By Pastor E.A. Deckard
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times
“Spiritual warfare is very real. There is a furious, fierce, and ferocious battle raging in the realm of the spirit between the forces of God and the forces of evil. Warfare happens every day, all the time. Whether you believe it or not, you are in a battlefield. You are in warfare.”―Pedro Okoro
Forward Thinkers, spiritual warfare consists of struggling against evil forces in our minds. The Bible is clear that this is not a battle which is fought on a physical plain at, but rather a spiritual one:
Ephesians 6:12 explains, “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.”
Forward Thinkers, who are these principalities, powers, rulers or darkness sitting in high places? They are all birthed from Satan’s kingdom but since Satan is not Omni present (can be everywhere at once), he works through a network or an army of demon spirits. When a person says, “The devil is on my trail!” it is highly unlikely that Satan himself is assigned to the job, but rather one of the troops in his army, which would be a demonic spirit.
Forward Thinkers, ironically you can be encouraged if Satan himself is assigned to attack you, because that would be an indication that God has a major assignment planned for your life. Satan is intimated by your future, therefore; he is determined to stop you today before you destroy his demonic kingdom.
Defensive spiritual warfare
Forward Thinkers, there are two kinds of spiritual warfare, “offensive” and “defensive.” In defensive spiritual warfare, demonic spirits (under Satan’s command) are launching what are known as fiery darts, as Ephesians 6:16 tells us:
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
Forward Thinkers, these fiery darts come in one of three forms: temptations, deceptions and accusations.
Spiritual warfare dart #1: Temptations
Forward Thinkers, Satan couldn’t freely play havoc on Eve’s life because he had no rights to her, so what did he do? He went about trying to get her to give him those rights. He tempted her to sin because sin gives the devil a foothold in our lives. Ephesians 4 is telling us to put off our old sinful nature and in verse 27, it tells us that we can give the devil a foothold in our lives through sin:
“Neither give place to the devil.”
Forward Thinkers, the devil tempted Eve in the garden because he had no “place” in Eve’s life, but he wanted one. If Satan wants more legal grounds in our lives, you can expect some temptations to come your way. That’s his way of getting you to fall and give him a place to operate. The moment we fail and sin, it is important to quickly turn from those sins and repent so that we can be forgiven and the legal ground removed.
Spiritual warfare dart #2: Deception
Forward Thinkers, I have seen Satan beat up more Christians than I care to admit. Countless believers are living in defeat because they have been deceived. The enemy has deceived them and caused them to believe and live a lie. If we allow deception to take hold, strongholds can then be formed in our minds. Strongholds are incorrect thinking patterns based on falsehood. Demonic spirits love to use these strongholds to their advantage against a child of God. Strongholds have tremendous power to affect our feelings and emotions. Many blood-bought children of God Almighty feel guilt-ridden and worthless because they don’t see themselves the way they ought to. Many Christians feel unloved and not good enough to be accepted by God because they see Him wrongly. Their perception of Him has been damaged and causes them to see Him as a distant and cruel taskmaster instead of a close loving Father who longs (deeply desires) to have an intimate loving relationship with them!
2 Corinthians 11:3 says, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled (deceived) Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Forward Thinkers, the Bible says people perish from a lack of knowledge, therefore; we must understand Satan uses our lack of knowledge to deceive us into believing his lies. I challenge you to seek knowledge and I promise you will always discover the truth of freedom.
Spiritual warfare dart #3: Accusations
Forward Thinkers, Satan is known to be the accuser of the brethren. Not the accuser of the sinners or the world, but the children of God. He could care less about badgering those who are in his kingdom, but he loves to pick on the children of God.
Revelations 12:10 reveals this saying, “…the accuser of our brethren…”
Forward Thinkers, he accuses us by reminding us of our past sins and failures. If we listen to his accusations against us, we will begin to meditate on our past and become filled with guilt and see ourselves as failures. It’s time we realized our past has been dealt with on the cross. Have we forgotten the blood of Jesus washed away all our sin? Jesus has paid the price, therefore; we should not be thinking about our past mistakes anymore.
Forward Thinkers, Satan loves to take a child of the Almighty God, who’s been washed clean in the blood of Jesus and is without spot or blemish, and make them feel dirty, worthless and view them self as a failure. If we pay attention to the devil’s accusations, our negative thoughts will form strongholds in our minds that will need to be torn down before we can experience freedom and operate in the fullness of Christ.
Offensive spiritual warfare
Forward Thinkers, we also have offensive spiritual warfare, which usually consists of tearing down strongholds that have been formed in our minds when we have taken the bait and accepted the deceptions and lies of the devil. Since strongholds are incorrect thinking patterns based on error, the correct weapons we are supposed to use to tear down such strongholds are meditating on and applying the truths, which are found in the Word of God.
Ephesians 6 speaks of the weapons that we are to use in spiritual warfare, and in verse 17 we are told to take up the sword of the Spirit, the offensive piece of weaponry:
“…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Forward Thinkers, a sword is an offensive weapon meant to tear down and destroy the enemy. This is exactly what meditating on the truth in God’s Word does to strongholds, it tears them down. Strongholds are built on error, and torn down through truth.
Forward Thinkers, the devil tells you, “You’re a failure! Look at your past!”
Forward Thinkers, God’s Word tells you, “What past? The blood of Jesus has washed it away!”
Forward Thinkers, if you meditate on the error, you will begin to feel guilty and see yourself as a failure, but if you meditate on God’s Word, you begin to feel clean and victorious.
Forward Thinkers, in conclusion, spiritual warfare is a battle that goes on in our minds between error and truth. If we can know the truth and focus on it, while at the same time ignoring the error, we will be successful in spiritual warfare hands down. Remember, the victory has already been won by Jesus.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, 16711 Ella Blvd. Houston, Texas, 77090. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.