Spiritual Warfare

For a period of time, I frequented a Christian online forum called HolyPal. I actually posted enough that the administrator of the site sought me out to help moderate the users and posts. This was a reply I made during one such post.

 

This was originally written on 1/29/2008

What you have to understand is that you, as a Child of God, have authority here on earth. When God created man, he gave authority over the earth to man as recorded in Genesis 1:28. When sin entered into man’s life, he relinquished that authority over to Satan. That is why, when Jesus died, He had to get the keys of death; to give us back the authority we had before.

To see this authority personified, first, we should look at Jesus:

Matthew 8:5-13-
5
Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” 7 And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.

This was in scripture to show the nature of authority by comparing how the demons are subject to Jesus just privates are subject to commanders in the different ranks in an army. But, we don’t stop there; Jesus gives us that authority.

 

Luke 10:19-20 –
19
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

 

Some believe that serpents and scorpions are metaphoric of Satan and his demons, and some think it’s literal. I believe it is actually both. This authority is not devoid of responsibility. Let’s look at what Paul says about it.

 

Ephesians 6:10-18 –
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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 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. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints–

The “armor” of God is a reference to preparing of spiritual warfare. At that time, war was a thing people were familiar with, so he modeled a roman soldier as a means to convey the idea of arming yourself for your battles as a spiritual warrior. The first piece is the belt of truth. The belt was an important part of the armor because it held everything together and provided a place for you to hang your weapon. The Truth is equality as important in your defense against the enemy. You must walk in truth for your armor to stay together.

The second piece the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate was a piece of metal that covered all of your vital organs in your midsection. No warrior would go to battle with his vital organs not protected. It is the same in the spirit. Righteousness is what protect our spiritual vital organs. We must live righteous lives to defend against the attacks on our spiritual vitals organs, like our integrity.

The third piece are the boots of the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Boots were important to give us a sturdy foundation to tread the earth. In the spirit, out foundation is our understanding and ability to share the Gospel of peace. It gives us our foundation.

The forth piece is the shield of faith. The shield was necessary to defend against the darts and arrows shot at the soldier by the enemy. These shields were doused with water to quench the fire that was normally on the arrows as they flew toward the soldiers. Our faith is that shield in the spirit. When Satan attacks us with the fiery darts of temptation and deception, it is our faith in God that repels his attacks.

The helm of salvation is next. The helm was important because it protected the soldier’s head. The head is the most important thing to protect in a battle. That is way our spiritual helm is salvation. A soldier could go into battle confidant if he had his helm on, knowing that he would be protected. The saint is the same way—we can go into battle confident in Jesus as our salvation because we know salvation is complete in Him.

Finally, we get to our weapons. We have been given the sword of the spirit. A soldier would be foolish to enter a battle with armor but no weapon. The sword was a preferred weapon in that time. Our sword is the Word of God. Scripture says “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). This is our first weapon in our spiritual battle. For it to be useful, we need to not only own a Bible, but to be in it all the time. We must know the Word. It must be in our hearts. What good is a sword in battle if it’s at home, on the shelf, collecting dust?

The scripture says we also have another weapon—prayer. Prayer is a powerful thing, and most people don’t even realize that it is just that—a weapon. With it we can petition God with a request. Through prayer we can plead for strength when we are weak, encouragement when we are discouraged, discernment when we are unsure, and peace when we are troubled.

 

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