I realize that the subject of Spiritual Warfare can conjure up many different images or thoughts. I know that there might be some who read this today and really get excited because of their beliefs in the demonic while others might decide that I have gone fanatical and won’t consider reading the rest. I would like to encourage you to read to the end as I share with you some thoughts about the reality of the Battle we as Christians face on a daily basis. The battle is real and it can be fierce. As Christians we need to be prepared for whatever arrow/dart that Satan throws our way.
2 Corinthians 2:11 (ESV)
11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
Satan would love for each one of us to ignore him or to ignore his designs or devises. If we ignore him then he can outwit us. We are not to emphasize him or his tactics. We are to emphasize God and His victory through Christ on the Cross. Therefore, I am not suggesting that we make the concept of Spiritual Warfare our most prevalent teaching, but I am suggesting that we need to realize we are in the midst of the battle. How are we handling it?
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
One of the ways that Satan and his army of demons attack us is through spiritual strongholds in our lives. A stronghold can consist of a habitual sin or a sinful characteristic that we possess. We might not give a lot of credence to our habits or even our character traits that do not please God, but Satan’s army loves to attack at those points. These habits or traits would be considered kinks in our armor; therefore we do not have protection there. What happens is that at the point of entrance, the enemy begins to build a fort for himself or a “stronghold.” He has access to his fort; therefore he will touch as many places as he can that are not protected. Some of the strongholds are caused from our spiritual inheritance while others are caused from our own sinfulness. Both of these subjects will probably be subjects of future blogs. Once the enemy begins building his fort, he uses our lack of belief in God and our sinfulness to reinforce his fort. The more we sin in that certain area of our lives, the stronger his fort will be. He then attacks from behind the walls of that fort. We might not even be aware of some of the strongholds because of the formation of them was caused from a generational sin or our spiritual inheritance, yet they are just as prevalent in our lives as the ones that we are guilty of creating the space for.
What can we do about such strongholds in our lives? I know that as you have read this, you might be thinking “there are certain areas of my life that I just cannot get a handle on.” There is HOPE!! There is always hope in Christ. The steps of tearing down the stronghold might seem simple, but can be very difficult.
Step 1: We must confess our sins. Confess them specifically. Once we begin seeing our lives as God sees it, we give God the power that He deserves and desires. If we do not see our conduct through His eyes, we make ourselves to be god of our lives.
Step 2: We must confess our generational sins. Now we are not confessing the sins of family members for their forgiveness, but we are agreeing with God what is sin in our inheritance. I realize that this might be difficult to understand, yet it is a very pertinent aspect of being free in Christ.
Step 3: We must forgive people who have hurt us. The enemy loves to attack us when we are down. If we harbor hard feelings and resentment, we give “rights” to Satan to build a stronghold at the point of our hurt. These people can date back to our early childhood or they might be co-workers or even family members that we see every day. We have to choose to live in a spirit of forgiveness if we are going to tear down the strongholds in our lives.
Step 4: We must believe God’s word about forgiveness. When He forgives us, He makes us “white as snow.” He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. That is hard for us to comprehend, because we still see our sinfulness. God sees Christ’s blood applied to our sin. What a great picture! What refreshment! When we believe the Truth of God’s Word, then we will be able to walk in the victory of Christ in our lives.
There are more things that I could write about Spiritual Warfare, which will come another day, but these steps give us a starting point for living in the freedom of Christ. We have to realize that we are in a battle. Our enemy is a cheater and a liar. He will use anything he can to get our attention off of God in order to put it on something else. We are in a battle that God won on the cross. We can walk in that victory. We just have to learn how to walk God’s way.