I talk and write about Cambodia, not because it was an epic trip that changed my life forever in a way that no one else will experience or understand; but rather because it signifies something that I think everyone experiences and can understand – spiritual warfare.
Before you get creeped out by the words ‘spiritual warfare’ and therefore stop reading, let’s clarify. Spiritual warfare isn’t a scary topic that only some Christians believe in or talk about. It’s for real – It’s in the Word! If you doubt that spiritual warfare exists or that we are in a battle that we can’t always see, please be directed toward the italicized words below, written thoughtfully and intentionally for you! (If the term ‘spiritual warfare’ doesn’t throw a wrench in your thoughts, please ignore and continue…)
If spiritual warfare sounds like scary words that don’t seem approachable right now, I encourage you to check it out. Research it to see what Scripture says about it. This box is just an easy suggestion guideline that you may find helpful. I pray God shows you Truth! Have fun!
- Pray for God to reveal more of the Holy Spirit to you.
- Read & think through the verses below.
- If still in doubt after reading these verses, read Romans 7, which explains our flesh warring against our spirit.
- If you are then distraught about how to walk according to the spirit instead of according to the flesh, read on to read Romans 8!
- Have fun rejoicing after taking those Truths to heart!
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. – Ephesians 6:11 – 13
For though we walk in the flesh we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. – 2 Corinthians 10:3 – 4
In Cambodia, spiritual warfare wasn’t something we were hesitant to mention. It was obvious, because we could see it with our physical eyes and through the spiritual lenses God gave us. With spiritual warfare, I’ve learned that we experience it in different ways. Sometimes these ways intermingle; sometimes they don’t.
- unseen – we don’t see it with our eyes physically, but we know it’s there
A. Aware of it because it affects us mentally
B. Aware of it because it affects us emotionally
C. Aware of it because it affects us spiritually
D. Some combination of any of these
- physical – we experience it in some way physically
A. Aware of it because we hear it
B. Aware of it because we see it
C. Aware of it because we see/hear of it through another person
I know spiritual warfare exists, because Jesus says it does. I’ve also experienced it in some shape or form, as have all of you. We may not have identified some things as spiritual warfare in the past, but we constantly face the attack of the enemy. In Scripture, it says that the thief (aka the devil) comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10)
When satan steals, kills, and destroys, he takes stuff that would be spiritually beneficial to us. The sad thing is, sometimes we don’t even know we’re being robbed; because we don’t know what’s been given to us. What Jesus has given to us, we need to claim; because it’s ours and it is does NOT belong to satan! Some things God gives us, He seals (like salvation – John 10:27 – 30). Other things, we need to CLAIM and KEEP. (Notice: even in this, the way of claiming and keeping is done through prayer, so it’s not our own earning to keep these things. It’s God’s.) Take freedom, for example. God has given us freedom!
-> For FREEDOM Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
God has given us freedom. He set us free for a purpose – FOR FREEDOM! He does not want us to go back to a yoke of slavery….so what does he tell us to do? He says to not submit to it! He says that He wants us NOT submitting to a yoke of slavery. Whatever puts us in a yoke of slavery, we are not to submit to it. Submit to it? Well, how do I NOT submit to something? Submitting is an action of yielding, allowing, or putting yourself under the authority of someone else.
1. to yield oneself to the power or authority of another
2. to allow oneself to be subjected to some kind of treatment
3. to defer to another’s judgment, opinion, decision, etc.
WE have the power to NOT put ourselves under the authority of satan or his plans. WE have the free will and the choice that God gave us to follow our Lord. In this way, we submit NOT to a yoke of slavery, but to our God.
We know the application is to
1) Submit to God
2) Not submit to anyone else
What’s the practical application?….
The practical application to submitting to God and not submitting to anyone else is simple. PRAY. We can only submit to God by His grace. PRAY. We can only not submit to anyone else by God’s grace. PRAY. Prayer is a word we use to mean “talk with God”. Praying is talking with God. So, when we are in spiritual warfare (meaning we are in battle spiritually), we need to pray. Below are a couple examples of what this may look like in real life.
Real Life Examples of PRAYING off lies:
1. A common thing that satan tempts people with is lies. Satan will plant lies in our mind through people, through culture, through books, through whatever he can to tell us. In our minds, we may have thoughts like….
– If you know you are saved (Romans 10:9-10), then why…..
– You keep messing up; you’re not worth anything…
– Are you sure you’re saved?…
– Your sin is too much…
We are not to listen to these thoughts! We, as Believers, are not to entertain these thoughts! So what do we do? PRAY.
1. Counteract those thoughts by PRAYING. Quote Scripture.
– Jesus, I know I am saved, because I have confessed with my mouth that You are Lord and I have believed in my heart that Your Father raised You from the dead. You said in Romans 10:9 that “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”. So, Jesus, I am saved; and I believe Your Word. That’s what it says. I’m sticking to it. I submit my mind to You, and I want you to seal this Truth in me. Amen!
2. Conteract thoughts by PRAYING Scripture.
– Zephaniah 3:17 says that You sing over me, and not just that You sing over me, but that You do it LOUDLY! It says that You, Father, rejoice over me. It says that You delight in me. I know that You don’t need me Lord, but You want me! You delight in me, and You want me, and You have made me your child (Romans 8:15). I am adopted into Your Kingdom, and nobody and nothing can take that away (John 10:27 – 30). You are a good, good Father, and when I sin, I confess, and then You forgive me (1 John 1:9). I know that I confess and that You are faithful and just to forgive my sin and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness, so thank-You, Lord! I am worthy of Your love, because You have made me righteous! I am not condemned (Romans 8:1). I am adopted into your family, and I am a fellow heir with Christ!(Romans 8:17)
3. Counteract thoughts by PRAYING through singing. Either find songs quoting Truths and Scripture that you like OR make up your own tunes to go along with Scripture.
“I’ve been saved by the blood of the Lamb…”
4. Counteract the lies by PRAYING and moving.
Counteract the lie of “your sin is too much” by claiming that Jesus’ blood is worthy. Say it, sing it, speak it, dance it, PRAY it however you want. I find it helpful to move sometimes when I’m claiming victory, so if you want to get up and jump and dance to this song because you have victory, then go for it. However you want to claim victory – there is freedom in the Lord, so go for it!