The Essentials of Spiritual Warfare

By admin  //  Devotionals  //  No Comments

The Invisible War (2) “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NIV)

I do not know of any other verse in scripture that so beautifully summarises all that is involved in effective spiritual warfare like the above scripture does.

The first and most important step in winning the invisible war is not in addressing the devil but in submitting to God. I have seen many people who claim to be involved in spiritual warfare but whose lives are not submitted to God. They know how to fast and they say they pray but they are still gossips, unforgiving and rebellious. Such “intercessors” may walk around with an air of spirituality but their prayers are not doing anything to push back the darkness or establish God’s kingdom.

You see the whole essence of spiritual warfare is that we are enforcing the authority of Jesus by taking ground from the enemy and thereby establishing God’s kingdom. But it is only those in whose lives the rule of God has been established – those who have submitted their lives to him and are living in obedience to him, that can enforce and establish his rule elsewhere.

Spiritual warfare is not so much in how we shout or jump or know the right words to say, as much as it has to do with our walk with the Lord. A right walk with the Lord is the first step to effective warfare. Remember those seven sons of Sceva? (Acts 19:14-16). They tried casting out devils using the right words but it carried no weight with the spirits because their lives were not submitted to God.

Before we rush off to bind and loose, let us submit all our sins, and fears (it is counter-productive to try resisting the enemy out of fear), and cares, and let us receive God’s holiness and grace. Let us submit to God in repentance, and in praise and adoration. And then from that point we can resist the devil.

It is when we submit our lives to God that we will be effective as we resist the devil. There is nothing that the devil fears like the prayer of a holy man or woman. It’s like coals of fire being poured out on him, so he flees.

Let us pray: Father it’s useless attempting to subdue the enemy if I am not submitted to you. Lord, I come to yield my life to you. Lord is there any part of my life that is not yet submitted to you? Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to you. Reign in me Lord so that I may be able to enforce your reign in Jesus’ Name!

FOR FURTHER MEDITATION: Matthew 5: 23-26; 6:16-18; 2 Corinthians 10: 3-6 (consider the implication of verse 6, ‘once your obedience is complete’); Joshua 7: 10-12; Acts 19:14-16; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5: 6-9