evil forces.

    1. Principalities – “achas” – denotes ancient times and they are at the top of Satan’s domain and they have held their lofty positions of power and authority ever since Lucifer fell.
    2. Powers – “exousia” – delegated authority. These demons have delegated authority to carry out all manner of evil and wickedness.
    3. Rulers of the darkness of this world – “kosmokrateros” – the rank and file demon spirits organized as a military force. It has to do with discipline, organization, and commitment.
    4. Spiritual wickedness in high places – bad, vile, malevolent, vicious, or malignant. These spirits are sent forth from the spirit realm to afflict humanity in all manner of bad, vile, vicious and malignant ways.

If we have the power and authority of Jesus Christ over all of these forces, then why is so much of the church living defeated lives? It is because they often have something we do not.

As Christians, we have no power shortage, nor are we short of God-given authority. We simply have a great lack of discipline, organization, and commitment. 

Once we match the discipline, organization, and commitment that the enemy possesses in his camp, we will begin to move into the awesome demonstrations of God’s power. 

Our lack of commitment and the secret places of our lives that have never been fully surrendered will stop us dead in our tracks whenever we try to deal with the devil’s attacks. 

On the other hand, when we choose to live holy and surrendered lives – carefully guarding our minds and equipping ourselves with the whole armor of God, we become AWESOME weapons in the hands of an Almighty God!

God has not left us naked before the enemy! 

God has given us spiritual weaponry that has the ability to counterattack and defeat any scheme that the devil would try to use against us! 

Ephesians 6:14 NKJV Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 

The Loin-belt of Truth 

The loin-belt was the least attractive, the least noticeable, and the most boring piece of armor that the Roman Soldier wore.

Even today, the belt seems to be an insignificant thing. Without it though, your pants fall down, your shirt comes untucked and you would look like a mess.

The loin-belt was the most vital part of all the weaponry that the soldier wore. The loin-belt held it all together!

The loin-belt of truth is the written Word of God!

It is also the only visible piece of armor we have.

When you ignore the Word of God and cease to apply it to your life on a daily basis, you have willfully chosen to let your entire spiritual life come apart at the seams. 

You absolutely cannot function as a believer without the Word of God having an active and central role in your life. You may run on a little steam from the past for a while, but you won’t run very far.

The Bible must be the governor, the law, the ruler, and the “final say-so” in your life.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Paul tells us the inspired Word of God will equip us with the “gear” we need in order to walk in the power of God and to maintain our victorious position over the devil. 

For the believer that neglects the Word of God, it is only a matter of time before they feel very condemned in every area of their lives. 

Hebrews 5:12-13 NKJV For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. (13) For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.

Need peace? Let the Word dwell richly in your heart.

Colossians 3:15-16 NKJV (15) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. (16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Want strong faith? Get in the Word on a daily basis. 

Romans 10:17 NKJV So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

This is hearing on a continuous basis. If you want strong faith on a daily basis, then get in God’s Word and stay there.

If you do not have the loin-belt of truth positioned in your life, you will not be able to walk in the other pieces of weaponry God has given you.