“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but are mighty through God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”
- 2 Corinthians 10:4 NKJV
The bible talks about the possibility and reality of a believer engaging in a kind of warfare which is not physically characterized, but is a spiritual activity that we may not be able to see in the physical realm.
The spiritual warfare dimension is also mentioned again in this text which says:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
- Ephesians 6:12 NKJV
This makes it clearer that it is really a spiritual battle that the apostle Paul is trying to communicate to the brethren.
Now many believers are not aware of this reality that a Christian is automatically at the warfront the moment he declares Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life. This is a sad reality, because ignorance is one of the tools the devil uses to keep us from possessing our inheritance and walking in the fulness of all that God has planned for us.
There are questions we will answer regarding the topic of spiritual warfare that might still be unclear to some believers. The hope is that by the grace of God the brethren gain light to triumph.
The questions we look to answer include:
- What is spiritual warfare?
- Can it be prevented? If no, how do we overcome?
- When does it end?
- Must I partake in this war as a believer?
What is Spiritual Warfare?
As we have earlier introduced the topic, spiritual warfare is literally the battles that we can not see in the physical. We may not see them physically happening, but the results are always sure to manifest in this realm.
An example of a spiritual warfare that we see in the bible is the case of Peter, when Jesus showed us a spiritual possibility we were not aware of:
“But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’”
- Matthew 16:23 NKJV
Now, this rebuke came as a shock to Peter who was simply trying to be a good disciple by trying to encourage Jesus that he should be more positive about life, funny enough. But Jesus being spiritually awake knew that there was a warfare here for the mind of Peter; the devil was already working on him, and was almost winning. Jesus had to quickly rebuke and win that battle over Peter.
This is just one of the so many spiritual battles that we find in the bible, and their manifesting results in the physical.
If we look at the verse in 2 Corinthians 10:4 again, we learn that this warfare is actually not as pronounced as you would expect, but the devil is cunning enough to go for the captivity of men’s minds, because that is where the real battle is fought; whoever wins it gains control; either the Holy Spirit or Satan.
When we hold the word of the promises of God as true and continue to proclaim them over our lives, that is spiritual warfare, because the verse says, “Pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
So this spiritual warfare has to do with:
- Pulling down strongholds [negative powers and thought systems that are not in line with the will of God];
- Casting down arguments [any word that is contrary to the truths of God’s word]; and
- Every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God [pride, the thoughts of lust and contrary knowledge to the wisdom of God]
And the aim is “Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” This is the end-product that every spiritual warfare should produce for the believer. The obedience of Christ means respecting, obeying and believing every single word he has spoken and holding it as superior to every other knowledge.
Can it be prevented? If no, how do we overcome?
This warfare as we now understand from above is a daily battle that we cannot avoid if we want to walk in the victory that Christ has given.
We overcome by staying in the place of prayer and also gaining knowledge by the continuous study of the word of God.
“Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
- Matthew 26:41 NKJV
“… the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
- James 5:16b NIV
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
- Hebrews 4:12 NIV
When does it end?
For many wars, they have an end, and this war is not different. This war is one we will have to fight all the days of our lives on earth, until we are transited to the glorious presence of God; that is where it ends. Paul says:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
- 2 Timothy 4:7 NIV
This was Paul speaking at the end of his journey on earth. We continue to fight as well until the very end when we say like Jesus, “It is finished!”. Only then do we receive the crown of victory.
Must I partake in this war as a believer?
Well, that depends on the kind of life you want to live as a believer. Think of it this way: imagine two countries fighting, one of them is bigger and already having the upper hand and is looking more likely to achieve an invasion on the smaller one, then all of a sudden, the smaller nation receives help from a nation bigger than even the first one in terms of military might. Then this new helper says, “Look, we have come to help, and all you have to do is to accept. You can get all our arsenals and not only that, even food and every resource you need to survive, but on the condition that you must not stop fighting.”
The wisest thing would be to accept this offer of free help, except if the smaller nation wants its people to die by the sword, or hunger and starvation. So also it is with the believer; we have what we need in Christ and the key to possessing it is to continue to contend until we receive. This is the pathway to kingdom productiveness.