July Bible Study
Texts: Ephesians 6: 11-17, 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5, Psalms 137
WHAT IS SPIRITUAL WARFARE?
Spiritual warfare is the Christian concept of fighting against the work of supernatural evil forces. spiritual warfare is the battle for control over people’s souls. We as Christians step onto this battlefield the moment we come to faith. Spiritual warfare, unlike wars on the earth, occurs in an invisible world, although we can’t see it, it is very real. In this spiritual war, we have a personal enemy. Satan is not a metaphor. He is living, roaming, and searching for opportunities to cause you and me to fall. War is tiring, messy, uncomfortable, and inconvenient. But we have good news as we fight, on the cross Jesus disarmed Satan (Colossians 2:15), meaning believers don’t fight for victory; rather we fight from a victory that has been already won. In the many battles in the Old Testament, Israel was promised success against their enemy before they ever stepped foot on the battlefield. Yet, they still had to fight. In the same way, in Christ we are assured of our victory, yet we must stand on the battlefield ready and willing to face spiritual warfare. The battles of spiritual warfare are intense when a person decides to accept Jesus as their Savior. The enemy will attack from all angles, hoping to dissuade the person from fully giving their heart to Jesus. He will use circumstances, events, people, things and even doubt in their minds to steal their heart back to his ways. The seeds that are sown in people’s hearts will either take root on good soil, which is a heart fully surrendered to the Lord. Or they will be sown in places where the word is snatched away from them until they fall away.
FORCES OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE
The Bible teaches that three forces are battling with God for ownership of your heart: the world, the flesh, and the devil. Thankfully, God is stronger than all of them. If you have chosen to begin a personal relationship with God, then you know that you have asked Him to be in control of your life but there is a part of you that wants to take back control and continues to put up an internal fight. You might even feel like there is a battle going on inside your mind some of the time. Do you have days when you struggle to believe what the Bible says about God, or about you? These types of battles are fought in the world but involve the spiritual forces of darkness that exist in the invisible realm around us. Once we are made aware of the world’s influences and how they contrast with God’s ways, we must then learn how to operate in the world as a true follower of Christ. It is one thing to be naive to the world’s deceptions, claiming innocence by ignorance, but once the truth is revealed, we have a responsibility to obey the Lord’s directions for us. At this point, we must ask ourselves a few questions like “Is Christianity about fighting and suffering or about love and joy? Isn’t the Christian life about peace? Didn’t Jesus do it all so I would not have to? The Christian life is not passive. Jesus told us in Luke 9:23, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Christians are not living the abundant life of love, joy, and peace because they are unaware of how to maintain and claim those promises. Jesus promised us an abundant life that starts here on earth. Until we understand the forces that are against us and are prepared to fight for what is rightfully ours, we will not be able to receive all that God has for us. Jesus Christ came to earth in the flesh. He lived a life of much suffering as He denied the desires of His flesh and the temptations of the enemy. Our flesh will suffer just like Jesus, but we can be victorious just like Jesus. The victory may not look the same as defined by the world, but nothing compares to a life that is victorious in the ways of God.
- Does spiritual warfare still happen today?
- How do I know if I’m experiencing spiritual warfare or a figment of my imagination?
- Are angels and demons real?
HOW TO PREPARE FOR SPIRITUAL WARFARE?
How can I fight spiritual warfare? As Christians, we can fight spiritual warfare only through the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit of God. If we pursue a righteous lifestyle, led by the Holy Spirit, He will instruct us not only how to fight, but also how to correctly fight. The Holy Spirit will instruct us on how to use the armour of God that Paul describes in Ephesians chapter 6, and He will teach us how to effectively use the gift of prayer. the Lord Jesus demonstrated proper use of the Word. When Satan came to Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4 and Luke 4), Satan misused the Word in some of what he said to Jesus. But Jesus utilized the Word properly and sent the enemy packing.
WEAPONS FOR SPIRITUAL WARFARE
The term ‘spiritual battle’ declares that we must need some spiritual weapons, and that we are led by the Holy Spirit. We must remain in contact with and surrender to the Holy Spirit. This connection is best made through intentional prayer. When the battle is long, we may feel weary, we may be tempted to give up, but these are the moments when we must remember that we don’t fight in our own strength. The weapons we fight with are not carnal weapons, and we don’t dare fight in our own strength. Our weapons are spiritual weapons, they are mighty through God, in His strength, not ours. And as we learn to tap into the strength of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to do what we otherwise couldn’t do, we will begin to see victory in our lives.
- The Word of God – “and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;” Ephesians 6:17, Matthew 24:35.
- Prayer using the name of Jesus – “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,” Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 2:9-11
- Worship – “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 2 Chronicles 20: 21 -22
- Fasting – “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To lose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Isaiah 58:6
- Proclamation – “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Revelation 12:11
- Thanksgiving – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; Philippians 4:6-7, Psalms 11:25
- The Armour of God according to Ephesians 6
- Any other weapon for spiritual warfare
HOW CAN WE WIN SPIRITUAL WARFARE AS CHRISTIANS
- Living a Righteous life
- Obedience to Christ
- Fellowship with Brethren
- Find a pastor, Christian counsellor, or trusted fellow believer.
Some people will blame every problem on Satan and his demons, while others ignore the spiritual realm altogether. Both are dangerous. Blaming everything on spiritual attack stops us from taking responsibility for our sin while refusing to believe in the possibility of spiritual attack leaves us vulnerable to Satan’s schemes. The best way to approach spiritual warfare is to find a balance between owning our mistakes and staying aware of the temptations around us.
Job is a perfect example of a spiritual conflict that was manifested in the physical form. Job was a real human being living here on earth, but the Bible gives us a clear look at what was happening concerning Job’s life in the spiritual realm. God looked upon Job as a righteous man but, because Satan wanted to prove God wrong, Job became the victim of Satan’s attacks. Job’s family, finances and home were destroyed, and his health and friends turned against him. Job experienced very real physical and circumstantial conflicts because of the conflict in the spiritual realm. Job also became the victor because of his faithfulness to God in words and actions throughout the trial. His victory was spiritual, physical, and material on earth as it is in heaven.
- Others winning strategies as Christians.