For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4
The spiritual realm is very real. There is a tremendous battle over the souls of men being waged between the Spirit of God and Satan. Though we walk in a body of flesh, our real battles are not physical battles. They are spiritual, and we must fight them with spiritual weapons to walk in the victory that Christ has won for us.
Paul wrote, For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age (Ephesians 6:12a). Our real warfare is with these spirit entities, and the warfare is constant. We cannot imagine the extent to which this spiritual warfare is being waged in the universe around us.
When Daniel sought the Lord in fasting and prayer (spiritual weapons), an angelic messenger had been immediately dispatched by God but was delayed. “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia” (Daniel 10:13). Michael, a powerful archangel, came to aid this dear messenger who faced opposition from the evil spirits who controlled Persia. And so this messenger was finally able to bring Daniel the message from God about events to come. It’s an interesting insight behind the scenes of the ongoing spiritual war that surrounds us.
Be Not Ignorant
Though we cannot see this spiritual warfare, we would do well to be aware that it is going on. Many times, we feel the flack—the impact, the byproduct of it. Oftentimes this is the reason behind those feelings that we don’t understand or can’t define—perhaps a feeling of heaviness, depression, discouragement, despair, restlessness, or agitation. It’s possible that there is a spiritual force behind it, an impact from this ongoing spiritual war surrounding us.
Paul reminded the Corinthians that we are not ignorant of his [Satan’s] devices (2 Corinthians 2:11b). To be aware of these battles is vital for us as Christians if we’re going to maintain a life of victory. One of our problems is that we do not always recognize when Satan is attacking. And so we just go on enduring it rather than standing against it. We just bow our heads and go on being battered and beaten and feeling lousy. But we can resist it.
Three R’s of Spiritual Victory
There are three R’s to spiritual victory: recognizing, resisting, and rejoicing. First, we must recognize that we are under attack by the enemy. Be aware of the source of the attack—that it is spiritual. Then we can resist the devil in the Name of Jesus. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
I remember one Saturday morning learning a truth that changed my life. Often on Saturdays when I was preparing the Sunday message, a spirit of irritability or agitation would come over the children—and they would start going at each other, and then Dad would have to come intervene. So it began one Saturday morning, and I began to put down my Bible to jump into the fray. Then the Lord spoke to my heart that this was a spiritual battle, and I needed to take dominion over it by praying in the Name of Jesus.
I prayed, “Father, I come against the spirit of agitation in the hearts of the kids this morning. I stand against it in the Name of Jesus. Father, I pray You will bring peace into this house, a love in their hearts. I pray You will bind the work of the enemy who is trying to bring this disruption into our home.” Before I finished my prayer, one of the kids made a joke, and they started laughing. The whole timbre of the atmosphere changed. Rather than getting into a real fight, the conflict just mellowed out. The Lord taught me an extremely important lesson that day—to be aware that, so often, the warfare is a spiritual warfare, and we must resist it in the spiritual realm.
The third key is to rejoice in the victory of the Lord over the powers and the forces of darkness. And as you rejoice, you find the depression goes, the irritation leaves, and you begin to really feel victory in Christ.
Note also that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (2 Corinthians 10:4a)—this means that our own strength offers us very little help in this war in which we are engaged. So often people make the mistake of trying to fight spiritual battles with carnal weapons. In Ephesians 6, Paul tells us to put on the whole armor of God: truth, righteousness, the Gospel, faith, the hope of our salvation, the Word of God, and prayer. At times, fasting and prayer. Recognize these spiritual forces that are coming against you and put on the spiritual armor that God has provided for us.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13
The Spiritual War—Part 3: The Weapons of Our Warfare — A Pastor Chuck Smith Teaching
Originally published in print Issue 94 of Calvary Chapel Magazine. Follow this three-part series on The Spiritual War at:
Part 1: The Hope of Salvation
Pastor Chuck explores two of Satan’s strategies in the battlefield of the mind and how we can protect ourselves with the helmet of salvation.
Part 2: Victory Through Jesus
Pastor Chuck sheds “light” on how the power of the cross saves those who follow Jesus out of the darkness.
Pastor Chuck was the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement and the longtime pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, CA
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