Practical Spiritual Warfare Tested
By A Reputable Educator And Ordained Minister
“What is Spiritual Warfare” includes several different parts. You will be able to follow the links to each of the different parts.
For your convenience I have outlined the series here and again on each part. There will be links to take you where you would like to go on the site.
Part IThe Battle
The Key Purpose of Our Enemies
The Position of Satan Since the CROSS
Note: this series of articles shows our THREE KEY ENEMIES in Spiritual Warfare - the World the Flesh, and Satan and his demons.
While my book Transformation: The Missing Piece does not relate
directly to this article, it is definitely an example of successful spiritual
What is Spiritual Warfare?
1. Spiritual Warfare And The Battle
The warfare is the struggles we go through to have life in this material world reflect God’s loving governance as much as possible.
It is also the struggles we go through to fight temptation and to overcome our trials.
Satan wants us to fail and he wants us back because it will cut God's heart.
It is called a war because there are forces working vigorously to thwart what God is doing. What He is doing in your life and mine and throughout the world.
God is in charge, but there is an enemy that is in full-scale revolt, and that enemy has powerful influence all around.
Strategy of Satan
As with the unseen God, the forces behind the revolt are unseen, nonphysical, and supernatural. They lust after power in the world of visible, material beings. Make no mistake my friend, it is us they lust to have power over.
Just because the battle is unseen doesn’t mean it isn’t going on. It is; in every nook and cranny of our earthly existence.
In deciding to follow Christ, we believers accept the rulership of Christ in our life (That’s what’s met when Jesus is called Lord – his authority and rule).
Victory over the Darkness
This NEW YOU yields “all of yourself” to Jesus, but the OLD YOU doesn’t like it one bit.
You know what happens then - with his temptations Satan jumps all over the resistance of the old self, the old habits, the old lifestyle, the old hunger for pleasures. So the battle is on and the devil causes us to wonder if we really are sold out to Jesus Christ.
Prayers that Rout Demons & Break Curses
2. Our Strongholds
Strongholds in Warfare are made up of deeply rooted thought patterns that are dominated by our three main enemies, which are:
- Worldly Thinking
- Fleshly Habits
- Satanic Influences
A stronghold is accepting as unchangeable those things we know are contrary to the will of God.
As you can see, the Battle takes place in the mind. (See the page on Satan’s weapons and Strongholds which will be added in the future and also The Battlefield of the Mind).
Battlefield of the Mind, Winning the Battle in Your Mind
3. Our Enemies
There is an on-going spiritual warfare against the human race by our enemies.
The enemies against the human race are:
- The Flesh,
- The lust of the eyes
- The lust of the flesh
- The pride of life
- The World,
- Satan and his demons, or fallen angles.
4. The Key Purpose of Our Enemies
The overriding purposes of these above three enemies of mankind are:
- Causing Christians to be ineffective – in all kind of ways.
- Keeping non-Christians from coming into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Cutting and breaking the heart of God.
- Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy.
5. The Flesh
What is Spiritual Warfare And The Flesh?
The Bondage Breaker, New Edition
There are three sins of worldliness.
The Invisible War
(A.) Spiritual warfare and the lust of the flesh.
Note that desires and urges are not wrong. A man has to have desires and urges in order to live a healthy and normal life.
But the desires of the flesh have to be controlled.
If they are not controlled, then the flesh begins to desire and lust more and more. This gives an open door to Satan and his demons and the spiritual warfare is on.
There are two times when the desires and urges of the flesh are wrong:
- When the flesh desires something that is directly forbidden by God. (For example, sex is not wrong within marriage, but adultery and fornication [pre-marital sex] are wrong. One helping of food is not wrong, but several helpings is gluttony.)
- When the flesh desires and desires and consumes and consumes, then it becomes indulgence and gives license to continue. For example, we must desire food in order to maintain life. But if the flesh desires and desires food in order to consume and indulge, then food is wrong. Too much cake is wrong. The desire has become lust, consumption, indulgence, and license.
What are the sins of the flesh? What areas does the spiritual warfare take place? They are far more than what people usually think, far more than just the immoral sins of society.
The spiritual warfare is in the mind; it is the battle of the mind because it is not things that defile a man. It is the heart that defiles a man. A man's heart is corrupt; therefore, he corrupts himself.
Man is not made unclean by things; he is unclean because of his polluted heart. It is he himself who takes things and does unclean things with them.
The real spiritual warfare takes place in the mind; we give Satan and his demons to much credit. They simply are not able to violate the free will of a true believer.
That is worth repeating!!! Satan and his demons are not able to violate the free will of a true believer - Christ took care of that at the Cross!!Everyone's Guide to Demons and Spiritual Warfare
The flesh and the enticements of the world and their impact on our thinking and desires make up our major spiritual warfare battles. The works of the flesh are these (see Galatians 5:19-21 and Mark 7:21-23)
Notice how spiritual warfare takes place in the mind on each of these works of the flesh before the actual action takes place.
Dressed to Kill: A Biblical Approach to Spiritual Warfare and Armor
- Adultery: sexual unfaithfulness to husband or wife. It is also looking on a woman or a man to lust after her or him. Looking at and lusting after the opposite sex whether in person, magazines, books, on beaches or anywhere else is adultery. Imagining and lusting within the heart is the very same as committing the act.
Restoring Your Broken Marriage: Healing after Adultery
- Fornication: a broad word including all forms of immoral and sexual acts. It is pre-marital sex and adultery; it is abnormal sex, all kinds of sexual vice.
- Uncleanness: moral impurity; doing things that dirty, pollute, and soil life.
The Book of Leviticus: New International Commentary on the Old Testament [NICOT]
- Lasciviousness: filthiness, indecency, shamelessness. A chief characteristic of the behavior is open and shameless indecency. It means unrestrained evil thoughts and behavior.
Sex Is Not the Problem, Lust Is
- Idolatry: the worship of idols, whether mental or made by man's hands; the worship of some idea of what God is like, of an image of God within a person's mind; the giving of one's primary devotion (time and energy) to something other than God.
We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry
- Witchcraft: sorcery; the use of drugs or of evil spirits to gain control over the lives of others or over one's own life. In the present context it would include all forms of seeking the control of one's fate including astrology, palm reading, séances, fortune telling, crystals, and other forms of witchcraft.
Exposing Witchcraft in the Church
- Hatred (echthrai): enmity, hostility, animosity. It is the hatred that lingers and is held for a long time; a hatred that is deep within.
Killing Enmity: Violence and the New Testament
- Variance (ereis): strife, discord, contention, fighting, struggling, quarreling, dissension, wrangling. It means that a man strives against another person in order to get something: position, promotion, property, honor, recognition. He deceives, doing whatever has to be done to get what he is after.
Conflict-Free Living: How to Build Healthy Relationships for Life
- Emulations (zeloi): Coveting, wanting and desiring to have what someone else has. It may be material things, recognition, honor, or position.
Covetousness(The Sin Very Few Ever Confess)
- Wrath (thumoi): indignation; a violent, explosive temper; anger; quick and explosive reactions that arise from stirred and boiling emotions. But it is anger which fades away just as quickly as it arose. It is not anger that lasts.
Keeping Your Cool . . . When Your Anger Is Hot! Practical Steps to Temper Fiery Emotions
- Strife (eritheiai): conflict, struggle, fight, contention, faction, dissension; a party spirit, a cliquish spirit.
Getting Rid of the Gorilla: Confessions on the Struggle to Forgive
- Seditions (dichostasiai): division, rebellion, standing against others, splitting off from others.
Rebellion, Remorse, and Return: The Prodigal Son's Painful Journey Home
- Heresies (aireseis): rejecting the fundamental beliefs of God, Christ, the Scriptures, and the church; believing and holding to some teaching other than the truth.
Creeds and Heresies: Then & Now
- Envying (phthonoi): this word goes beyond jealousy. It is the spirit...
• that wants not only the things that another person has, but begrudges the fact that the person has them.
• that wants a person to lose the things he has, and wants him to suffer through the loss of them.
- Murders (phonoi): to kill, to take the life of another person. Murder is sin against the sixth commandment.
You Shall Not Kill or You Shall Not Murder?: The Assualt on a Biblical Text
- Drunkenness (methai): taking drink or drugs to affect one's senses for lust or pleasure; becoming tipsy or intoxicated; partaking of drugs; seeking to loosen moral restraint for bodily pleasure.
- Reveling (komoi): carousing; uncontrolled license, indulgence, and pleasure; taking part in wild parties or in drinking parties; lying around indulging in feeding the lusts of the flesh.
Deliver Us from Evil: A Pastor's Reluctant Encounters with the Powers of Darkness
- Evil Thoughts: thoughts and imaginations and ideas and concepts that are base, wrong, wicked, immoral, unjust, reprehensible; thoughts that are not what they should be; thoughts that are not moral, clean and pure; thoughts that are not just and equitable; thoughts that are not uplifting and edifying; thoughts that are not spiritual, but carnal. Evil thoughts are a sin against all the commandments (Exodus 20:1f)
Dimensions of Evil: Contemporary Perspectives
- Thefts: to cheat and steal; to take wrongfully from another person, either legally or illegally.
Walking with God on the Road You Never Wanted to Travel
- Wickedness: to be depraved, to be actively evil, to do mischief, to trouble others and cause harm, to be malicious, to be dangerous and destructive. It is malice, hatred, and ill-will. It is an active wickedness, a desire within the heart to do harm and to corrupt people. It is actually pursuing others in order to seduce them or to harm them.
Breaking The Bonds Of Wickedness: How to Release Your Past and Embrace Your Future
- Deceit: to bait, to snare, to mislead, to beguile, to be crafty and deceitful, to mislead or give a false impression by word, act, or influence. It is conniving and twisting the truth to get one's own way. A man plots and deceives, doing whatever has to be done in order to get what he wants.
Desire and Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance
- Evil Eye: to look where one should not; to lust after what one should not; to envy, covet, crave and desire by looking; to use the eye in an evil way; to satisfy one's lusts and desires by looking.
Gotta Have It! Freedom from Wanting Everything Right Here, Right Now
- Blasphemy: to slander, insult, revile, speak evil of God or man.
Damsels in the Distress: Biblical Solutions For Problems Women Face
- Pride: self-exaltation, conceit, arrogance, haughtiness, putting oneself above others, looking down upon others, scorn, contempt. It means to lift one's head above another, to hold contempt for another, to compare oneself with others. Pride can be hidden in the heart as well as openly displayed. God resists the proud (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5; Proverbs 3:24).
From Pride to Humility: A Biblical Perspective
- Foolishness: moral senselessness, folly, wrecklessness, thoughtlessness. It is a man who acts foolishly in morals and duty, behavior and thought.
Fear Folly and Purpose: The Keys to Making Right Decisions
(B.) Spiritual warfare and the lust of the eyes.
The eyes have to do with seeing and wanting to have what one sees. Again, there is nothing wrong with desiring what we see. Seeing and desiring is normal. It becomes wrong when two things happen:
What are the sins of the eyes? Scripture says the following:
Notice again that the spiritual warfare first takes place in the mind and it is a battle of fighting one's own desires.
- There is the lust of the eyes for sex.(Matthew 5:28), (Romans 1:26-28), (2 Peter 2:14),(Job 31:1).
- There is the lust of the eyes after all kinds of evil. (Matthew 6:23).
- There is the lust of the eyes after the things of other people. (Psalm 10:8), (Luke 12:15).
- There is the lust of the eyes after all the pleasures and possessions of the world. (Eccles. 2:10).
- There is the lust of the eyes after wine, drugs, and alcoholic drinks.
- There is the lust of the eyes after other gods. (Leviticus 26:1).
(C.) Spiritual Warfare and the Pride of Life. This is at least two things.
- 1. The pride of life means self-centeredness, a person who is focused upon himself and wants people to notice him. Satan and his demons will use the world and other people for tempting us. The pride of life is a person whose mind and thoughts are primarily upon himself, a person who...
- seeks attention through dress or looks
- seeks attention through rank or wealth
- seeks honor
- seeks recognition
- seeks fame
- seeks power
- seeks position
- seeks luxury
- seeks wealth for recognition and power
- seeks to outshine others
- seeks importance
2. The pride of life also means self-sufficiency, a person ...
- A person who is focused upon himself and feels completely capable of handling life himself.
- who feels that self-image, public image, ego and personal strength are the basis of life;
- who feels little if any need for God.
- who feels he can plow through life himself and conquer whatever problems and circumstances confront him.
- who feels that this world is an end within itself, that there is probably nothing beyond this life;
- who feels he is to get all the comfort, pleasure, luxury, honor, and glory that he can while here
- that is arrogant
- that is conceited
- that is boastful
- that feels better than others because of rank or wealth
- that feels superior to others in looks and ability
What are the sins of the pride of life? Scripture says the following:
- There is the pride of self-sufficiency. (Rev. 3:17), (Proverbs 27:1).
- There is the pride of wealth. (Psalm 10:3), (Psalm 39:6), (Ezekiel 28:5).
- There is the pride of position. (1 Tim. 3:6), (3 John 9), (Genesis 3:5), (Ezekiel 28:11-13).
- There is the pride of power. (Leviticus 26:19).
- There is the pride of intelligence and knowledge. (1 Cor. 8:2).
- There is the pride of being better and superior. (Romans 2:19), (Proverbs 25:14).
- There is the pride of conceit. (Romans 12:16), (Proverbs 26:12).
- There is the pride of self-glory. (Psalm 36:2).
- There is the pride of self-righteousness. (Luke 18:11), (Romans 10:3), (Job 33:9).
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