As we move towards the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, our ability to seize and maintain spiritual ground as well as withstand satanic assaults is of paramount importance. Therefore, I want to offer some things I think will help you in your fight of faith. (If you’re in any fight other than the fight of faith, you’re in the wrong fight.)
First, let me say that effective spiritual warfare presupposes a holy and godly life. I know that in today’s christian culture words like holiness, sanctification, and selflessness are passe. They are, nevertheless, pillars upon which our lives as believers should be based – 2 Corinthians 7:1.
It would be utter foolish to live a compromised sin-laden life and expect to be victorious in any kind of warfare with the forces of darkness. Instead of victory, one would become cannon fodder for the devil.
Ephesians 6:10-18 gives the believer instructions on how to be a successful soldier in God’s army. In the 10th verse we are told that God is the source of our power. Without His power and authority we are helpless against satan. We are never to depend on any natural ability we may have. neither a good education, physical strength, eloquent speech or any other ability in which natural men tend to trust will help when faced with satan’s forces.
God’s power emanates from the rightful authority conferred on His people by Jesus Christ - Luke 10:19. The Greek word used for power in this verse is exousia. It simply means authority – the legal right and freedom to act. There is a different word, however, translated power in Acts 1:8. The Greek word used is dynamis. It means the Ability to act. We get the word dynamite from this word. Think of it this way; a police officer has authority/exousia conferred on him by the local government. He has a legal right to confront, apprehend, and stop law breakers. He also has a service weapon and other tools such as a taser or a baton. These weapons give the officer the ability to use force if necessary in exercising his legal authority.
In the same manner, even though the believer has legal authority to act in behalf of the Kingdom of God, without the power/dynamis of the Holy Spirit, authority alone may not be enough. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to enforce heaven’s mandates here on the earth. We have a mandate to raise the dead, heal the sick, and cast out devils in order to extend God’s mercy and grace to dying sighing fallen humanity and advance the Kingdom of God. We essentially plunder hell to populate heaven.
I have never understood why there is such opposition against the baptism of the Holy Spirit among christians. Facing hell without the weapons God has given us is like a police officer trying to enforce the law without a weapon or going big game hunting without a gun. If you are a christian and you don’t have the baptism of the Holy Spirit, simply ask your father for it and He will endow you with this Marvelous endowment of power - Luke 11:13.
In verse 11, we are told to put on God’s armor i.e., having our loins girt about with truth; having on the breastplate of righteousness; having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all take the shield of faith to quench the fiery darts of the devil; put on the helmet of salvation; and take the sword of the spirit which is the word of God.
Now that we are protected by the armor of God, and we are aware of the source of our power, we must know who the real enemy is. The war is not against flesh and blood. According to verse 12, our fight is against hell itself. Paul enumerates the ranks of satanic forces with which we contend – Ephesians 6:12.
This enemy has stealth technology! You cannot see him. We do, however, see his devastating effects all around us. He lurks in the invisible spiritual world and uses unsuspecting fallen humanity as agents of evil purpose. The Apostle Paul calls him the “…prince of the power of the air….” Ephesians 2:2. He even uses ministers who appear to be messengers of light but in reality are ministers of darkness - 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
As formidable an adversary as he is, we must realize that the greater one indwells us and empowers us and gives us victory in every challenge we may face in life – 1 John 4:4. We are more than conquerers through Him that loved us – Romans 8:37. According to Luke 10:19, we have been given authority to tread on ALL the power of the enemy. We win!
Having been given God’s power and armor and knowing who the conflict is against, we must also know where the theater of this drama is played out.
Take a look at 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. Notice that the theater of this war is in the mind. We have to contend with mental strongholds, imaginations, and disobedient thoughts. Whoever controls our mental machinations has the spiritual high ground and thus access to our hearts and innermost council.
First we are to pull down mental strongholds. A stronghold is a mental fortress built up around false assumptions and ideas that are totally contrary to the word of God. A mental stronghold is designed by satan to keep that which is within safe and that which is without out. It is impossible to break though a stronghold with human reasoning and persuasion. Only the word of God with its irresistibility and marvelous light can tear down walls that have been built up in some cases over many years. Once a false idea comes face to face with the power of the anointed word, it has to bow. Praise God! The scripture says that the religious leaders were not able to resist the Spirit and wisdom by which Steven spake – Acts 6:10. They were brought face to face with their error and exposed, but they chose to cling to darkness.
Another aspect of this mental struggle is our imagination. Our imagination is an integral component in bringing to pass the dreams God has placed in our hearts and His plans and purposes for our lives. Someone once said that our memory replays our past and our imagination pre-plays our future. It’s easy to see then how vitally important our imagination is.
Satan works overtime to taint and disrupt our imaginative process because our lives flow in the direction of our imagination. God has given all of us dreams of His plan and purpose for our lives. As we are obedient to Him, our lives flow in the direction of those dreams He has placed in our hearts. Is it any wonder the devil and demons fight so viciously to corrupt our imagination.
Men, because of their predisposition to visual stimuli, are particularly susceptible to having their imagination corrupted. One of the many ways the devil gains access to the mind is through pornography. Pornography is an epidemic among Christian men. And with the advent of the computer, one can view pornographic images from the privacy of one’s own home, and no one will ever know. What you may not realize is that you’re allowing the devil to set up a beach head in your mind from where he has access to your heart. Those images become so imbibing that once you’re ensnared, it’s not easy to get free.
Children also are known for their vivid imaginations. It’s a wonderful part of their developmental process. Many of them have dreams of being fireman, doctors, policemen, preachers, etc. We activate and encourage their imagination by giving them toys that are not only used for play but are also used to help zero in on areas where they may be gifted. Their imaginations soar when we tell them that they can be anything they want to be.
Thomas Edison is a good example:
This a a poignant story and points out 3 things
- More than reading, writing and arithmetic is taught in the public schools. in fact the whole school system is designed only to train up children to be good citizens of a state in rebellion against God.
- Home schooling is a vehicle through which parents can control what goes into malleable young minds and instill godly principles in their children.
- God’s dreams that are sown in the mind and heart, will come to fruition when guarded against encroachment by negative demonic seeds.
It is in these formative stages of life that the devil tries so desperately to gain access to young minds. He uses tv, computers and a host of other things to corrupt young minds, but probably the most effective tool he uses is the public school system. Make no mistake about it; the whole purpose of public education is mind control. The public schools are indoctrination centers. By the time a child has gone through 12 years of secularization unchecked, they have no moral compass and little if any regard for God’s word.
So, we have a huge challenge ahead of us. We are fighting not only for our own hearts and minds but also for the hearts and minds of our children. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 is ammunition for the fight.
We are to bring every thought unto obedience to Christ. This is called renewing the mind; being kingdom minded; being Word minded; having the mind of Christ.
No thought is to go unchallenged. We are to refuse entry of every thought that is not in line with God’s Word. Does this mean that bad thoughts will not cross my mind. Of course not. It means that we don’t have to accept bad thoughts or entertain them. Birds can fly overhead, but they cannot roost in my mind. In Proverbs 4:23, we are told–Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life. One translations reads, “guard” your heart for out of it flow the “forces” of life. How are we to do this? Well, the mind is the road to the heart. If we remain single minded on the word of God, our hearts will be secure and full of faith and power.
Finally, It is vitally important to keep the supply lines open – Ephesians 6:18. Praying in the Spirit with all kinds of prayer i.e., the prayer of petition, intersession and thanksgiving (1 Timothy 2:1), the prayer of importunity (Luke 11:8), and the prayer of faith (James 5:15) all serve this purpose.
These are what I call supply routes. They serve to keep the believer in contact with heaven and provide a conduit through which needed supplies can flow from heaven to strengthen and sustain the Kingdom Warrior.
An active prayers life also provides the believer with instructions and wisdom from the King about how respond to attacks that hell may mount against us. Praying in the Spirit is a very powerful resource that allows believers to tap into unlimited supply reservers. Whatever we need can be obtained by using these supply routes to access heaven’s vast and unlimited supply.
Now, let me give you a check list to gauge your readiness as a soldier: As you read these, imagine me sounding off this list and you responding,”CHECK.”
1. Are you living a holy and godly life without worldly compromise?
2. Do you know the source of your power and authority?
3. Do you have on spiritual armor as enumerated above?
4. Do you know with whom you are warring?
5. Do you know where the theater of the war is being fought?
6. Have you pulled down mental strongholds that would make you vulnerable to attack?
7. Are you using your imagination as a tool to keep you on the path to victory?
8. Do you guard the portals of your mind against invasion of foreign
thoughts? 9. Are the prayer supply routes open?
If you answered check to this list, there is no devil or demon that can ever defeat you.