Spiritual warfare is a term that describes the conflict between the forces of God and the forces of evil in the spiritual realm. It is a reality that every Christian should be aware of and prepared for, as the Bible tells us that we are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).
But what does spiritual warfare look like in our daily lives? How can we recognize it and resist it? How can we equip ourselves with the weapons and armor that God has provided for us? In this blog post, I will try to answer these questions and share some practical tips on how to engage in spiritual warfare effectively.
First of all, we need to understand that spiritual warfare is not something that only happens to some special people or in some special situations. It is a constant reality for every believer, as we are living in a fallen world that is under the influence of Satan and his demons. The enemy is always looking for ways to deceive us, tempt us, accuse us, oppress us, and hinder us from fulfilling God’s purposes for our lives. He wants to steal our joy, peace, faith, hope, and love. He wants to destroy our relationships, our ministries, our testimonies, and our destinies.
Therefore, we need to be alert and sober-minded, as Peter warns us: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). We need to be aware of his schemes and strategies, and not be ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). We need to be vigilant and watchful, as Jesus tells us: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
Secondly, we need to realize that spiritual warfare is not something that we can fight on our own strength or wisdom. We are not match for the enemy in our natural abilities or resources. We need to rely on God’s power and grace, as Paul reminds us: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). We need to depend on God’s presence and guidance, as David declares: “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).
Thirdly, we need to recognize that spiritual warfare is not something that we can avoid or escape from. It is a part of our calling and mission as followers of Christ. We are not only called to be saved from sin and death, but also to be soldiers of Christ who fight the good fight of faith (2 Timothy 2:3-4; 1 Timothy 6:12). We are not only called to enjoy God’s blessings and promises, but also to share in His sufferings and glory (Romans 8:17; Philippians 3:10). We are not only called to be spectators or consumers of God’s kingdom, but also to be participants and contributors of God’s kingdom (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
Therefore, we need to embrace spiritual warfare as an opportunity and privilege to demonstrate our love and loyalty to God, to advance His kingdom and glory on earth, and to grow in our faith and maturity as His children. We need to see spiritual warfare as a challenge and adventure that will stretch us beyond our comfort zones and limitations, and will bring us closer to God’s heart and will. We need to see spiritual warfare as a blessing and reward that will result in greater joy and peace in God’s presence, greater fruitfulness and effectiveness in God’s service, and greater crowns and treasures in God’s eternity.
So how do we engage in spiritual warfare effectively? Here are some practical tips:
- Know your enemy. The Bible tells us that our enemy is not flesh and blood, but the devil and his demons, who are bent on deceiving, tempting, accusing, and destroying us (Ephesians 6:12). We need to be aware of their schemes and strategies, and resist them with the truth of God’s word (2 Corinthians 2:11; James 4:7).
- Know your identity. The Bible also tells us that we are not helpless victims, but children of God, who have been redeemed, forgiven, justified, sanctified, and sealed by the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:3-14). We need to remember who we are in Christ, and live accordingly (Romans 8:14-17; Colossians 3:1-4).
- Know your authority. The Bible further tells us that we have been given authority over the enemy in the name of Jesus, who has defeated him on the cross and risen from the dead (Luke 10:19; Colossians 2:15). We need to exercise our authority in prayer, faith, and obedience, and command the enemy to flee from us (Mark 16:17-18; Matthew 18:18-20).
- Know your armor. The Bible finally tells us that we have been equipped with the armor of God, which consists of the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:13-17). We need to put on the whole armor of God daily, and stand firm against the enemy’s attacks (1 Thessalonians 5:8; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
These are some of the ways that we can engage in spiritual warfare effectively. By doing so, we can overcome the enemy’s lies, temptations, accusations, and oppression, and experience more of God’s power, presence, peace, and joy in our lives.