Spiritual Warfare: If You Are Not Praying, Then You Are Not Fighting
Many times believers misunderstand the concept of spiritual warfare. They think spiritual warfare is either for those that are involved in the ministry of deliverance or for those that are demon possessed. This misconception leads to ignorance and ultimately leads to defeated Christians. While all Christians are supposed to walk in victory, most of them walk in defeat and they wonder, why people that are worldly have great success and lead a thriving life, and why you, a believer, battles with setbacks in your life.
The devil is very strategic in his manoeuvre. He is not wasting his resources on people that have already signed up to join him in hell. While he has those people fooled that there is the greatest barbecue going on in hell, he has not mentioned to them that, they are the steak that will be rotated on the skewer on the hottest furnace. Although it may seem like worldly people have a great time, it is only a deception. Satan has no mercy on anyone, he has no love for anyone and he spares no one. People fear satan while the only one to be feared is God Almighty. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28).
If you are Christian, then you are at war, which means you got to fight. If you are not fighting, you will be defeated. Now it is true, you may be able to get into heaven because you believe and have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your saviour. But you will live a defeated life and when you get to heaven, you will be a useless nobody. Which king would reward a soldier who did not fight in the battle, but instead was lazy, indifferent, irresponsible, unreliable, coward, unarmed, unskilled and a traitor?
Yet, most of us are walking around in the battlefield, ignorant, unarmed, unskilled, fearful, and careless, getting knocked out from every angle, wondering what on earth is going on. When we do fight, we pick the wrong opponent, we fight with each other. Your neighbour’s dog that barks at you every time you step into your own backyard is not your enemy. Neither is your mother in-law nor is it your nagging wife or your dominating husband, and it’s definitely not your kids that drive you nuts. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).
Our enemy is not made of flesh and blood, our enemy is spiritual, our armour is spiritual and our fight is spiritual. Our enemy is none other than satan himself, although, Jesus Christ has won victory over the devil and we are fighting against an enemy that’s already defeated. You may be wondering why we have to fight a battle that is already won and defeat an enemy that is already defeated. Satan is like a poisonous dead snake that can still bite hours after it is dead. Its heart keeps beating for two days and the snake can continue to move. Satan’s head has been severed at the cross of Calvary and is defeated, but like the snake, satan still is on the move and is striking anyone that he can devour. Since our defeated enemy is still trying to strike us, we continue to fight the battle that is already won and the victory that is already declared.
In our natural world, battles are fought in three arenas; the army, the navy and the air force. We fight our spiritual battles also in three arenas; the world, the flesh and the devil. Every soldier gets trained before he goes to battle and he wears an armour that protects his vital parts while he is on face to face combat. Every Christian too needs to be trained to fight this spiritual battle, and every Christian needs to wear his spiritual armour. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:11-17).
Every believer is to wear a belt of truth as part of their spiritual armour. The belt of truth represents our total acceptance to the Word of God. Satan tries to attack us in this area with his lies, deceptions and false doctrines. We have to guard our soul with the truth and centre our lives with the truth of God’s Word. The belt of truth symbolises our integrity. If we lose our integrity, we will lose our battle. We see so many people joining cults and have gone astray because they have lost their integrity. They have accepted the lies of the devil and are defeated.
Next piece of our armour is the breastplate of righteousness. Righteousness means repenting of our sins, and accepting the righteousness of Jesus in exchange for our unrighteousness, and living a life in obedience to God. Righteousness symbolises our purity and holiness. If we are not living a life of holiness, purity and righteousness, which is in Jesus Christ, then we have a crack in our armour and we are vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy.
Every soldier protects his feet with shoes and so does every Christian that engages in spiritual warfare. Our spiritual shoes are made of peace of the gospel of Salvation. Our peace symbolises our tranquillity. Satan wars against our peace sowing discord and disharmony constantly, distracting us from God’s word and God’s will for our lives. We have to guard every step we take by focusing on being peacemakers, and sharing the gospel of peace with others, otherwise we will lose our battle.
Our spiritual armour consist of the shield of faith, which extinguishes the fiery darts from the enemy. Our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and His word symbolises our certainty in our victory. The devil comes against us with trials and temptations. When we have our shield of faith, we are relying on God for our protection. We are trusting in God to shield us and empower us. When our focus in on God, we are safe, but when we start doubting, we lose our shield, we lose our protection and ultimately lose the battle.
Our head is protected by the helmet of salvation. Our helmet protects our mind. Satan comes against our mind with thoughts of defeat and despair. Our salvation symbolises our sanity. If you are not saved, then you have no protection against the enemy. Also our mind needs to be renewed daily with the word of God, otherwise we can remain carnally minded even though we are saved, and a carnal mind is a crack in the helmet, where satan can enter and have a stronghold and defeat you. Therefore, to safeguard his sanity, a believer has to continually renew his mind with God’s word.
The last piece of armour is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. The word of God symbolises our authority as believers. Many believers are defeated in battle because they are not equipped with the sword of the Spirit. A good soldier trains himself to use his artillery. Our weapon of warfare is the word of God. We need to read it every day, meditate on it and study it, so that when the enemy comes against us, we can use the word of God to defeat him and crush him.
There are believers that wear the armour everyday but forget to fight the battle. Imagine a soldier standing in the middle of the battlefield, fully armed, but is not fighting the battle. We do not wear our spiritual armour to go to a fancy dress party, but to fight in battle. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people (Ephesians 6:18). We fight our spiritual battle with prayer. IF WE ARE NOT PRAYING, WE ARE NOT FIGHTING. We are called to pray in the Spirit on all occasions, and at all times.
To be successful in our spiritual warfare, we need to believe in the truth, live a life that is pure and holy, share the gospel of peace, stand firm in faith, be saved and have a renewed mind, be fully trained with God’s word and pray without ceasing.
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