UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL WARFARE

2 Corinthians 10: 3 - 5

Ephesians 6: 10 - 18

1 Peter 5: 8 - 9

Many Christians today do not have an understanding of what spiritual warfare is. Many have focussed more on getting angry with people, seeing fellow humans as their enemies and concentrated their fight and battle with them.

Paul in two of our key scriptures alludes to the fact that our weapons of warfare are not made of flesh. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

In another scripture he makes it clear that our battles are not with flesh and blood but against powers and principalities in the heavenlies. Ephesians 6:10-18

Peter now tells us who our enemy is.  – 1 Peter 5:8-9

8 Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.]

It is therefore of uttermost importance to pause and rethink our battles.

There are times when some situations are beyond our control or limit, and you wonder where did you go wrong. Some of these situations or problems can result to a life of struggles and frustration. To overcome these difficult situations in our lives, we need to know or ask the question, why am I going through these situations? What or where is the source?

When you and I became born again we became a target for the devil. Why? Because we have crossed from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, which is the Kingdom of God. Satan is not happy that we no longer serve him. The best he can do is frustrate us, and do everything possible to make us return to his dominion.

The other side of spiritual warfare is that as born-again believers, we have been commissioned by Jesus to win souls and make disciples of all nations. In order to win souls and make disciples, we have to walk in the authority that Christ gave us when He rose from the grave and win our brothers, our sisters, our children, our neighbours and our community to Christ. This calls for warfare, because the god of this world has blinded their minds not to hear or receive the good news – 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.

HOW DO WE WIN FIGHT THESE BATTLES?

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4

3 For though we walk in the flesh [as mortal men], we are not carrying on our [spiritual] warfare according to the flesh and using the weapons of man. 4 The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

God has given us specific weapons to battle the enemy. Using the wrong weapons will result in our defeat. Many of us sometimes resort to earthly weapons: anger, malice, cursing, legal actions, etc.

Paul now tells us in the book of Ephesians 6:10-12 what to do.

His first statement is for us to be strong in the Lord, he tells us to draw our strength and inspiration from the Lord based on our relationship with Him.

You will never understand how to fight your spiritual battle if you do not know who you are in Christ Jesus.

10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might.

He now encourages us to put on the whole armour of God, not partial armour but the whole armour of God. You cannot fight this battle with your own wisdom, you cannot fight this battle in isolation. Some believers when they are in serious battles, they think that is when they should stay away from God and their brothers and sisters in Christ. No you don’t stay away you draw near to God, and other believers, and you put on the whole armour of God.

11 Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

Paul now makes it clear why he wants us to put on the whole armour of God, because we are not fighting people. Your colleague is not your enemy, your spouse is not your enemy, your child is not your enemy, people in your household are not your enemy.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.

TO DEFEAT THE ENEMY AND STAY VICTORIOUS YOU HAVE TO PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOUR.

Paul continues in this letter to the Church by showing the Church the required armour for the battle. He advises the Church to stand firm by putting on the following armour.

  1. The belt of truth
  2. The breastplate of righteousness
  3. Strapped on your feet the gospel of peace
  4. Shield of faith
  5. The helmet of salvation
  6. The sword of the Spirit
  7. Praying in the Spirit

14 So stand firm and hold your ground, having [b]tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), 15 and having [c]strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. 16 Above all, lift up the [protective] [d]shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all [e]God’s people.

We do not put on and put off this armour like we do with our clothing. We consciously and intentionally wear these, sleep and wake up wearing them.

People of God we should never be ignorant of the schemes or the devices of the enemy, his sole aim is to derail you, accuse you, and cause you to be bitter and angry.

In this battle apart from the armour, we also have weapons of attack. The armour protects us but with our weapons we advance in the battle.

  1. The name of Jesus – Philippians 2:9-10
  2. The word of God - Hebrews 4:12
  3. The power of the Spirit – Acts 10:38
  4. The blood of Jesus – Revelation 12:11

We must know that by living with an understanding of who we are and what Christ has done for us we are always on the winning side.

My brothers and my sisters stand firm in the knowledge of the victory of Calvary. Fight like victors and not as victims.

 

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