The invisible War
Whether you choose to recognize it or not, you are in the middle of a war. This war started before you were born, and depending on God’s timing, might be going on after you die. You don’t get a choice about whether or not you fight in this war or not. Simply because you exist means that you are fighting in this war. The only choice you have is which side you will fight for. This is the nature of Spiritual Warfare.
Spiritual warfare is fought between two opponents:
- Selfish Ambition and Desire – The Enemy. This seeks to glorify and fulfill your own desires.
- Selfless Ambition and Desire – The Good Guys. This seeks to glorify God and follow the full will of God.
Spiritual warfare is fought on multiple fronts:
- The Individual/Personal Front – the individual or personal spiritual battle between these two forces and affects an individual person (like you).
- The Familial/Generational Front – The battle fought for your family & friends
- The Local Front – The battle for your local community
- The Regional Front – The battle which affects your state, territory or region
- The National Front – The battle which affects your nation
- The Global Front – The battle which affects the entire globe
While Spiritual Warfare is fought across all of the aforementioned fronts, the battle is won and lost at the individual/personal level. This is because the remaining fronts are simply the net affect of the of the individual/personal battles that are taking place in the other front.
For example, if more people in your local community are prone to give into selfish ambition and desires, your local community is much more prone to losing the community level battle front over to the enemy. The same is true for the familial, regional, national, and global fronts as well. Our society is the net affect of the individual’s proneness to following the will of God vs. following their own self will (the will of Satan).
With so much selfishness in the world, it would be easy to conclude that God is losing this battle. Especially when we consider that until we are fully walking in alignment with the Holy Spirit, even those who mean well still have areas of selfish desire that must be overcome. This is the process of sanctification or Holiness.
But, it’s vital that you remember that all of the combined power/efforts of evil in the world are nothing in comparison to the God of the Universe and so, it will only require a handful of fully sanctified and people fully dedicated to doing only the will of God to turn the entire thing around.
Isaiah explains this clearly:
A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.Isaiah 30:17 NIV
Why Spiritual WArfare Matters
Spiritual warfare is a topic that really isn’t touched on enough in most churches of today and as such, this article needs to be written in order to set a baseline for the understanding of spiritual warfare. Without an understanding of spiritual warfare most Christians are left out in the field to be slaughtered by the enemy.
This may sound like an overstatement, but once you truly understand the depth of the spiritual warfare that you’re facing, and you don’t even realize it, you’ll understand why I chose to use that language.
Spiritual warfare is best understood as the warfare behind what is causing all of the physical, emotional, mental, and relational positives or negatives in your life.
Everything that manifests itself in the physical world, started first in the spiritual realm and then was manifested into things that your physical body can recognize. In other words, everything that happens on earth (good or bad) first manifested itself in the spiritual realm, and therefore, knowing how to battle at the spiritual level against the negative is the only way that anyone can achieve victory in the physical realm over their life.
Everything that we’re dealing with in our personal lives as well as in the rest of the world is the result of spiritual warfare. There is nothing that takes place in the physical world that didn’t first take place in the spiritual world.
Paul speaks about this succinctly in Ephesians when he is writing to the church of Ephesus about putting on the whole armor of God:
‘Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’Ephesians 6:11-13 NKJV
Often when Jesus healed people, he dealt with the spiritual root in order to fix what was manifesting itself in the physical realm.
Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘ Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” —then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he arose and departed to his house.Matthew 9:1-7 NKJV
Additionally, when a father asked that Jesus heal his son who had been sick since he was a child, Jesus even had the discernment to understand what type of spirit it was that he was casting out:
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”Mark 9:25 NKJV
Most of the things that you have ever dealt with or are currently dealing with are the net effect of winning or losing a battle in spiritual warfare. Either someone who you’ve interacted with was being influenced by spiritual warfare or you yourself are being influenced by it. Every action that you have taken, thought you have thought, emotion that you’ve felt, attitude, or idea that you’ve held, these all influence how well you are going to do in spiritual warfare.
The Battle for Your Soul – Sin vs. Salvation
The personal battle that you are fighting is the battle for your soul. Your soul is defined as a person’s mind, will and emotions. When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and are sealed with the Holy Spirit, we are saved from the spiritual death that we were previously not saved from. However, there is still a battle for our soul and failing to win this battle can lead to the eternal damnation of your soul.
Sin & Demonic Influence over Your Life
Any of the aforementioned thoughts, emotions, actions, or attitudes that you hold that are out of alignment with the word of God, open you up personally to demonic influence. This demonic influence then settles into your physical body and soul and influences you in negative ways. This can cause anxiety in you, depression, self-consciousness, anger, or influence you to do things that are outside of God’s will for your life (like sin, which actually increases the demonic influence on your life).
You can think of your soul as a battle field. Each action, attitude, emotion or idea that you have that is out of alignment with the word of God is a stronghold. A stronghold is a false idea, attitude, emotion, or action that is out of alignment with God. When Satan has control of strongholds inside of your soul based on your actions, thoughts or emotions, demonic influence comes into your life and can cause you to act out of accordance with God’s will which is iniquity or sin and will lead to death.
It is very important that we work with the Bible and the Holy Spirit to identify demonic strongholds within ourselves and get rid of them by breaking down these strongholds through the word of God and bringing ourselves back into alignment with the Word of God. Click here to download a free tool to help you with this process.
We must rid ourselves of these demonic strongholds in order to win our own personal battle in this Spiritual Warfare. It’s also very important that we win our own personal battle in this fight because once we have overcome by the Blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony, the power of the Holy Spirit, and with the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God), we can help others in their battle as well, which leads to further deliverance for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Salvation & The Holy Spirit’s Influence Over Your Life
When you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and are sealed with the Holy Spirit, God literally sends the Holy Spirit to live inside of you and helps you to fight this battle. Until you do this, you personally have to fight this battle alone. But after you’ve taken this step, you have the only weapon that can overcome and win this fight.
We have proof of this in the work of the Holy Spirit through the life of Jesus Christ, who submitted himself fully to the will of God the Father by full submission to the Holy Spirit and as a result of this process of sanctification, he was glorified above every other name and made the head of the assembly of God’s Children (commonly referred to as the church today or the Ekklesia in ancient times).
Our entire goal after we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit should be to follow Jesus’ example and submit our lives fully to the will of God as instructed by the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that will lead us into all truth and as the scripture says, it is this truth that shall make us free (John 8:32).
The freedom that I believe Jesus is talking about is freedom from demonic influence over our lives, which will lead to our holiness, sanctification, and the salvation of our souls. The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit that lived inside of Jesus, that guided Jesus in the way and will of God the Father and ultimately led Jesus to complete his purpose which was to fulfill the law’s need for a blood sacrifice for all sin, and that anyone who would believe in Jesus would also be able to receive of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit, the Sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God), and Prayer are our main weapons in Spiritual Warfare. Once we have received the Holy Spirit, we have a direct line to God, who knows all things from beginning to end and will give us the ultimate truth in the midst of any storm so that we can weather any storm and stand firm on the promises of God that are found in the Bible.
It is God who will win our battle for us. Our only job is to stand firm on the truth found in God’s Word, submit our lives fully to the will of God the Father, and walk in the Spirit. When we do this, and when we apply the principles of God’s Word to our every moment-by-money lives, we will witness the salvation of God for our souls.
Next Steps in Understanding
This article is meant to give a broad strokes understanding of Spiritual Warfare so that you can quickly grasp the main tenants of it. As we continue in our journey of understanding Spiritual Warfare, it will be our goal to equip you with the knowledge and understanding that you will need in order to win your own personal battle so that you can help others win theirs.
A CALL TO THOSE WHO HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT OR JESUS AS LORD AND SAVIOR.
If you have not yet given your life over to God, but this article has brought you to that place, I encourage you to make that decision today. The harvest is ripe but the workers are few, we need your help.
If this is a decision you’re ready to make today, all you need to do is start with this simple prayer:
“God in heaven, I need you.
I repent of doing things my own way and ask that you would forgive me today.
I believe that your son Jesus died, and he rose from the grave, for the forgiveness of my sins and I ask that you would cover me with the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of my sins.
Today, I am committing the rest of my life to following your way, that you revealed through your son Jesus. Father please come into my life, renew my spirit, and teach me your ways so that I may walk with you in relationship. Please Father, through my repentance, I ask that you would count me worthy to receive your Holy Spirit so that I can be led fully by you.
Holy Spirit, please direct the steps of my path and lead me into all truth.
Not only for the promise of eternal salvation, but to bring your Kingdom glory on earth through my life which you have given me.
Thank you Father for creating a way, thank you for your love.
I ask this of you in Jesus’ name – Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer today, please send us a note below. We’d like to rejoice with you, pray for you, and see if there is anything that I can do to help you on your journey.