The truth is, we’re not just wafting along through life as if we haven’t a care in the world. There is a battle going on, as we can see plainly in Paul’s writing:
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.Ephesians 6:11-13
Throughout Scripture, we are told that there IS a spiritual battle, and that it IS real. 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
Battle Plan Step #1: Submission
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.James 4:7
This puts emphasis on what WE can do that elicits the protection of God in our lives. While we are certainly not saved from anything through our own works (Titus 3:5), that’s not what this verse is talking about.
Instead, it speaks to our resistance causing the devil to flee. For instance, if we succumb to the enemy putting thoughts into our head that cause us to want to sin, we are definitely not resisting. On the other hand, if we take that thought, and bring it into the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), the devil has no alternative BUT to flee. Because the Word does not lie, nor does it return void!
Battle Plan Step #2: Dead to Sin
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 6:11
This is a kind of extension of the idea of resisting the devil so that he must flee. Many times, when things go wrong, we are apt to consider our sins to see if we might have given God “a reason” to hit us with chastisement.
More often than not, this is simply a thought process straight from the enemy that causes us to lose our peace and our focus on our right-standing with Jesus.
If we are sure to repent of our wrongdoings, then God is FAITHFUL to forgive us, according to 1 John 1:9. This is what we must remember in order to “reckon ourselves dead to sin.”
Battle Plan Step #3: Crucify the Flesh
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.Colossians 3:5-6
We cannot battle the enemy if we, ourselves, are in the midst of our own sin. The Bible says that the flesh will always contend with the spirit (Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38; Romans 8:1, 5, 13; 1 Corinthians 5:5; Galatians 5:16). Living in the flesh, Romans 8:13 says, means that we will die, but living through the Spirit means that we will live.
The good news IS, though, that if we walk in the Spirit, we won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
Battle Plan Step #4: A Mind Full of God’s Word
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Philippians 4:8
I think this verse, and others like it, might have been why Smith Wigglesworth wouldn’t allow newspapers in his home. The enemy wants our minds bombarded with every horrible thing possible, especially these days. Because even he knows that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks! (Matthew 12:34).
Instead, we need to fill our minds and hearts with the unadulterated Word of God. Knowing what HE says about things can give us confidence that He will accomplish the greater good, no matter what. It gives us strength with which to pray. And it gives us great things to focus on when we need it.
So there you have it! A 4-step battle plan that should help a little bit in many situations. I pray God blesses you abundantly today!