WHAT IS SPIRITUAL WARFARE?
(Thirty plus years ago God put Don Rogers in my life. He trained and mentored me in spiritual ministry. When he was no longer able to minister, I had the privilege of taking over his “Spiritual Warfare Ministries”. He had written many articles about spiritual warfare. I have edited and added to his work for this blog.)
This is an important question, because “spiritual warfare” means different things to different people. The term itself is not found in the scriptures, but the concept is taught. Two of the most commonly associated passages were written by the Apostle Paul.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.” Eph. 6:10-12
The purpose of spiritual warfare is to bring about a proper balance in Christian lives. So many Christians have become passive and fearful. Some are satisfied just to believe the right things and attend church services and activities each week. This type of lifestyle is quite different from that to which Jesus had called believers. The apostles (Lk 9:1-2) and the seventy (Lk 10) were told by Jesus to go out and preach and teach about the kingdom of God.
Spiritual warfare is a pro-active approach to our faith. We actively resist the devil when his hosts harass us. We actively pursue spiritual disciplines that will make us stronger and better prepared. We actively engage the enemy when people are in spiritual bondage.
We utilize prayer as a weapon to penetrate strongholds that cannot be reached in any other way. Spiritual warfare is the putting aside of passive attitudes towards faith which keep us from commitment and cause us to pursue only those things that will benefit us. Instead of seeking our own agenda, we submit our will to God and accept the sacrifices He calls us to make.
There is not one area of Christian ministry that has not become a battleground, but often there is not discernment that some form of spiritual resistance is in place. It has become common to attribute a natural or human explanation to most problems and leave it at that. The one who has a spiritual warfare perspective will be inclined to test the situation to ascertain whether or not there is something more than natural influences involved.
A spiritual warrior has an alertness to the activity of the enemy. This alertness is by no means fear or paranoia. He does not go around crediting Satan and his hosts for everything wrong under the sun. The Apostle Paul was a good example of a spiritual warrior. He didn’t go out of his way to look for demonic activity, but when he encountered it, he quickly recognized it and then he confronted it with spiritual authority victoriously.
A spiritual warrior knows he must bring discipline to his thought life and to his actions. If he allows these areas to be compromised, he will not be affective in resisting the enemy. He takes sin very seriously, because he knows that sin always gives the adversary an advantage. He must always be on guard against comparing himself with others and being entrapped by the subtlety of religious pride. The true warrior knows that he can do nothing that is affective in his own strength. His strength, authority, wisdom and discernment are dependent upon his close walk with his Lord. He should always remain focused and guard himself against distraction caused by problems and troubles that appear. These are designed to get his eyes off the Lord and lure him into working in the flesh.
Understanding spiritual warfare provides a new perspective on parenthood. Parents are entrusted with children from the Lord to nurture, cherish and protect. In the parent, the child needs to see a reflection of God’s attributes of unconditional love, faithfulness and holiness. The parent should become a steward of God’s grace in the home and be on guard against the enemy’s assaults on any member of the family. A godly parent can exercise great authority in the name of Christ to resist the enemy and fight on behalf of the children. Like Job, a parent is also the priest of the home, bringing the sins of the children to God so that the enemy cannot establish strongholds in their lives.
Spiritual warfare awareness can also be very effective in witnessing and evangelism. You learn to recognize the barriers and strongholds in advance and prepare the way through prayer, spiritual authority, divine appointments and ministry.
A spiritual warrior knows his inheritance in Christ. He knows God’s promises and is not easy prey to the lies and deceptions of the enemy, who tries to call these promises and inheritance into question. He understands the lie is the enemy’s language and his most effective weapon. Therefore, the warrior seeks constantly to fortify himself in an understanding of God’s truth which he wears like armor for protection.
SPIRITUAL WARFARE MARRIAGE RETREAT Every year I lead a marriage retreat in the Lancaster, PA, area. This year the topic will be “Winning The Battle for Your Family” and will be about spiritual warfare for individuals, married couples and families with children. If this sounds interesting to you we’d love to have you join us. You can find more information at https://www.christiantrainingonline.org/our-ministries/family/marriage-retreat/ or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a limited number of hotel rooms so let me know if you are interested.
© Copyright 1998 Spiritual Warfare Ministries, Inc., © 2013 Christian Training Organization. https://www.christiantrainingonline.org/