Spiritual Warfare; April 22, 2019

2 Corinthians 10:3-4 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.

Life is a battle, whether we recognize it or not. Satan is spoken of as “your enemy the devil,” (1 Peter 5:8) and Jesus said he “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) That certainly calls for us to be battle-ready! However, as Paul says here, the weapons God has provided for us are up to the job, if we will use them. The issue then becomes recognizing what our weapons are and learning to use them effectively. The most explicitly stated is the Bible, the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:17) We need to get it into our hearts and minds to allow the Holy Spirit to bring it up whenever and however necessary. There are various stories of people’s lives being saved by bullets being stopped by a Bible in their pocket, but that’s not what this is. This is getting the content of the Word into us so that it can come out again as called for. However, Scripture isn’t our only weapon. Even in that famous passage in Ephesians it speaks of “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” (Ephesians 6:18) Prayer, and specifically prayer guided by the Holy Spirit, is a weapon. That’s not limited to prayer in tongues; He can guide prayer in any language, but we need to allow Him to do so. I think most of us recognize those two weapons, but there are more that I think get overlooked, specifically, forgiveness and blessing. It is amazing what forgiving someone can accomplish! Often it is the key, and the only key, to demolishing demonic strongholds, just as Paul speaks of here. I couldn’t count the number of “works of the devil” I have seen torn down by forgiveness. However, to operate in forgiveness we have to recognize how much God has forgiven us. Pride totally “dulls the edge” of forgiveness. The other weapon is blessing. Proverbs says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.” (Proverbs 25:21-22) I have seen amazing things happen from words and acts of blessing. We will see unimagined victories if we will recognize and use all the weapons God has provided for us.

I am by nature a rather non-combative person. I was almost court martialed in basic training in the army when I wrote and gave a dramatic performance of a distinctly anti-war poem in a post-wide talent show. (This was in 1970.) However, I have had to learn that the fight comes to me, even though I’m not looking for a fight. For quite a few years one of my “theme verses” has been something Jesus said just before His crucifixion: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) That “trouble” can be pitched battle, but in Christ, I am always on the winning side. At the same time I know that I cannot take things for granted. The full quote of what Peter said that I mentioned earlier is, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9) The battle is no joke! As James said, resisting the devil requires first submitting to God. (James 4:7)

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for Your presence in the battles that currently involve me. I am not alone! I ask for wisdom and anointing in the specific interactions I will have today, that all the weapons You provide may be used effectively, for the deliverance of Your children and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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