2 Cor 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Spiritual warfare is a calling. It is not a calling to the weak and limp wristed “ Christian” nor does it consist of a fraternity of only those few who are considered Holy Ghost extremists. It is a calling to each and every person who considers themselves a child of God. I have found that those who do not consider themselves “warfare Christians” are usually worthless pew warmers who would rather observe and critique those who have invested their lives whole heartedly into this battle. Some say that they will wait for a demonic manifestation to come and only then will they turn on the “spiritual warfare switch”. If that is you, I want to tell you that you will not be prepared for direct spiritual confrontation with the enemy. This battle is already going on as you read this sentence. The reason you can’t see it is because you are looking through fleshly eyes, but the spiritual battle is just that…spiritual. Satan does not take a day off, so we as well cannot afford to waste a day. The battle must be a daily one. Every day we get out of bed, we must remember that we are called to be soldiers. Too many of us have gone AWOL because we have gotten too busy with our secular lives. We have become inoperative soldiers. We have knowledge and ability but we become spiritual gluttons because we don’t exercise our true potential in God. We are soldiers in God’s Salvation Army and we cannot afford opting out of this battle. We must re-discipline ourselves back to the basics of spiritual soldiering. Spiritual authority is not attainable only by those who can walk on water, but as well for the babe in Christ. The youngest saint of God can set to flight a legion of demons if they will dedicate themselves to spiritual discipline.
Ps 56:1-2 Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. 2 Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.
We have to learn how to fight the daily fight of faith. We must learn how to mortify the deeds of this flesh daily so that we can be fit for spiritual warfare. Some people think that it is needful to get close to Satan to defeat him. I have heard of some who try to call up unclean spirits in some aboriginal dialect and then cast them out. I don’t buy it! We should follow the example of Esther. Spiritual warfare is not entered into by drawing close to the Enemy but rather by getting close to the King. Esther and Mordecai cared nothing about getting close to Haman. Getting close to Haman would do nothing to save the Jews. They realized that they must get close to the King in order to change the futile future of the Jews. To defeat enemies that are warring against our families, communities and countries, we have but one prerequisite and that is get close to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
The fight is a daily one. I am going to talk about 5 disciplines that we must establish to be effective in spiritual warfare. We must have consistency in these areas. Through this we will form a daily walk with God. Your daily walk with God is your daily march to the gates of Hell. When the children of Israel came to Jericho, they were instructed to walk around the wall daily. Only on the seventh day were they instructed to shout. We like to shout on Sunday without walking on the other six days. Walls will never fall without both the shout and the daily walk. I hope that these 5 disciplines will help us in that daily walk so that we can live a life of victory of the enemy of our souls.
Isa 62:6-7 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
1. Prayer- To be effective in spiritual warfare, we must learn how to talk to God. This is the first and foremost discipline that must be firmly established in the heart of every child of God. Paul said, first of ALL prayers supplications and intercessions be made… First of all means first of all. In our long list of duties and things that we count as important we must find time to get close to the King. When our prayer life is weak, we become impotent and sterile. Being half-hearted in our prayers, worship, soul winning and passion for Christ makes us apostolic hybrids. This attitude will hardly dislodge the legions of demons that have declared a state of war against humanity. Let us not keep silent, lets pray. If you want the Lord to be magnified in your life, you don’t need a telescope, getting close to Him magnifies Him naturally in our lives. If you truly want to see how great God is, get close to Him.
Acts 19:13-16 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
They used the right name, but had not paid the same price Paul had. They were vagabond Jews. They were vacillators who wandered about. They had no foundation. They tried to do a spiritual work, without paying a spiritual price. They used the same name as Paul, but had a very different testimony. Paul’s testimony was not trying to be an exorcist. His main focus is found in Philippians 3… That I may know HIM! Knowing God will make the enemy know you! This is the reason why relationship with God is so important to having spiritual authority.
2. Fasting- Fasting is compulsory to casting out the unclean spirit. But it is not compulsory to be fasting at the exact moment. In Mark 9 the disciples were down hearted because they could not cast out a devil. Jesus made short work of that devil. After they asked Him, why could we not cast the unclean spirit out and Jesus said this comes only through prayer and fasting. But when Jesus sent out the 70, they had a totally different outcome. He told them to eat everything and when they came back they were full of joy because even the devils were subject to them through His name. This is proof that we must establish a regimen of fasting. Without establishing a discipline of prayer and fasting we will not be ready when the times of direct spiritual confrontation come.
Matt 4:1-11 1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
3. The Word- Satan is called the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). The Bible goes on to say that all that is in the world is the Lust of the flesh, Lust of the eye and the Pride of Life. (1 John 2:16) From the beginning, Satan used the same tricks to combat man’s perception of the Word. When Eve was confronted with her temptation in the Garden of Eden, she faced the same temptation. The Bible says, she saw the fruit was good for food, pleasant to the eyes and desired to be wise. She tried to use the Word of God. She said, God said we cannot eat of the tree in the midst of the garden. But she believed the lie of Satan and fell into the temptation.
Jesus showed us that we can overcome spiritual wickedness and temptation but not excepting the lies of Satan. Satan tried to use his same tricks against the Lord. He was on a fast and Satan said turn these stones to bread… Lust of the flesh…. Satan said cast yourself down from the temple the people were waiting for the Messiah this could be your grand entrance… Pride of Life… Satan said, Look Jesus I will give you all of the kingdoms of the world if you will fall down and worship me… Lust of the eye… But Jesus used the Word of God to overcome spiritual attack. All that is in the world is the Lust of the flesh, lust of the eye and the pride of life. Jesus said, in the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD!
Ps 81:13-14 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!14 I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.
4. Obedience- When God spoke to Saul to destroy all of the Amalekites, the Bible says that Saul kept Agag the king of Amalek alive along with the best of the herds and flocks. Saul had a word spoken by Samuel to obey, but Saul said because of the voice of the people, I disobeyed. Samuel eventually killed Agag the King. But by the time he was killed, Jewish history declares he had lived several weeks after the battle. We don’t hear from Agag for a long time until we turn to Esther. 600 years later we hear of another enemy of Israel named Haman the Agagite. Jewish history says that in the time between the initial battle and when Agag was finally killed, he was able to father a child. All because of Saul’s disobedience, the Jews were still battling the same enemy 600 years later. When we follow the Word of God, we can overcome our enemies. It is not the will of God that we battle the same devils over and over. We need to obey the Word and Kill AGAG!
So many times I have witnessed people fighting the same battles continually. That is not the will of God! We must check ourselves and make sure that we are still walking in complete surrender to God and in obedience to His Word. We can have no power of the unclean spirits if we do not have power over our own uncleanness. We must surrender all of our lives to Him and make sure that all the leaven has been removed from our lives.
Dan 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
5. Actions- Exploits are actions. Did you ever notice the book that most of our Bibles flop open to is the book of Acts, yet we hardly understand it. We love Acts 2:38 and we should. We love the miracles of Acts and we should, but it was called ACTS not because they were looking for miracles nor were they devil hunting like some kind of Apostolic Ghost Busters. They were soul hunters. Devils manifested themselves as a result of the intense soul winning that the Apostles were engaged in. The focus was never devils or demons. The focus was God and souls. This was the true Acts of the Apostles. They had angelic visitation, they used their shadows and healed people and they cast out the demons. In Acts 10 it was lunch time and while they were making lunch Peter went for some prayer time on the housetop and fell into a trance and saw heaven opened. We are different because when we have some time, we find ourselves occupied with Facebook and Twitter. All of these things are ok, but when they render us powerless and dormant in the Spirit, we need to pluck it out. We need to get our action back.
The most lethal individual to Satan’s kingdom is an Apostolic Pentecostal with discipline in these five areas. Don’t worry about the gifts of the spirit because they will come concurrent with a life of discipline. It is not the will of God that we run around unbridled any longer. We must live a proactive spiritual life. I pray that God will allow us to refocus ourselves in these 5 compulsory qualities of being a spiritual warrior.