I know this is a scary proposition for most Christians, and the spirit of fear is a darn good tactic of the devil that keeps many Believers from getting into the battle, let alone staying in the fight. But it is important for us to know that this Enemy is not going away, and as we get closer to the day and hour that Jesus returns, it is a certainty that we will encounter the forces of evil. So don't you think we should be preparing ourselves to endure and to overcome?
And the interesting thing is, my experience has been that those who are unchurched are able to grasp this truth easier than those who are regular church attendees. In both instances, I am talking about people who believe and have faith in Jesus. It's just that the unchurched group doesn't have the "sacred cows of Religion" that tells them Christians can't be demonized (a term that I use to refer to people who are oppressed or tormented by demonic spirits). And they are more willing to see the demonic attacks in their lives for what they are -- attempts by the devil to kill their physical body or spiritual influence; to steal their hope in a meaningful future; or destroy their faith in God.
Some of the most formidable spiritual warriors I know are people who have, through personal experience, come to know that they have access to Jesus's power to defeat Satan's forces in this world, and in their lives. After struggling to fight the Enemy on their own (and failing), they have met Jesus in a personal encounter and know that He is with them always; and they have seen that His power is always available to those who surrender the battle to Him. And they have seen the devil and his spirits vanquished, and know that they never have to submit to the Enemy again!
But I also have to caution those who think that once you have beat the devil, he's going to leave you alone. Many people are surprised that the attacks continue, or in some cases, actually escalate. But think about it ... Satan's no pushover. What worked before to enslave you, just might work again. He's at least going to try the tactics that worked in the first place. He wouldn't be the Prince of this world if he gave up so easily. So I always tell people to keep your guard up, and your armor on. In fact, that spiritual armor that Paul talks about in Ephesians 6 should never come off. It's called the Armor of God, and He gave it to you to equip you for the battle that He knows will be a reality in every Believer's life. But the parts of the armor are only useful if you put it on and keep it on!
For those who want to win that first battle with the help of Christ, and then retire from the battlefield, it doesn't work that way! You have engaged with the Enemy of God and he must try to diminish your prowess on the battlefield. He can't have you winning other campaigns or skirmishes in the Name of Jesus! I mean, you just might convince other Believer's that they don't have to succumb to his schemes and strategies! And why would you want to bow out of God's army?
But here's the good news! You don't have to keep getting attacked! Once you know you have that Power and Authority and continue to exercise it, the Enemy will realize that you are not going to cower from him again, and he won't waste his resources on you! He's got plenty of people that will submit to his threats and do his bidding, or at least be threatened enough to abandon their work for the Kingdom. And here's the way I look at the period when you are working towards your steady empowerment ... If the devil is attacking you, then that's a sign that you are taking back territory for the Kingdom of God; that he sees you as a capable and proficient foe. For awhile at least, he will try to stop the success you are having in defeating his forces. When he figures out that he can't overpower you, he will recognize the full measure of Jesus's power that is working in your life, and he will move on to more vulnerable targets.
Actually, I think we should consider it a privilege to fight in His Name because of what He did for us. And we should be grateful that He trusts us with increasing amounts of power as we take back valuable territory (and lives!) from the Enemy. To call yourself a Disciple of Christ is to declare war against the kingdom of the devil and all his works in our lives and in our communities. We have a decision to make -- either fight or be defeated. Too many Christians are living defeated lives because they either don't know they can win, or have decided to just give up.
And I am so pleased to share this testimony from a faithful "warrior". This is a woman who just a couple of years ago was under a demonic assignment by the devil; under complete oppression. But when she hit bottom, she reached up to take the hand of Jesus and has become a faithful fighter for the Kingdom. It hasn't been all roses ... the Enemy still tries to take a shot or two at her to obstruct her walk with Jesus and re-route her journey. She gets knocked down and gets right back up, desiring to make an impact for the Kingdom of God. She is currently working in a prison -- not exactly a breeding ground for evangelism. But after seeing tremendous fruit in Haiti, she asked God for an assignment to work for Him, and this is where she landed.
I will tell you that it's been tough, and there were days she wanted to give up. She was upset and frustrated that she wasn't seeing victory for the Kingdom, but my wise husband told her to take that to God. He told her to tell God that this jail thing just wasn't going to work for her if she couldn't see results. (Remember, we are to have a real relationship with our Father -- the kind of relationship that we can go to Him with our frustrations and tell Him what we want). And then three days later, we received this email:
This is too exciting not to share... Today one of my female inmates put in a request to talk to me. She is somebody who hasn't really been on my radar, but I know she's been struggling. Anyway, I pulled her [into] my office and she asked me if I believed in God. I told her of course! She proceeded to ask about forgiveness and grace; she thought it was too late for her to be saved. We talked for about 20 minutes and it ended with her accepting Jesus into her heart. She gave everything up to Him in my office while we both sat with tears streaming down our faces! It was seriously the most beautiful thing I've seen in my life! She made herself so vulnerable to Him and I got to witness it, I'm so blessed!
I have been focusing more on healing and deliverance, I never thought that He would work through me to get people saved. It just goes to show that He knew exactly what I needed and He provided it! It amazes me how He can work in the setting I'm in. There we were, literally surrounded by murderers, and I saw the most beautiful thing in my life!So the next time you get discouraged, or the devil has knocked you around a bit, get back up and get back in the fight. God wants us in the fight with the devil and his demons! He hasn't given us those weapons of warfare in Ephesians 6, so we can "play soldier"—only to run away when the war starts, or gets tough. He has given us those weapons so we can fight and win. He expects us to win, because it is His power that can always defeat the Enemy. So, I want to exhort you to not be afraid to get in the battle. And like our friend, don't be afraid to take your frustrations to Him and ask for victories!
God has called and equipped us to be soldiers for Christ. He has given us everything we need to win; spiritual armor and His power. He has assured us of victory, and that those who overcome shall reign with Jesus forever. No one wants a war, but this one is worth fighting. We must answer the call, fight in His power, and be willing to continue to fight until the Enemy is defeated. It's been a real war since the Garden of Eden, and it will continue until Jesus returns. Let us commit to taking the field of battle and never wavering. Never give up! The victories will come!
Isaiah 54:17 "No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me," declares the Lord."