Spiritual Warfare Is Best Done With Others
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV
The attacks we are seeing right now in the world are definitely not from God. This is the enemy, and God is getting the blame.
To prepare ourselves for reaching the world with Gods love, we will need to rid ourselves of things we might have in common with the spirits of fear, lack of love and judging others. This is a 3-cord strategy against the enemy!
As we do this, we will gain greater authority to minister to others and receive a clearer vision of what God is doing.
Remember, even if things look bleak right now, God is moving behind the scenes! These examples of spiritual warfare in the Bible will help you move forward with confidence.
P.S. Spiritual warfare doesnt have to be scary. I have just what you need to start practicing spiritual warfare safely! Join me for my Spiritual Warfare Masterclass and learn how to reveal and remove attacks coming against you. Click here to learn more!
Doug Addison is the founder and president of InLight Connection. Doug is a prophetic speaker, author and coach. He is known for his Daily Prophetic Words,Spirit Connection webcast, podcast and blog. He and his wife Linda live in Los Angeles, California where they are impacting the arts, entertainment and media industries.
Why It’s Important To Pray
Priscilla believes the enemy often attacks us at points of strength, influence and weakness. So, we need to prayerfully discern where the attacks are likely to come from, and take measures to defend ourselves in the power of God’s strength.
“Consider your areas of greatest strength and greatest weakness. Keep a close eye on both of these areas and safeguard yourself through prayer. These areas are likely the places where you can expect the enemy to target his attacks against you. When you know where to look, you can see him coming a mile away. He’s really not that clever. He’s just cunning,” she said.
We’re fighting a spiritual war with an enemy whose primary tactic is deception. This enemy can be defeated through the spiritual resources God provides, and these resources are activated and empowered through prayer.
“Prayer is simply an outpouring of your heart to God and then making room in your life to hear back from Him in His Word and as He orchestrates your circumstances. God wants to have a conversation with you. He longs to hear what is really on your heart. He wants openness and honesty.”
How Do We Take Every Thought Captive To The Obedience Of Christ
Philippians 4:8 helps us understand how to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
To win the battles of our mind, Paul tells us to have our mind think about the things from this list:
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Taking Spiritual Warfare Seriously
Spiritual warfare is serious business. Thats why you need to be careful in the way you approach it. You need to be aware that God has an enemy who is committed to making you ineffective by whatever means necessary.
But you need to remember that its not your battle. Like a sheep surrounded by wolves, you are safest when you remain close to the Good Shepherd Jesus. Its when you get off on your own that you are at your most vulnerable.
The enemy is on the warpath because he knows his time is short . Its true that hes doing a lot of damage right now, but hes in full retreat. The good news is that the victory is the Lords. He has already dismantled the enemys kingdom. And, for that, you should rejoice.
We Find Our Security In The Matchless Work Of Christ
This comes through knowing and trusting in Gods holy Word, the Bible. When Jesus Himself was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, He rightly applied biblical texts to his situation. It is written, Jesus said to silence His tempter . We can do the same by wielding what Paul called, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God .
I have committed to memory several texts that speak to Christs victory of Satan as it pertains to me. For example, John says that the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world . Christ in us is greater than Satan. When I am weighed down by fear or discouragement , I often recite, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me. Bless his holy name . In so doing, I focus on God and worship Him, which is always a tonic for spiritual depression or dejection.
Pastors are shepherds who need to teach their flocks how to protect themselves against wolves, both human and demonic. By teaching their congregations on the nature of the spiritual world and how to navigate through demonic turbulence, they help equip the saints for works of service . By knowing and living in the truth, Christians can discern the ways of darkness and expose them with the light of the Gospel.
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Jesus Combined Prayer With Fasting
Fasting can help raise your awareness of your need to depend on God. The Bible teaches that fasting can enhance your ability to hear from God as you prioritize Him above your physical needs.
Its worth noting that Jesus was fasting during His forty days in the wilderness. This was immediately before Jesus began His public ministry. The devil must have felt threatened by what Jesus was doing given the efforts He went to trying to distract Jesus from His mission. Jesus saw fasting as a weapon of spiritual warfare.
Fasting is something that needs to be undertaken wisely given the physical implications. Learn more about this aspect of spiritual warfare by exploring our Fasting Starter Kit.
Prayer tip:Look up verses in the Bible about Jesus praying and make a list of ideas that you can try yourself. Take time this week to practice one of the lessons you learn from Jesus example.
How To Pray: Be Raw Frank And Real With God
“Your prayer needs to be authentic and heartfelt. There is no need for ten-dollar words and poetic prose. Just be raw, frank, and real with God,” she said. “I believe prayer works. Prayer has been more effective in my life than human solutions. Time, and time and time again, I’ve seen that lasting change comes only through prayer. When I pray release it into His hands God accomplishes what I can’t do in my own strength.”
Priscilla believes prayer is absolutely crucial to knowing God, relating to Him and experiencing His power and grace in your everyday life.
“Prayer is how we see heaven invade earth. It’s what opens up the floodgates for God to come down and be involved in our everyday circumstances.”
Article courtesy of HomeLife magazine.
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Believers Stand Firm By Knowing The Enemy
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
A crucial part of every army is the intelligence branch. Those who work in intel gather information about the enemy so the army can be equipped and prepared. In Ephesians 6:11-12, Paul gives intel about our enemy so we can be equipped to stand firm in this war.
Paul mentions the devils schemes . The word schemes in the Greek is methodia, from which we get the English word method. It carries the idea of craftiness, cunning, and deception. It was used of a wild animal who cunningly stalked and then unexpectedly pounced on its prey. Satans evil schemes are built around stealth and deception.5
Paul refers to awareness of the devils schemes in 2 Corinthians 2:11: in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. In order for believers to not be outwitted and to stand firm, they must know their enemy and his schemes.
InterpretationQuestion: What are some of the devils schemeshis methods?
God And The Devil Are In Conflict
In the Bible, the Gospel of Matthew offers a glimpse behind the curtain into the conflict between these two kingdoms:
Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, Could this be the Son of David?But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.
The man brought to Jesus in this story is blind and mute. These are conditions naturally attributed to physical causes but not necessarily considered signs of demonic oppression. In this case, Matthew says demonic oppression was the reason for these problems.
In response to Jesus freeing the man from his demon and healing his blindness and muteness, a group of religious leaders called the Pharisees accuse Jesus of using Satans power to drive out demons. They say He is trying to fool people into following Him. But Jesus answers them:
Jesus tells the Pharisees that what theyre saying doesnt make any sense. Theres a lot at stake in this conflict, and Satan isnt playing games. The very fact that Jesus is casting out demons should be seen as a confirmation of His message that the kingdom of God has come.
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Jesus Created Space To Be Alone With God
Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Many times in the Gospels, Jesus withdrew from situations we can interpret as scenes of spiritual warfare. One example is when Jesus heard the news that His cousin, John the Baptist, had been killed by Herod. It never says that He retreated from His enemy. Instead, He withdrew from a particular place.
There is nothing wrong with praying in a coffee shop or while walking in a public place. But its important to take regular time alone with God, preferably as free from distractions as possible.
Jesus wanted to give God His full attention and spend time with His heavenly Father. If even Jesus needed to withdraw from crowds and His friends to be alone with God and Jesus is God how much more do His followers need to do the same?
Taking time alone with God reminds us that He is ready and waiting to spend time alone with us, healing our wounds and renewing our strength.
Watch this video to learn more about praying with your Bible and a journal.
What Does The Bible Say About Our Allies
In every battle, there is an enemy, but God did not leave us to fight alone. Scripture teaches that we have three allies:
The Holy Spirit
Our greatest ally of all is the Spirit of the Lord that lives in every believer. That Spirit motivates and moves us to live in obedience to Christ, it calls out to the Father when our prayers fall short, and it guarantees our entry into eternal life.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
-1 John 4:4 NIV Full Chapter
More Bible verses about spiritual warfare: John 14:26, Romans 8:26, Acts 2:38
The Body of Believers
Ive always loved the picture of friendship in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. All three members of the fellowship help to carry the burden of the ring. Its an excellent visual for what the body of believers is like. We carry each others burdens, we call each other higher in Christ, and we love each other like Christ. It truly is amazing how powerful the body is when we are unified in the Spirit.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
-Romans 12:1-5 NIV Full Chapter
More Bible verses about spiritual warfare: Acts 2:42-47, Hebrews 10:24-25, Colossians 3:16
-Hebrews 1:14 NIV Full Chapter
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The Holy Spirits Role In Spiritual Warfare
God is three persons in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the most often misunderstood member of this Trinity. But to experience consistent victory in spiritual warfare, its crucial to know and understand His role in your life.
After Jesus was raised from death, He appeared to His closest friends and followers. They were scared and confused. They did not know what was going to happen to them because they felt surrounded by enemies, including the Jewish authorities. But Jesus knew this, and He knew the spiritual battles that lay ahead of them.
As He met with them, He commissioned them for the work of making Him known throughout the world the same work Christians today are invited to join and one of the reasons Satan is so determined to wage war on Christians.
Jesus wanted His friends to have peace and clarity for their spiritual battles. So He told them that their greatest source of strength, His Holy Spirit, would now live within them: Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you. And with that He breathed on them and said, Receive the Holy Spirit .
We rightly think of God as someone completely separate and different from humanity. But Jesus entered our humanity and experienced the same struggles we do. When He was leaving to return to His Father in heaven, He left us with the greatest gift He could. He offered each of us the chance to experience His own presence living within us His Holy Spirit.
We Must Recognize Our Weakness
If we dont recognize our insufficiency for this battle, we wont put on Gods strength and character. Therefore, to prepare us for a lifetime of battle, God often allows us to go through pain, trials, and failure first to show us our weakness. Paul said this in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 about Gods response to his request to take away the thorn in the flesh:
But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christs power may rest on me. That is why, for Christs sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Often trials are meant to reveal our weakness so we can see our need for more of Gods power and character.
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On The Cross Jesus Won The War
There are multiple times in the Bible when Jesus calls the devil the prince of this world . Before Jesus ministry began, He traveled into the wilderness alone. There, Satan came and tempted Him by showing Him all the kingdoms of the world and saying, I will give You all their authority and splendor it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If You worship me, it will all be Yours .
Jesus didnt challenge the truth of this statement because the devil really does have authority over the world. Instead, He quoted Deuteronomy 6:13 in response: It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only .
When Jesus asked the Pharisees, How can anyone enter a strong mans house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? He was addressing a significant problem. To bring humanity away from the power of Satan and back to a relationship with God, He would have to deal with Satans power and influence among the kingdoms of the world.
Paul, a follower of Jesus who wrote several of the books of the Bible, says that Jesus dealt with Satans power and influence when He died on the cross. Writing to a group of Christians in one city, he said:
This helps explain why Jesus described His purpose this way: The Son of Man which is what Jesus often called Himself did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many .
To top it off, Jesus didnt even stay dead. He rose from the dead.
We Must Know That The War Has Already Been Won And We Must Fight With Christs Authority
Another important reality that every believer must understand when fighting this battle is that the war is already won. Therefore, we are not fighting to win, but because weve won. We see this taught in many texts, including the following:
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
This is important to understand so that we dont become discouraged and quit. Christ has already won this battle on the cross. Satanthe serpentbit his heel, but Jesus crushed the serpents head by his own death and resurrection . He disarmed the evil powers and authorities, and was raised up in authority over them. Christians must remember this.
ApplicationQuestions: Why is it important to be on the offensive in spiritual warfare? What is your motivation to fight?
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