Spiritual warfare is the cosmic war that the adversary perpetually wages, especially against the believer. We live in a hostile territory. As believers therefore, we must learn to resist the devil, stand our grounds, knowing that there is no escaping this fight, which is why we have been called to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6:12). There is a horrendous cosmic war going on in the invisible heavenly realm, that dwarfs any of the fiercest battles you have ever seen or heard of. You either learn to fight or you are trapped! You have no choice.
The following are some of the key elements of Spiritual Warfare:
Spiritual warfare is fought in the heavens. Gen 1:1 tells us there are heavens and 2 Cor 12:1-4 tells us there is a 3rd heaven, where God’s throne is. If there is a 3rd heaven, there must be a 1st which is the one we can see and a 2nd, which is where all these fights are taking place.
The source of the conflicts is Lucifer, the adversary, the devil, that is, Satan. Isa 14:12-21 unveils the devil’s schemes, all emanating from his pride. The way up in this kingdom is to go down. Without humility, there can be no exaltation – 1Pet 5:6. Pride brings anyone down –Pro 29:23; and before destruction, ego or haughtiness comes. The humiliation of the devil arose from his pride. We too must flee from pride, so we don’t lose in spiritual warfare. Pride has ruined so many people, including King Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 4), Haman in the book of Esther, etc.
Eze 28:1-19 repeated again and again the primary word, “I”, that led to the fall of the devil. Its important you check your fondness for “I”. The devil who is after Jesus, the Son, made many to hate Him and to kill Him, thinking he had triumphed. But 1Cor 2:8 says had he known, he would not have crucified Jesus. Jesus rose, stripped and publicly paraded him – Col 1:15-16. Self-centeredness leads to unnecessary evil ambitions that result in disasters because they only open us up to the devil.
Dan 10 proves to us where the battles are fought –in the Heaven, between the first and third Heavens. It also reveals that every time you pray, you are initiating a fight, just like Daniel did. It shows the intensity of the fight and the power of fasting in spiritual warfare, that it is not a religious cliché. Ezra 8:21-23 shows that prayer and fasting works. Jesus did not commence His ministry until He had fasted. Fasting remains a potent spiritual force you must never ignore, especially in spiritual warfare.
There are seven weapons of our warfare.
1.Gird your waist with TRUTH. Be honest. Say it as it is. Beware of religious clichés. Be sincere. Tell it as it is. Jn 1:17 says grace and truth came by Jesus. 2 Cor 13:8 says there is nothing we can do against the truth but for it. Never use the devil’s weapon, that is, lies – Jn 8:44 says when the devil lies, he is doing what is consistent with his character. Lies can never win in spiritual battles. Be truthful – always!
2.Put on the breastplate of righteousness. While our righteousness is a gift (Rom 5:17; 2Co4 5:21), making us the righteousness of God, this righteousness should lead us to live right, not wrong. 1 Pet 2:24, having died to sin, we live for righteousness, what is right. We don’t partake in evil under the pretense that we are righteous. To do so is to lose in spiritual warfare. You will never win in a battle by using the devil’s weapons against him. Think, say, do what is right and victory is sure.
3.Gospel of peace. We are God’s Ambassadors anywhere we are, as instruments of peace. Mat 5:9 says blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God, and it is this kind of people that the devil cannot stand. Be the salt and light in your world for Jesus Christ.
4.The shield of faith with which we are able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. I like this: faith quenches all. Not a wobbly, shaky faith, but a resolute, unmoving, rugged faith in God, no matter what the adversary throws at you! Yes, faith wins 100% of the time. Notice that it’s a shield, covering your vital organs, when you are behind that cover.
5.The helmet of salvation, protecting your mind from wrong self-talk, listening to the devil’s lies. Prov 4:23 warns us to guard our minds and hearts because from it flows the springs of life. The greatest battle you will ever win will be in your mind. If you lose it there, you will fail every where else. Guard your mind from wrong thoughts.
6.The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. This is referring to the Rhema – the spoken word of God. Unless you speak the Word like Jesus did when the devil came against Him, you will rob yourself of victory in spiritual warfare. You have to say what God says, even if it doesn’t make sense, knowing that God’s Word doesn’t ever return void (Isa 55:11), because God watches over it to perform it (Jer 1:12). If you keep saying what God says, what God says will eventually prevail.
7.Praying always – not sometimes. We are to pray without ceasing – 1The 5:17. Why do you worry when you can pray? Prayer wins, if you don’t quit. Prayer has no limits. It’s our inter-continental ballistic missile. It reaches anywhere. Pray and fuel your prayers with fasting.
Acts 4 unveils a profound warfare reality for us to see, just like a movie. A 40 year old crippled man had been healed in Jesus name, as a result of which Peter preached Christ and the resurrection from the dead and five thousand people got converted into faith in Christ. But the devil, using the rulers and elders, launched a severe attack against Peter and John, instructing them not to preach or teach in the name of Jesus.
O friend, the world system can handle and cope when you mention any name, for as long as it is not the name of Jesus. In spiritual warfare, that is the name that is higher than any other name (Phil 2:9). It’s the name that shakes the gates of hell and unleashes triumph in a most impossible situation. They can tolerate your using any other name, for as long as it’s not Jesus. But don’t you ever yield. Keep calling that name and hell’s onslaughts will be neutralized.
The question is, did Peter yield to their intimidation? Certainly not! As a matter of fact, in one accord with their friends, they bombarded heaven’s gates with bold requests for interventions, their prayer was so powerful the place they were gathered began to shake (Acts 4:31).
Need I say that prayer is the all embracing weapon that encompasses all your weapons of warfare? Prayer changes things. Never tell me there is nothing else you can do when you can pray. Prayer has absolutely no boundaries. It is our intercontinental ballistic missile. Use it. You don’t have to worry when you can pray. A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian and therefore one the devil tramples. Prayer and fuel your prayers with fasting. Hear this: Those that have learned to bow before God will never be bowed by men. You want to be bold, to take giant strides, to live a God-glorifying life? Pray and pray and pray.
In closing, let me remind you that you have already been enlisted in this battle. The devil has marked you and he’s out to get you, if you will not use your weapons of warfare, the name of Jesus, His blood, etc. Rise up and fight for victory is sure for those that will not relent or look back. The Lord is for you, He is with you, in you, and if the Lord be for you, every adversity will fail! Rise up and fight