Spiritual Warfare that Works
There are many teachings that circulate within the body of Christ today around the topic of spiritual warfare and how to fight the powers of darkness. Many of these teachings over complicate a simple truth. This truth is found in Luke 10:19 which says, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” If we lay hold of this basic understanding, that Jesus has authorized us as believers to be the dominating force in the tension of spiritual powers, I believe it would set people free.
Rather than making an issue out of the powers of darkness, we should always continue to focus on the truth of God’s Word and exercise our authority by it. What you focus on is where you are going. I don’t know about you, but I want my focus to be on Jesus and His Word!
Many individuals are very busy giving the kingdom of darkness attention because that is where their focus is. Did you know that demons love attention? They love it when they manifest through the different vices an individual may have. They love it when individuals have an outward manifestation and believers start hollering, screaming and sometimes even crying at the startling experience of someone manifesting a demon. I have discovered that powers of darkness can actually feed on people sensationalizing just how 'dark’ something is. Consider the account of the slave girl following Paul and Silas found in Acts 16:16-18:
"Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, 'These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.' And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, 'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.' And he came out that very hour."
This spirit was not only trying to distract and annoy Paul and Silas, but in addition to that, the reason it was being so vocal is that it wanted attention. Due to all the works of the Lord that were being done, this spirit was no longer receiving the attention it previously had for its fortune-telling and divination. If there is one thing a demon can’t stand – it’s to be ignored!
I find it interesting that Paul and Silas paid no real attention to this spirit for a few days even though it was vocal and following them! It wanted attention. Can you just imagine Paul’s composure every time it got loud? He probably looked at Silas with a look of I’m gonna give that thing a whoopin’ if it keeps carrying on like this, and Silas would probably say, “Just ignore it, and let’s get the Gospel preached here…” Yet after many days, Paul had enough and being greatly annoyed, commanded it to come out!
It is so vital to have the revelation that the powers of darkness have no power unless given to them by someone. We have more authority and power to function in this natural world than they do because we have physical bodies and they do not. That is why demons need to attach themselves to bodies. In John chapter 3, Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus. In verse 5 He says, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” After this, verse 6 states, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Looking at verses 5 and 6 together, we realize they are explaining that to be born of water means to be born of the flesh, or born of a woman through water into this physical world. To be born of spirit, is to be born again or regenerated having your spirit reconnected to God the Father through Jesus.
We understand that we are born again, that God is a spirit and we have to be reconnected with Him in the spirit. However, the part I want to focus on is where Jesus spoke about being born of water, or another way of saying it would be that you must be born into this world and have a physical body. Why? It is because the world was designed to be managed by human beings with physical bodies, not spirits! Remember, God gave dominion of the world to Adam and upon his listening to the serpent in the garden, he gave his dominion or authority to the devil. This made the devil the prince of this world or the ‘god of this age’.
The devil even told Jesus in Matthew 4 that he could give the kingdoms of this world to anyone he wished because they had been given to him! We see here that Jesus did not accuse him of being a liar, but instead said, “It is written…” Proving the point that the devil actually did have dominion over the kingdoms of the world. However, Jesus, upon His death and resurrection, provided the necessary way for mankind to take back the authority they had given up in Genesis. This is enforced each time the Gospel is preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. Consider this: Because you have a physical body you already have something the enemy does not! The proper suit or attire for dwelling and having dominion on this earth is a physical body. Now when you become born again you have more than just the proper terrestrial body – you also house the Spirit of the living God inside of you! Jesus not only connected you to the Father, but gave you all authority over whatever power the devil had. This power is housed in your earth suit. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 teaches us that we are made of three parts: spirit, soul and body. It is the body that carries the other two around and gives the advantage in this world. The fact that you are in a body already means you are above any spiritual activity in this natural realm! This even means people have the power to resist the works of God! They can quench the Spirit, resist the Gospel, harbor unbelief toward the Word of God and this can close the door to the good works of God in the natural. If people can, through the standing that they have in the natural, shut down the works of God in their life – how much more can believers, having their natural self filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, overcome the powers of darkness?
When we realize what we are capable of in the natural, it will quickly make our work of standing against spiritual evil easier and shorter! The enemy of your soul cannot combat directly with a believer who has this understanding. Other people must be used against you. The only direct weapon the devil has to fight people with is persuasion, which comes through thoughts. If he can persuade you through thoughts, he can dictate the direction of your life and thereby still maintain dominion in this world through whatever arena of influence a person may have. That is why I so often say the best form of lasting deliverance is good, ongoing teaching! The mind is the control center… that is why it is imperative to train it with the Word!
Here is something to think about – Jesus got results! He got results because He carried the presence of God around in His natural body. He was able to stand in authority in this world because of His natural body. We need to realize He is the prototype for us!
1 John 4:17 says, ”Because as He is, so are we in this world.” This understanding has the potential to change the whole world if we lay hold of it! At the very least it gives us the realization that we are to go out and do what Jesus did, to get the results Jesus got.
We need a lot less weird and a lot more victory God’s way! Jesus’ prayer life was simple. He didn’t beg God to move, but He spoke to things saying, "Be healed," “Stand up and walk," “Your faith has made you whole," and “Come out of him.” Yes, we need to pray, we need to speak in tongues and we need to worship, but ultimately we need to do something! That something is exercising the Complete Gospel understanding that the enemy has defeated already and we are just enforcing that fact through our standing in physical bodies. Jesus came and gave us authority over the dominion of the devil in this earth. There are activities of darkness and demonic things influencing people every day all around us. It's how you handle it, and what you do with your approach to those things that will determine a quick victory or a drawn out battle.
Most believers that are tormented by spirits of fear suffer more from a lack of good understanding. It is the lack of knowing who you are and what you are capable in Jesus that allows that type of activity to continue. It is never God’s will for any of His people to be bound or living in terror and anguish. He absolutely wants us blessed, healed and experiencing life abundantly! When we get this understanding and we put it in line with the topic of spiritual warfare, we see that it is our authority and God-given right to put to flight the attacks and disillusionments of the devil.
The number one way of walking in spiritual warfare that really works is preaching the Word, speaking the Word, knowing who you are in Christ and knowing that it is all done in Him!
When you rest on the right side of the cross in the finished works of Jesus, it's easy to show others to the saving knowledge of Christ. The enemy will flee every time you bring the light of Jesus into the darkness of any situation!
For the Glory of Jesus,