What is Spiritual Warfare?
An introduction to SPIRITUAL WARFARE
(The first of our five topics on Spiritual Warfare)
The battle lines are drawn but can you see the spiritual war?
Utter the words ‘spiritual warfare’ to a Christian and you will get a wide variety of responses. From the blank look of ‘no idea’ to scepticism, I don’t want to know, joyful acknowledgement to the over the top view of a demon behind every bush.
Spiritual Warfare means to engage in specific prayer that changes the spiritual climate over a person or territory, resulting in a physical, emotional or mental healing.
Unfortunately, the sad reality is that a lot of Christians have little to no idea about spiritual warfare. Why is this so? We as Christians are called to fight the enemy, not cower down in fear or live in ignorance, refusing to believe there is an enemy. Maybe it’s because life is full of distractions. It’s hard enough to live in a physical world, with bills, work, TV, computers, relationships, illnesses, death and taxes than to deal with a spiritual world we cannot see.
When the worries of this life come crashing down and physical solutions offer no relief we turn our heads like flint and carry on in silence. Stoic and proud we ignore this scripture, which screams at us, if only we would listen. In Ephesians 6:12 Paul wrote 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 the heavenly realms. The answer is right in front of our eyes. We are in a battle and this scripture clearly says it is a spiritual war. To win the battle we need to know the enemy, God doesn’t have a problem with talking about the devil and his tactics. But some Christians seem to think if we talk about the devil—that’s right I mentioned him again, that we are doomed. In fact the more we learn about the enemy and God’s defence system our prayers become more effective. And that means living the abundant life Jesus has called us to live.
To do this we need to put on the full armour of God. We need to pray with the authority of Jesus, using discernment, (one of God’s gifts to see into the spiritual realm) with the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus used spiritual warfare many times in his ministry. In Mark 1:21-26 and 32-34 Jesus heals the sick and casts out the demon-possessed. In Acts 5:15, 16, the disciples were able to perform the same miracles as Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit. As a believer of Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit in us but God also gives us the power of the Holy Spirit to do his will. As Jesus says in John 14:12, “if we have faith in Jesus we will do greater things than he did”. What an encouraging scripture. Jesus has so much faith in us, he encourages us to do, not only what he did but greater than he did.
I had suffered from depression for over twenty–five years. A debilitating illness, it robbed me of self-esteem, emotional clarity, hope and joy. On several occasions I had tried to commit suicide, or use drugs and alcohol to ease my pain. After I had become a Christian, it took a few years before I believed in the scriptures saying I could be healed. Step by step, by pressing into God he showed me I didn’t have to live like a prisoner and as I continued to seek the Lord, he showed me a vision of the clear, sound, mind he wanted for me. I was prayed for by the team at Oz Challenge[i], completely healed; I have been medication free for many years. Not all illnesses and problems are spiritual. The fact we live in a fallen world accounts for a lot but what if the problem you are facing is spiritual and can be cured? Wouldn’t you want to do something about it?
In the next four blogs I will be discussing; The Armour of God Part 1&2, Prayer Part 1&2, Miracles Part 1&2 and Spirituality in Culture Part 1&2. They are designed to continue the good work God is doing in you by helping you become a better equipped warrior, able to set the captives free.
[i] Oz Challenge Inc is a Prayer Ministry that provides assistance to those suffering from life-controlling problems, including mental illness, drug and alcohol dependence, marriage or family issues, through a Christian oriented therapeutic program.