We are at war! There is a battle going on between the Kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of light. Spiritual warfare suggests opposing forces are fighting a spiritual battle.
Going into battle we need to know something about our enemy and his methods of working, as well as our resources and authority to stand in the evil day.
The premise from which we fight is ‘victory’ Jesus has triumphed in His death and resurrection over the power of the enemy.
See; Col 1v13, 2v15;10
Satan’s power has been broken through the cross.
Destroy does not mean annilation, to do away with, because we know Satan is still around. ‘Running around like a roaring lion…’
The word destroy means render powerless, the headship and authority has been taken of him. Satan has no authority over our lives. He can only work according to the space that we give to him.
Since Satan cannot challenge Christ’s authority, the only option open to him is to challenge the position of the church, and deceive the church.
That is why we are told to ‘stand firm’.
The Bible describes our fight against the devil as warfare. It is not a football game we are engaged in, but a life and death struggle, unlike football our spiritual conflict bears eternal consequences.
We are at war! Six times in Ep 6v10-18 Paul uses the word ‘against’ – a word referring to hand to hand combat emphasising both the intensity of the battle, and the personal nature of the fight.
It is not a spectator sport viewed from a safe distance, we are in the thick of it, whether we know it or not.
Spiritual warfare is not fun and games, in any war to underestimate the enemy is a deadly mistake, we need to have a clear understanding of our position in Christ, and to know how to use the Spiritual weapons that God has given to us.
See; Ep 4v26
‘place/opportunity Greek word ‘Topas’ suggests an area of jurisdiction, in other words giving the enemy an area of influence in our lives.
‘Walk worthy of your calling’ watch your sexual behaviour…unforgiving spirit
Power of suggestion, trying to deceive us into believing a lie (Put on the whole armour of God)
Walk in the power of the Risen Lord ‘That I might know Him and the power of His resurrection’… and to know how to put on the armour of God.
There are four dimensions which must be carefully considered:
- The weapons of our warfare
- Our spiritual authority
- Our engagement with the enemy
- Our plan of action
Weapons of warfare
See; 2 Cor 10v3-4
Terry Law in his book used the illustration of rockets without warheads – not much damage. Rockets need warheads (Our warheads -The name of Jesus- the blood of Christ- the Word of God
Our rockets – prayer – preaching – praise – testimony
Prayer does not have power in and of itself. Jesus said: ‘The heathen prays with vain words, but God does not listen’
The key to the power of prayer resides in the weapon that prayer carries. The power of God to bring down strongholds is the Word of God – the Name of Jesus
Warhead – the Word of God
Notice in all the armour in Ep 6, there is only one weapon of attack that is the Word of God. We need to know the Word and apply it – in prayer –in preaching- testimony- praise
Jesus; ‘It is written…’ (It is better to speak to yourself and listen to your self)
See; 1 Jn 2v14
How did they overcome the wicked one? The connection is very clear, the only way to overcome the wicked one is with the power of God’s word in your heart
Our Spiritual authority
Our identity – ‘in Christ’
‘The kingdom of God is within you’
Christ triumphed over death, that we might rule in life…
See: 1 Jn 5v4
Our engagement with the enemy
What are the rules of engagement? Every army will have rules of engagement
So, it is in the Spiritual realm, we canny go around just doing our own thing.
Jehoshaphat 2 Chr 20 (he knew what to do because he knew the mind of the lord)
Our plan of action
In James 4v7-8 we discover our battle plan. This passage mentions two relationships, the first is up-ward, and the second is outward.
The upward relationship –God
So often we have quoted only the last part of this verse ‘Resit the devil and he will flee from you’ and overlooked the real key to power. We must be willing to humble and submit ourselves to God before we can resit the devil.
‘Draw near to God’
Intimacy in knowing God, knowing the mind of God.
‘Cleanse our hands’ refers to what we do…
Purify our hearts refers to our motives, what we think and feel
The outward relationship –Satan
We only have one active verb – ‘Resist’
Remember what the bible says, it doesn’t say; run away; ignore him’, but resist…
To move out in all levels of warfare, it is essential that we maintain the balance between the up-ward and the outward relationship.