Today I got an angry text from someone. As I stopped to pray before answering, certain things became clear the foremost being this was spiritual warfare.
Arguments happen with family members, business associates and other relationships. They can result in ugly confrontations. Years ago I was shocked as I read in my Bible that when we fight it is not against the people we are talking to but against but the evil powers feeding that person lies. You think I am crazy? Listen to what the Word of GOD says.
“We fight not against flesh and blood (human people) but against rulers, against authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 ESV).
Spiritual warfare is not just about casting out demons in others, it has to do with living life and tearing down the strongholds in our own lives (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
Twenty three years ago the church I attended had flags of different countries which hung from the ceiling in the sanctuary. On Wednesday nights, after a short talk on prayer, we would walk around the sanctuary and pray. Sometimes I would come early to pray and it was there, praying for the countries of the 10/40 Window, that I met Beverly Pegues. She had been asked to head up the Christian Information Network for the Praying through the Window campaign and to train the ones signed up to go on the Albanian prayer journey from our church. She was to teach them about spiritual warfare. She enlisted me to assist her in gathering helps on types of spiritual warfare prayer and then make enough copies for the Albanian group. We would use one a week as the team met to pray for our prayer journey. During that time, I read book after book on spiritual warfare as we were getting things gathered together to present to our group. It was like I ate, slept and breathed spiritual warfare. What I learned from that time is that to win in spiritual warfare you need to know your Bible and consult with GOD, then do what HE says. For preparation is my part, but the answer of my mouth must come from GOD (Proverbs 16:1).
Why was learning spiritual warfare necessary to go on a prayer journey? For that matter, what is a prayer journey? A prayer journey is going to a specific location, walking around and praying (interceding) for the people and the challenges they face in that area. You have to know something of their history and the problems they face to actually intercede for them. So researching the area ahead is essential. Asking GOD to guide you with what to factor in- hones your efforts. For an example, if I were to pray walk here in Pueblo it would be good to know that at one time it was referred to as ‘Little Chicago’. The strong Mafia presence here has given rise to Pueblo’s continuing unusually high rates of suicide, addiction, crime and gang activity. For that information, then would give me clues as to how to pray against demonic strongholds in our area. We have to break down the strongholds of the past before we can pray for the problems of today
Spiritual warfare is a very large and controversial subject. Not all agree with me but my view of spiritual warfare is simple. Ever since Satan a top ranking angel was kicked out of heaven for his rebellion against GOD along with 1/3 of the angels who followed him, there has been spiritual warfare going on.
Here are just a few basics concerning spiritual warfare I believe each of us need to know..
* Satan and the fallen angels are the enemy. We need to recognize our enemy. … know that he whispers lies in our ears that sound more like us than we do. In the times that we are living it is important that we know how to war.
*Every Christian is in spiritual warfare- whether we like it or not. Our enemy is the devil and his followers not the human person who has listened to his subtle lies.. We all listen for the devil’s dogma is the world’s outlook. I John 5:19 tells us that the whole world lies in the arms of the devil’s ideas.
*Satan is a liar and deceives us into thinking bad is OK and good is outdated.
*Our enemy causes division.
*Sin builds strongholds in people (2 Corinthians 10:3-4) and locations; it gives authority to evil spirits (Ephesians 4:26 KJV).
*The Bible gives us a glimpse of demonic territorial authority over the nations when we see the angel Gabriel tell Daniel how the archangel Michael came to help him fight the demonic authority over Persia in Daniel 10:12-3.
Then in Ephesians 6:12 we are told we are in spiritual warfare with demonic authorities of different ranks. GOD has set up a realm of authority in the heavenlies consisting of both good and bad angels (Romans 3:1). GOD also has provided us with weapons for our warfare (Ephesians 6:10-18).
*Because sin gives a foothold to the demonic, it is super important that before entering into any type of spiritual warfare, we examine ourselves and confess any known sin. Then we need to submit ourselves to GOD (James 4:7). It is that step by step asking HIM for direction that makes us effective (Proverbs 3:5-6) both in life and in spiritual warfare.
*We must understand that there is a difference in the one we are fighting against and what that one does. The archangel Michael’s tactic in Jude 1:9 warns us against railing accusations at demonic authorities. His Biblical example is to say, “the LORD rebuke you” when confronting evil spirits. On the other hand, we are told to verbally claim GOD’s promise and verbally condemn any weapon used against us by the enemy (Isaiah 54:17).
*Claiming promises is a big part of spiritual warfare so it is incredibly important to know the Bible and obey its instructions? It really does show us what to do and when (Psalm 119:24).
*One more important principle of spiritual warfare is that in battling a stronghold (an area of sin) is to confess any connection- no matter how small- to the sin in question. Then war against the sin by offering the opposite attitude: anger should be met with a gentle calm, bitterness with forgiveness and hatred with love (Ephesians 4:25-29). So when there is hatred we pray for and act in love, and where there is deception we pray that truth be revealed while we gently present the truth (2 Timothy 2:23-26).
To me it all boils down to listening to GOD and doing what HE says (either in HIS word or the nudges HE gives
Looking unto JESUS the Author and Perfector of my faith