What They Forgot To Teach Me About Spiritual Warfare4 min read
If you grew up like me in a typical church in Nigeria, you must have been familiar with the term “fighting the enemies”. To use the vernacular, “somebody somewhere is always wickeding someone and that somebody must be stopped.”
Most times when we were told to engage in spiritual warfare, we were always binding some demon lurking in the shadows. I know some churches take it to extra-scriptural lengths by binding persons who they believe is “behind everything wrong” in their lives.
I would like to state that I believe in spiritual warfare. Really, the Christian walk is in itself a continuous warfare. I just feel that one of the most important components of spiritual warfare is being neglected.
To be clear, I am really basing my thoughts on two things – my understanding from the Bible and some of the experiences I have had over the years.
Let me share one of these experiences. It was about seventeen years ago and I had just moved into a location where it seemed the devil was having an open-house party every day. There were Christian groups there but they seem to be more interested in building their little kingdoms instead of the kingdom of God.
There were a bunch of guys who just moved in to the area and were part of some of these existing groups. These guys really wanted to stop the devil’s party but it seemed that all their prayers were just words. They bound, they tied and cast out but the devil just kept partying until the sun went down.
Eventually, God gave them a word that nothing was going to change until the Christians in that community came together in unity before there would be any breakthrough.
I was part of the group and you can imagine how I felt discovering that all our prayers had no impact without a change in lifestyle. I learnt a lesson here – until God’s people take the initiative to align their lives with God, our prayers are just noise making sessions.
This experience and a couple others over the years have taught me to start spiritual warfare first from myself. The reason why the enemy has a reason to rule over a domain is because Christians there have chosen a lifestyle that gives him a foothold there.
Paul writes – 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. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. (2 Cor 10:3-6).
We need to let ourselves to ready to live out the example what negates the activities of the enemy in an area. For example, if you feel that in an office, you have everyone against you and there is hatred towards you. Respond by loving them, love becomes your battle standard. This counters the hatred in the atmosphere and allows God to fight for you.
If you enter an environment filled with constant fear and distrust, choose to trust and believe the best in people. You have an example in Jesus – despite the fact that He knew Peter would betray Him, He still trusted Him with leadership of the disciples. This really paid off in the end but at that time, it probably looked like a dumb idea. That’s probably why the devil could not “sift him as wheat.”
I bet if you do this, the devil would not have a hold on you and your warfare prayers would really pack a ruckus in the devil’s open-house party.
Let me leave you with a thought – what do you need to change in the way you relate to people at home, work or church which would allow God to work in the situation you have been praying over. You may actually be the one stopping yourself from winning that battle.
Back to the story I was talking about earlier. We eventually got Christians within some of the existing Christian groups together in unity without thoughts on denominational territorial preservation. And God fought for us after that. It didn’t mean that everyone in the community became Christians but we got some new ones in.
All this was just because, Christians put the devil to shame not just by their prayers but by their lifestyle.
Now it’s your turn.