The title of this article is “warfare basics” so let’s keep it simple and stick with the basics of spiritual warfare.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 ( NKJV ) 3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
2 Corinthians 10:2-6 ( KJV ) 2But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5Casting 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; 6And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
There is an interesting term in this scripture – the obedience of Christ. What is the “obedience of Christ”, what is “your obedience”-how do we find it and fulfill it?
Luke 11:2 (NKJV) – 2Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
John 5:19 (NKJV) – 19Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
John 5:30 (NKJV) 30I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
John 8:28 (NKJV) – 28Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.
John 10:30 (NKJV) 30“I and My Father are one”.
We find the obedience, or submission, of Messiah/Christ by seeing and following the examples of the Lord’s submission to the Father. His obedience becomes our obedience.
That example is found in the Word and the guidelines of it are found in the Ten Commandments and the things the Lord did while He was on Earth.
Our thoughts (perceptions) have to line up with His Word and the One who the Word is about. It’s not optional. Your opinion, or argument/imagination about His Word, is not going to help you. In fact, you argument/imagination makes you no better then Satan and enjoins you in his rebellion.
Whether you agree with the Word or the way it’s been given to us is not important. Remember, and never forget, it was that kind of disagreement that turned Lucifer, the morning star (which implies he was the first angel created and the brightest of them all) into Satan (the adversary). His imagination about what should be was based upon his perception instead of what was and became his “down fall”. When we go from submission to selfish disobedience we too become adversaries of Almighty God and His Kingdom. ANYTHING no matter how spiritual it seems that has its inspiration in selfish ambition or selfish desires is carnal/satanic and not of God. And, it will ALWAYS cause you to fall!
The final part of 2 Corinthians 10:6 is a statement of conclusion in that if everything else before verse 6 takes place then verse 6 will come about. Being 6 being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled is preceded by the word “and” which joins it to the information given in verses 3, 4 & 5. You cannot punish, or be prepared to retaliate against these supernatural powers and their disobedient efforts against the Kingdom of God until YOU have been obedient. To try to do so would mean you are confronting the powers of darkness in the same state of rebellion they are in.
There is a scripture that states this clearly:
James 4:7-10 ( NKJV ) 7Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Getting the devil to flee from you from you begins with you submitting to God. Submission and obedience is based on trust and relationship as shown in verse 8. You draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. He wants to draw near to you. As the scripture shows, He is waiting for you to want Him to be near you. However, you are not going to draw near Him unless you trust Him and have a relationship with Him. And, you won’t be able to do that if your hands are defiled by sin and your heart us not clear and clean. You wouldn’t be able to stand being in His presence.
This is the reason why I have to seriously question anyone claiming they know Him if they can do the sinful, selfish things they do on Saturday night and then go to Church on Sunday morning and not come under conviction. If the presence of the Lord is there through the HOLY Spirit you could not and would not dare to raise unholy hands to Him IF you knew Him and He knew you. You wouldn’t want to do that if you loved Him and knew His love. Victorious living is found in a relationship with God through the Lord not through a religious mindset about God and the Lord. If religion could defeat the devil then the Pharisees would have been enough. They weren’t because religion and its counterfeit spiritual nature is the inspiration and tool of the devil.
John 14:15 ( NKJV ) 15“If you love Me, keep My commandments.
I’ve met Believers in bondage to some vice or fleshly pursuit who struggle and suffer as they cry out to Him for forgiveness and deliverance. That is someone who has met Him and is tormented by their inability to do right. Like the Gadarene man they know what is wrong with them and what is right with Him. They know that their freedom lies in who He is and what He can do for them.
And, then, I’ve met some who call themselves Believers who sit through sermons and Bible teachings about something going on in their life (lying, fornication, stealing, lust, etc.) and don’t blink or feel any conviction at all. When that happens I realize that either they never knew Him or their hearts are so hardened in sin that they no longer know Him. Those who once knew Him but now have hearts too hard for the Spirit to convict them should pay close attention to Matthew 7:21-23. If that section of Matthew does not chill you to the bone you are already lost. When their failed battle with the flesh and the things of the flesh noted in Galatians 5:19-21 becomes acceptable to them they are immune and numb to the correction of the Spirit.
When THAT happens the victory belongs to the enemy and they have become a spoil of war.
It’s no surprise that the church is so ineffective against powers and principalities when they cannot even rule over the smallest area of sin in their lives. If we do not have victory in the small things we can expect victory over the big things.
Song of Songs 2:15 (NKJV) 15 Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes.
To be victorious in this war we must have victory over the little things that are hidden from the eyes before we can take on the bigger things that are much more dramatic. There are so many that want to chase demons or cast down demonic princes but won’t bother to remove the “foxes” of presumptuous sin that destroys their lives.
The victory we seek over these supernatural powers we battle is dependent upon the victory in our life over ANY area of disobedience no matter how small. If you are struggling for victory take your eyes off of the enemy and put them on the Lord. Ask Him to show you where there is breach or opening in your armor and then repent of whatever it is.
Repentance isn’t just saying you are sorry. It’s a 180 degree turn AWAY from what that action or activity is in your life. Just like the woman caught in adultery in John 8:11, the Lord did not condemn her but also said “go and sin no more”…in other words…STOP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
Stop drawing the sword to run out on to the battlefield to engage the enemy with cracked or defective armor or worse no armor at all. The enemy will see that and know that you are unprotected and he will have no reason to flee from you. Take a secure, strong fighting stance by listening to the admonition of the Lord’s brother James mentioned above.
Spiritual Warfare begins with you, your home, and your family.
Victory starts with personal victory and then continues onward to the battlefield.
The empty Tomb enforces that victory and the Upper Room empowers its ongoing nature.
That’s how you become more then a conqueror through Him who loves YOU!
That’s when victory begins!!
Once your life is victorious over the power and influence of the Satan and his angels you can then expand that victorious influence to other parts of your life. Now, just think how effective in spiritual warfare we would be if everyone did that…and so on…and so on….
To aid in your victorious living through Him we are leaving His LIGHT on!