We’d all love to have the success Jesus had at spiritual warfare. Certainly His disciples wanted that as well. But Jesus had to warn them to keep this skill in perspective.
Shortly after Jesus delivered the man in the synagogue from demons (Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37) He warned the disciples that even being able to drive out demons in Jesus’ name wasn’t something to use as assurance of salvation. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ “ (Matthew 7:21-23) Even claiming supernatural works by His name doesn’t prove salvation, only faith in Jesus brings salvation and assurance of eternal life with God.
LESSON FOR TODAY: Don’t put emphasis on your skill in spiritual warfare, as if that makes you a more mature believer or someone special in God’s sight. Our relationship with God is all about who we are, not what we do. It is all His doing anyway, never ours. Focusing on it can only lead to pride. No matter how greatly God uses you, you are still just the instrument, the channel for His power. It is never us. It is only and always Him!
LESSON FOR TODAY: Spiritual warfare is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is another tool that God gives us to live for Him an swerve Him. When building something various tools are needed: hammer, saw, screw driver, etc. No piece of furniture can be built with only one tool. For the job required, each tool has a specific purpose, but no tool is greater than all the others. Spiritual warfare is a tool God gives us to have victory over Satan and his demons, but we have other tools that are also needed to live the Christian life: prayer, teaching, worship, fellowship, meditation, fasting, listening to God, knowing God’s will, being controlled by the Spirit, walking by the Spirit and others. All are needed. Each has its specific purpose. No one does it all. Don’t get spiritual warfare out of perspective. Don’t see it as some superior way to live and serve. It is great for it’s purpose, but we need a balanced Christian life. It’s a tool we must master and keep close, but in doing so we must not neglect the other tools God gives us.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)