How to Fight Spiritual Warfare
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
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There are four things we need to do when we are battling spiritual warfare in our lives:
1. Acknowledge the adversary. Satan is real (1 Peter 5:8-9). When you’re being attacked, it’s proof that you’re a believer. The more you make an impact for God, the more the Devil is going to fight you. You never outgrow it; it just gets more intense.
If there were no Devil, why would God send his Son to fight what does not exist? The Bible says in 1 John 3:8, “The Son of God came to destroy these works of the Devil” (NLT).
2. Accept God-given authority. Most believers are very ignorant about the authority they have to use against the Devil. Matthew 28:18-19 says we have all authority in heaven and earth. Then Jesus says, “Therefore go and make disciples …” (NIV). He transfers the authority to you and me. He does that because he’s given us a specific mission (2 Corinthians 5:20).
3. Put on God’s armor. When Paul wrote about the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17), he was in prison chained to a Roman guard. Paul used the Roman centurion as a model for spiritual armor. Paul says, just as the Roman soldier is properly dressed to do battle, we also need to be dressed for battle.
For instance, I will often pray, “Lord, I put on the helmet of salvation that will protect me from the thoughts the Devil will try to give me. I don’t want to think the Devil’s thoughts. I don’t want to think my thoughts. I want to think your thoughts, so that that I may be a voice for you. I put on the belt of truth. Lord, I want to share the truth, not falsehood. I want to lead people into righteousness.”
4. Aim the artillery. The battlefield for spiritual warfare is primarily in your thought life, in your mind (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Paul says the weapons God gives us to use demolish arguments – that’s the way people think; they pull down pretension – that’s the way people think.
We take every thought captive. In this battle for thoughts, we have four weapons: humility, faith, truth, and praise.
© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers.