Our world is fallen, there’s no doubt about that. We see, on a daily basis, how really out of hand things have gotten. Bloggers write it about it at such break-neck speed that we can barely read half of them before the next big “thing” happens. But is it really spiritual warfare that we’re facing?
Society in general doesn’t really seem to care what God’s Word says or that spiritual warfare is real. That’s where things get dangerous. There are warnings, on top of warnings, on top of warnings about what can happen when we turn away from God. In fact, there have been many times when I find myself wondering how I will ever find the time to pray. There’s so much to pray about! And it ALL seems like warfare to me.
If you’re like me, you have lost loved ones, loved ones who are sick and need healing. You might have family and friends who are facing great financial stability. Some of us see them going through marital problems, broken hearted for their children. The list literally goes on and on.
The Answer Is Simple
In all honesty, it simply doesn’t matter what you’re facing when it comes to deciphering warfare from life. It might seem like it, but there’s a little more to it than that. God wants us to turn to Him and to read His Word to make sense of it all, to be able to figure out what’s what. He is our guiding mark, no matter what the temptation, difficulty or battle.
- Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)
You see, the enemy will do anything in his power to keep us from talking to our Father. He knows that when we do, we will receive strength, the situation will suddenly become clearer and we’ll have a beacon in the darkness. Our line of communication with the Father is our lifeline when things get crazy.
Believe me, I know!
Be Honest With Yourself
If you’re having trouble deciding whether or not a circumstance is a true spiritual battle or not, there are some things you can do. First, think about whether or not the situation brings you closer to or further away from God. Is it just a bad day that got out of hand, or are you seriously contemplating something that would break God’s heart?
If what you’re going through could ultimately lead you farther away from God, it’s probably direct fire from the enemy himself. Remember that in Part 2 of this series, we found that spiritual warfare is anything that takes you away from God. Why? Because the war isn’t for your peace. It’s for your soul.
The enemy doesn’t care much about the wins and losses you have here on earth. He just wants to make sure you’ll never see the Kingdom of God when this life’s work is through!
Remember Who You’re Dealing With
The enemy is powerful, it’s true. He looms over us sometimes and can often leave us feeling hopeless and distraught, if we’re not careful. However, there are some things we should always keep in mind. He is not nearly as powerful as God, and he certainly isn’t all-powerful.
God is omniscient and omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere, all the time, at the same time and always right on time!
The enemy is not. Far too many times, people give the enemy a lot more credit than he deserves. There is a limit to his power, and it can be found in the Holy Scriptures!
From now on, don’t be so quick to blame the devil for that flat tire. Did you forget to have it checked or to air it up properly? Then it was your decisions that ultimately led to the flat. Don’t blame the devil on treacherous midday traffic or the five o’clock rush. Maybe it’s not the devil…maybe it’s God slowing you down to keep you out of a wreck further on down the road that might have taken your life.
You see, we have situations in which it’s not the devil’s fault at all. It’s not to say that he isn’t the father of lies and a professional bringer of havoc. However, we need to learn to be able to distinguish just exactly where his power ends.
Not Every Situation Is Warfare
It’s easy to want to pin the blame for all our sorrows, heartaches and woes on the devil, but not everything is his fault. Before you huff and puff and stop reading, let me explain…
Of course, the enemy has a role to play in all of our hurt. God’s perfect plan is for us to live the life of fullness that Jesus died to provide for us.
However, we have a sin nature that simply wins sometimes. Living in a world of sin offers the enemy MANY opportunities to turn us off of the path we’re suppose to be on. All it takes is a thought, a glance, a word, and the enemy is pushing us along on a decision we had already made in the first place.
This is how things go from bad to worse…when we let the flesh win. It’s why Paul talks so often about crucifying the flesh daily. It’s why the Word tells us that we have to repent, and turn from those things that take us further from the Father.
It’s Not Easy, But It’s Possible
It’s not easy to push back sometimes. I know in my own life, there have been PLENTY of times I’ve wanted to throw my hands up and simply quit. But then what?
Quitting entails know that I was the one who failed God. Saying, “I quit,” means that I had to make a conscious effort to stop moving towards God. It means I let the enemy get the best of me.
And that, my friends, is when we’ve LOST that spiritual battle.
The Bible tells us that when we resist the devil, he will flee (James 4:7). It gives us an account of the exact pieces of spiritual armor that we have at our disposal (Ephesians chapter 6). We know, already, that the battle belongs to the Lord and He is victorious. Maybe not in our ways or in our timing, but His ways are not our ways (Romans 11:33).
And I’m so thankful for that!
Pray and Discern
We also read in the Bible that we are study to show ourselves approved a workman unto God (2 Timothy 2:15), and that we are to rightly divide the Word of truth. We have a job to do. It is preparation for the battle that is sure to come.
Knowing it’s on the way should make it easier, shouldn’t it? Oh, but those who have ever been in the heat of spiritual battle knows that isn’t true! It’s never easy because our flesh cries out, all the time, for relief and justification of self.
I believe this is where a life of fasting comes into play. Even if it’s only once a week, a day of fasting is preparation for being able to place the flesh under submission. It gives us the opportunity to push back against the physical, in search of the great spiritual relief that will surely come.
If you’ve never tried it, I strongly suggest reading up on fasting, praying about it and then doing it. It meant something to Jesus, it means something to God and once you’ve tried it, it will mean something to you to.