Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; – Ephesians 6:10-18
There are two primary errors when it comes to spiritual warfare:
- OVER-emphasis – some blame every sin, every conflict, and every problem on “demons that need to be cast out”.
- UNDER-emphasis – others completely ignore the spiritual realm and the fact that the Bible tells us our battle is against spiritual powers.
The key to successful spiritual warfare is finding the Biblical balance.
Jesus sometimes cast out devils from people, and at other times He healed the people, with no mention of a devil. In Romans 6, as a Christian you are instructed to ‘wage war’ against the sin within you; to stand against the wiles of the devil.
READ: Ephesians 6:10-12 – a few crucial truths:
- You can only stand strong in the Lord’s power
- It is God’s armour that protects you
- Your battle is ultimately against spiritual forces of evil in the world
READ: Ephesians 6:13-18 – a description of the spiritual armour God gives us.
What do these pieces of spiritual armour represent in spiritual warfare?
- You are to KNOW the truth, BELIEVE the truth, and SPEAK the truth.
- You are to rest in the fact that you are declared righteous because of Christ’s sacrifice for you.
- You are to proclaim the gospel no matter how much resistance you face.
- You are not to waver in your faith; trusting God’s promises no matter how strongly you are attacked.
- Your ultimate defence is the assurance you have of your salvation; an assurance that no spiritual force can take away.
- Your offensive weapon is the word of God, not your own opinions and feelings.
- You are to pray in the power and will of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is our ultimate example of resisting temptation in spiritual warfare.
READ: Matthew 4:1-11 – observe how Jesus handled direct attacks from Satan when He was tempted in the wilderness. Each temptation was combatted with the words it is written.
The word of the living God is the most powerful weapon against the temptations of the devil. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. – Psalms 119:11.
Nowhere in the word of God are we instructed to cast out devils or even to speak to them. The name of Jesus is not a magic incantation that causes devils to flee from before us.
READ: Acts 19:13-16 – the seven sons of Sceva are an example of what can happen when people presume an authority they have not been given.
READ: Jude 9 – even Michael did not rebuke Satan in his own power.
If you start talking to the devil, you run the risk of being led astray as Eve was (Genesis 3:1-7). Your focus should be on God, not devils; speak to Him, not them.
What are some keys to success in spiritual warfare?
- Rely on God’s power, not your own.
- Put on the whole armour of God.
- Draw on the power of Scripture—the word of God is the Spirit’s sword.
- Pray in perseverance and holiness, making our appeal to God.
- Stand firm; submit to God; resist the devil’s work knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ is your protector.
He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved – Psalms 62:2