Do you remember the wonderful season when we first entered into our new life in Christ? The season when we realized that, we are made new, the blinders have been removed from our eyes, attitudes have changed, and we know for certain that we are loved and valued by the Most High God. Life with Jesus was so amazing to us, all we wanted to do is learn and spend time with Him. There was no doubt in our minds that becoming a follower of Christ was the best decision we could have ever made. But shortly after that the turbulence came like flying in a small jet over the Pacific. If you’re like me no one told us about the troubles that will arise once you gave your life to Christ. I didn’t know that our lives would turn into a 12 round fight and that Satan and his minions were trying to knock us out cold.
Many people in the church are completely asleep to this fight, this struggle, this invisible war as many call it. Many don’t understand why depression has taken over our minds, marriages are on the ropes, lust consumes our thoughts, and persecution is coming from those closest to us. When we accepted Christ we signed up for a fight and enlisted into a war. Failure to realize this truth can cost greatly. Satan our enemy wants to go undetected banking on the believer’s ignorance so that he can overtake them. To those of us who say that we shouldn’t pay Satan any mind you are going completely against scripture. Waking up to this reality is what God instructs us to do. If you have ever been in a fight you know that you have to be alert and on your guard if you want to get the win. In addition to being alert we have to know who and what we are up against.
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Scripture tells us that we are in a fight, but not with other people. Ephesians 6:12 says, “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.” The devil and demons are real! When I say demons we aren’t talking about a slang word or a figure of speech. I am talking about disembodied being, with personalities, and a will that we are unable to see. These demons can torment us in our sleep, whisper negative thoughts to us, and even oppress us (although cannot fully possess a Christian) causing fear or depression. Demons can also work in non-believers in order to persecute you. This is just a high-level overview of who and what we are dealing with, any of these examples could be (and will be prayerfully) an article of its own. Hopefully you get the idea, there are forces intentionally coming against us as Christians. The faster we accept this the better, it starts with awareness.
Not only is the fight against spiritual beings but we also must fight against ourselves (let me explain). Even though we have been born again and are filled with the Holy Spirit there is still a part of us that desires to rebel against our Father God. This part of us is called the Old Man (the flesh). This body that we are in still has the desire to sin, it is even at war with our new Spirit. Galatians 5:17 reads “the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” The old man has a desire for the things of this life it’s greedy, lustful, selfish, deceitful, and has wicked imaginations. Most of all it resist the Spirit of God in you in order to keep you from being an effective Christian. We need to be aware that during our new walk with Christ our old desires will rise up against us. Again being aware of these challenges should encourage us to be prepared.
What should we be prepared for? We should be prepared to fight back! Many of us see our walk with Christ as a posture of weakness and are indirectly trained to sit idle and accept the attacks of the devil and have come to accept that the desires of the flesh will always prevail over the intentions of the Spirit. A preacher once told me that if we are saved by faith we can walk in victory by that same faith. This doesn’t mean we won’t have trials, those are designed to fortify us. But we don’t have to live defeated lives where the devil and sin have left us ineffective in this war. We have weapons, however as the bible says the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (2 Corinthians 10:4). The following is a list of weapons we can use to fight back.
Stay Close to the Shepherd (Jesus)
A preacher once said that “the wolf isn’t afraid of the sheep but afraid of the shepherd.” Jesus Christ is the that shepherd, and He said “…for without me ye can do nothing.”. Quiet time with the Lord is a must if we want to see victory from the devils attacks and sin. We can overcome depression, lust, addiction, fear, and anything else the enemy or our flesh throws our way if we spend quality time with the savior. It is a must to read about Christ in the Bible however we must spend time taking Him in and meditating on what we have read about the savior. You may start out with 15 minutes a day really thinking on Jesus’ goodness and loving character. The next thing you know you can spend an hour of quiet time with Him. When we do this we replace the desire to sin with a greater pleasure which is close fellowship with Christ. When troubles hit our lives worry and stress cannot overtake the supernatural peace and joy Jesus gives us.
Actively worshiping the Lord first and foremost pleases Him but it also has the power to break the chains of bondage in our lives. In the book of Acts chapter 16 Paul and Silas were thrown into prison after Paul casted out a demon from a young girl who would make her masters money by fortune telling. After the demon was cast out she could no longer make her masters money so those men had Paul and Silas imprisoned. Verse 25-26 say that Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God and then an earthquake shot the prison doors open and everyone in the prison’s bands were loosed. When we decided that we are going to worship the Lord either corporately or individually, God will start breaking the chains of bondage off of our lives. When fear, doubt, or temptation has us trapped, consistent sincere worship will set us free. We do not have to wait until Sunday morning service comes to do this. We can turn on a Christ centered song and sing praises in our bedrooms calling on our Father in heaven as we praise His mighty name.
Satan hates a Christian who is willing to spend time in prayer. Prayer is our direct connection with the Lord of the Universe and we do ourselves a great disservice when we do not use it often. It is more than just going to God when we feel that we want or need something but we should actually have a “prayer life”. When battling against the lust of the flesh I can remember reading Matthew 26:41 when Jesus says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. I have read the gospel of Matthew several times however this scripture came alive at that moment because the Lord was speaking directly to me through His word. Jesus found His disciples asleep while in the garden after having asked them to watch and pray with Him. To gain victory over our flesh and the enemy we cannot be lazy when it comes to our prayer lives. It is essential for us to communicate to our Heavenly Father and to allow Him to communicate back to us. It is through prayer and the filter of His Word we get direction to walk out our faith.
Finally we have a personal helper living inside us. His name is the Holy Spirit and He is sent by Jesus to comfort, convict, and teach us. He gives us peace in our trials, He warns us when we are headed into tempting situations, challenges us when we do wrong, and strengthens us when we are weak. The more we listen and obey the more of an effect He has in our walk. We have to learn to recognize His voice and obey it. “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
I hope this article was a blessing and that it edified you. I’m sure that there are things I may have left out. This topic is very broad and there is a lot to cover in one article. How do you handle the fight we are in as believer? Are you prepared for battle? Please comment below.