Spiritual Warfare is the cosmic war of good versus evil: its battles are fought daily between God and Satan; between the world system ruled by our spiritual enemy; and between the Holy Spirit and the lusts of the carnal flesh within every human soul. Man is always having a battle with Satan. It is actually the battle between God’s will towards man and Satan’s will towards man. God’s will towards man is to give him His life , love and divine power. The Son of God came in flesh & been incarnated in order for us to be partakers of His divine nature “ Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” ( 2peter 1:2-4). While Satan’s will towards man is to kill ,slaughter and steel, as he is a murderer from the beginning(Jn. 8:44) .
So the struggle starts when man decides to surrender his soul and body to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and stops all the evil works . When he chooses to receive the Holy spirit and be united with Him in order to let it have authority on him and abolishes all the bad spirits and all the evil bondages that Satan had tied him with. It is really a battlefield where one has to conquer the other and be victorious, either the divine & holy power conquer and defeat the unclean and evil spirit or vise versa, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day…” (Eph. 6:10-13 NKJV). So it is man’s decision and choice. “We have not only been endued with the power of the Holy Spirit to give us boldness, wisdom and courage to proclaim the gospel of salvation (Acts 1:8), but also to enable us to be victorious in the struggle against the enemy of our souls”.
We often neglect this aspect of our spiritual lives and are consequently weak, unprotected and even unarmed for the fierce battle in which all of us are involved. We need to be spiritual warriors who are alert to the activity of the enemy and his wicked plan to us. A spiritual warrior knows his inheritance in Christ. He knows God’s promises and is not easy prey to the lies and deceptions of the enemy, who tries to call these promises and inheritance into question. He understands the lie is the enemy’s language and his most effective weapon. Therefore, the warrior seeks constantly to fortify himself in an understanding of God’s truth which he wears like armor for protection.
How Satan attacks man?
He seeks to bring our mind and will into subjection through lies and deception. Satan knows that if he can convince or intimidate us through one of these forms of attack, he will have a definite advantage. When we are aware of these tactics, we will be more discerning when these attacks come to us. These attacks are much more deceptive than they appear. The fact that they have manifested in our thoughts makes them very personal. We think that this is our thoughts and our will and we are used to letting our thoughts lead us. He does not have unlimited powers over people, but as far as he is allowed to go he relentlessly pursues his objectives.
In the spiritual battlefield, the devil and his demonic forces launch their vicious attacks against man. On each front the devil adopts a different strategy and role. This is essentially a battle for the spiritual control of the mind and body. Paul says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war [according to] the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not [fleshly], but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3).
What we must do is learn to test the thoughts that we receive with the Word of God, and never accept his ideas, thoughts or emotions. Whether the thoughts have their source in our flesh or demonically, testing them by the Word is always an effective defense. The intensity of his opposition to believers knows no bounds as he is a murderer from the beginning (Jn. 8:44). Wars, disasters, accidents, , and various other means are employed by him to give vent to his aggression and murderousness.
Apart from sudden, violent attacks, he also uses slower methods to achieve his purpose. Many people’s lives are ruined over a long period by being enslaved to liquor, tobacco, drugs, sexual perversions and various other addictions.
Countless problems, obstacles, disappointments and irritations are employed by Satan to discourage people and induce them to abandon their efforts for the Lord. Never acknowledge defeat, but stoutly resist the evil one through a steadfast faith in the Lord Jesus. “For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest [you] be wearied and faint in your minds” (Heb. 12:3).
From this description of the spiritual war it is obvious that the enemy’s strongholds in our lives result from vain reasoning and fleshly exaltation that arise from evil, misguided thoughts, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist, steadfast in the faith” (1 Pet. 5:8-9).
If there is demonic activity in a person’s life, it is there because some sort of sin claim has been given to Satan through personal consent. Satan’s work is built on the foundation of the sins of the flesh.
Due to our fallen human nature, and our inability to determine the origin of all ideas, there are various ways in which man can be tempted to sin:
• Wrong ideas and evil intentions may emerge from your own fleshly nature and subconscious mind. “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (Jas. 1:14-15; see also Mk. 7:21-23). Remember that the old man (your old, sinful nature) is completely corrupted by deceitful lusts (Eph. 4:22; Rom. 6:6).
• Compulsive thoughts extremely low self-image (unworthy, a failure, no good)
• Constant confusion in thinking (difficulty in thinking, in understanding, in remembering)
• Inability to believe (even when the person wants to)
• Perceptual distortions – perceiving anger
• Compulsive feelings Hatred and bitterness toward others for no justifiable reason
• Tremendous fear
• Deep depression
• Irrational fears – panic attacks – phobias
• Irrational anger – rage
• Irrational guilt – self-condemnation to the extreme
• Compulsive behavior
• Desire to do what is right & inability to carry it out
• Lying, exaggerating, or stealing
• Drug abuse.
From the preceding description of the spiritual war it is quite obvious that the attacks of the enemy are comprehensive. The effects of this battle often extend into the physical realm where they manifest as adverse circumstances in our daily lives. These circumstances are always aimed at discouraging us and weakening us spiritually. The victory must, therefore, be gained in the spiritual realm if we are not to be paralysed by the enemy and surrendered to the bondage of sin.
What to do to nullify Satan’s plan in our life:
A spiritual warrior takes it very seriously the Biblical warnings to God’s people about an enemy that is real. He knows he must bring discipline to his thought, life and to his actions. If he allows these areas to be compromised, he will not be effective in resisting the enemy. He takes sin very seriously, because he knows that sin always gives the adversary an advantage. Sin cannot be reformed but must be stopped and crucified. If this not be done, the enemy of our souls will gain a large measure of control over us by establishing wicked and uncontrolled thoughts or desires in our hearts and minds.
True dedication to the Lord demands the surrender of the old, sinful nature (the flesh) to be crucified and ever to be kept in that position: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Lk. 9:23). Paul’s advice to the Ephesians: “…that ye put off concerning the former [conduct] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24).
What to do to conquer the enemy and be victorios?
• Identify sin areas and confess it and repent it.
• Do not yield to temptations, but submit yourself to the Lord and resist the devil. The Lord Jesus will understand your problem, and is also able to help you because He Himself experienced and overcame temptations: “For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to [rescue] them who are tempted… For we have not a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 2:18; 4:15-16)
• The strongholds of sin are to be pulled down and eliminated,
• Every thought must be taken into captivity to the obedience of Christ
• You carefully guard against the attempts to distract you or to push your buttons.
• You recognize that the enemy likes to entangle God’s people in the cares of this world or provoke us to react in the flesh.
• You understand the importance of keeping your eyes on the Lord and standing in faith upon God’s character, not in your abilities.
• You begin to discipline yourself on all levels.