I know that Spiritual Warfare is a relatively new concept within the Modern Church (although the Early Church was well acquainted with it). And I know that there are many Pastors who will say they don't believe in it; or at least do not want to consider it as part of shepherding their flock. Furthermore, while I believe that Jesus desires us all to engage in spiritual warfare, [in order to take territory from the Enemy and establish His Kingdom on earth], I do not necessarily think that everyone is equipped to do it. It takes someone with precise and clear knowledge of their Bible to understand that though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
That being said, I thought you might find it interesting if I shared some of the finer points of spiritual warfare that have characterized the experiences of my husband and myself. While they represent a common thread in the lives of people, I assure you that each person's spirit perceives them to be unique to their life and circumstances. And I'm pretty sure that some of what I'm about to share will sound too fantastic to be true, but it is my honest testimony of the Truths Jesus has shown me.
Furthermore, it is imperative that you understand that the primary way in which Jesus and the Holy Spirit are able to communicate with a wounded and hurting person is through their imagination... Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered (Proverbs 28:26). Here, Strong's Concordance defines "wisdom" as the Hebrew word CHOKMAH, meaning experience, shrewdness, special abilities. The Concordance further states that "the prerequisite [for wisdom] is a desire to follow and imitate God as He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, without self-reliance [and especially not in a spirit of pride]". All this to point out that we are spirits in physical bodies, and our spirits can supernaturally connect with our Savior through our minds and imaginations.
And there will likely be those who say they see nothing of this sort in the Bible. But didn't the Pharisees accuse Jesus of consorting with Beelzebub when He healed the blind and dumb man? And unfortunately, as I pointed out in this post, our English Bibles only have one word for all the miraculous works that the Father did through His Son. That word is healed and it connotes far more than physical healing. Just in the single verse of Luke 7:21, Scripture tells us, In that hour He healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind He bestowed sight. That verse speaks volumes. If we were honest with ourselves, we would admit that there there are supernatural inferences in the Bible that we may never understand. But I fear that this has resulted in man limiting all that Jesus can do when interacting (communicating) with our spirits. He has certainly showed me that nothing is outside His creative ability when it comes to setting a captive free!
So, for now, I hope that at least you will consider that the word "healed" leaves us with a limited understanding of all that Jesus did. In fact, Strong's Concordance has shown me that the word "healed", in this instance, is the Greek word Sózó, meaning to save, heal, preserve, rescue, deliver, [set free]. And when you look up the words "Blind" and "Sight" for this particular verse, the Concordance reveals this: Jesus is referring to people who were [metaphorically] "enveloped in the smoke of pride and self-conceit; lifted up with pride" (blind). But Jesus bestowed sight, which is defined as "intense, earnest perception". And what were they perceiving? The Source of the Power by which Jesus healed them!
It is time that the 21st Century Body of Christ perceives the Truth of the Word! And just as in Luke 7:21, Jesus is raising up a spiritual army of men and women who are being "healed"; people who are throwing off their Doubt and Unbelief and Pride -- the root sins that keep us from allowing Jesus to heal our physical and spiritual wounds, and to receive and use His Power within us. So, in Part One, I'd like to show you the most common responses we've seen to this uncommon ministry. I want to share how the Holy Spirit has guided us in helping Jesus to set these captives free...
1) Why didn't Jesus stop it? This is perhaps the Number One question, and the biggest hurdle to overcome for anyone who has been oppressed by the Enemy. And it doesn't matter what the "it" is. Whether it is child molestation, a parent abandoning them, bullying, infidelity, physical and/or emotional abuse, or any number of methods Satan uses to entrap us -- it all spells P-A-I-N.
Even if individuals can see in the spirit, and imagine Jesus being with them through the pain, they cannot understand why He allowed it to happen. The fact that He never left them nor forsook them in their pain is not enough for some people to heal. They cannot forgive Him for not stopping the act, whatever it might be.
To be honest, I had difficulty in explaining it to both the person's [and my own] satisfaction. Explaining that Free Will is a principle instituted by God [and given to us all], and that He cannot violate His principles -- in other words, pick and choose whose free will He is going to void; yours or your perpetrator -- does not ease the pain, nor adequately explain to them why they had to suffer. Their pain is personal and they don't understand why they had to suffer because of someone else's free will decision.
Like I said, that has been a hard concept to swallow, and hard for me to defend ... UNTIL, in a recent session, the Holy Spirit gave me supernatural understanding into why seeing Jesus with them is so important. When I point out that God didn't even stop His own Son's crucifixion, and that even Jesus questioned why His Father had forsaken Him, every victim suddenly realizes that Jesus chose to be there with them in their pain. He is uniquely qualified to know how they feel. He, too, understands what it is like to wonder why the painful event wasn't stopped. Although He couldn't stop it, He was there with them, to share in their burden. And they begin to understand that God loves them so much, He allowed His Son to suffer (even though it was within His power to stop the crucifixion) in order that Jesus could identify with our suffering, meet us in our pain, and help us to begin to heal. I have literally seen the shadow of demonic torment be lifted from a person's countenance with this revelation.
2) People are often angry with God. That is only natural, and to be expected at first. When you are an innocent victim of another person's evil free will, it is understandable to want to blame someone. And if you are a Christian, it can shatter your impression of a loving, caring God.
But to a Believer, this can also cause confusion and doubt. We know God loves us. To some, it seems blasphemous to be angry at our Creator. To others, it completely changes how they view God, and their anger gets compartmentalized, because it is the only way they can move on and remain a faith-filled Christian. But whenever anger surfaces in someone, I have never sensed that the Holy Spirit judges or condemns. It is understood that Anger is a spirit introduced by the Enemy and the power of Jesus is greater than any power of a demonic spirit. It then becomes important to get the inner person, the victim, to be set free from the bondage the devil has imposed on them.
3) A victim is unwilling to see or look for Jesus in the event. It has been extremely illuminating to see the different responses to seeing Jesus in hurtful circumstances. Some see Him right away and rush into His arms; one might see Him, but angrily refuse His open arms, wanting nothing to do with Him; still others are indifferent to Him, almost mocking the thought that He could comfort them.
We know that Jesus is the One who heals, not my husband or myself, and the victim certainly has not been able to heal themselves, or they wouldn't be suffering the oppression in the first place. We have discovered that Jesus is the key to healing, and if a victim is reluctant to accept His comfort, or unresponsive to His presence, then the Holy Spirit has given us an alternate route to take.
My husband is particularly good at listening to the Holy Spirit for cues, and this is what he has been shown... If a victim can't let themselves see Jesus, or wants nothing to do with Him, we can ask them to picture a place that is peaceful and safe. They may choose a beach or a mountain cabin. It doesn't matter where it is, as long as it has meaning to them. And you can see their body visibly relax as they picture that place.
We have then been able to ask them to close their eyes, search their spirit and see if there are any younger versions of themselves that are struggling. It is amazing! Everyone has been able to identify at least one or more versions of themselves that are floundering, or not at peace -- and it is usually a vision of themselves at an age that a painful event in their life occurred.
We can ask them to just envision absorbing that younger self into their spirit, assuring them that they are protected, and taking them to that safe place. We can ask them to do that for each version of a younger self that feels "out of the loop" with the adult self. Once they are all comfortable in the safe place, the person is no longer fragmented by feelings of anger or fear or self-rejection. Sometimes that's enough to heal the confused spirit, or if necessary, it is a good time to re-introduce Jesus to the whole person, who is now able to accept His loving embrace and spiritual healing.
I'm sure we have all expressed at one time or another ... "I just don't feel like myself". I would submit to you that the Enemy is exploiting some part of your soul, and keeping you in a state of division within yourself. If he can get some part of you working against your spirit, who abides in Jesus, then he can lay waste to your peace, and your divided "household will fall".
By the way, if you have a theological difference, or can't embrace this concept, then feel free to comment, and let's talk about it. We need to have an open discussion on the subject and begin to have an honest conversation, because in the next post, I will be going even deeper.
In Part Two of What I Have Learned By Doing Spiritual Warfare, I will explain the lengths to which the Enemy has gone to keep people in bondage, and how the Holy Spirit has guided us into more complex ways to help set the captives free. And I'm sure that they are not any more sensational than the works of Jesus in His day. I simply hope you will be able to see how precious each life and spirit are to God, the Father, and to His Son.
2 Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom."