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3 Things We Must Do To Overcome Spiritual Warfare

Recently I woke in the night to find myself having a conversation with God and the enemy, just the three of us.

Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

Recently I woke in the night to find myself having a conversation with God and the enemy, just the three of us. It was surreal, frightening, and something I hope never happens again. In a conversation with these two voices, one telling me lies, one telling me truth, I succumbed to crying out “Jesus Jesus Jesus.” All I knew to say in that moment was “Jesus.”

I can’t tell you exactly why that happened to me in that way, but I know that I feel much stronger since that night. Looking back at my life, I see many roots that the enemy planted in me long ago, even as a young girl. I’m sure that for the rest of my time on this earth I will face new attacks.

I know that there is a very real battle going on in our world all around us every single day. It is a spiritual war. We may not see it with our physical eyes often, but if we open our spiritual eyes, we will definitely see it. I often feel that this issue isn’t talked about enough, but it is something that needs to be brought to our attention more frequently as sometimes we might forget it’s there. Living a life immersed in ministry, I witness this very present battle often, whether I want to or not.

So what can we do when we are in the midst of these thoughts and temptations of spiritual warfare? Here are 3 things that I believe and have learned will help us through these times.

1. Call on Jesus

Cling to the One whose power is above all, the One who longs to save you. Cry out to Him. Believe that your fervent prayers are enough to make the enemy flee from you. Simply the sound of Jesus from your lips gives you power over the war going on around you or in you. We can press into Him through prayers, worship, and quoting scripture. Praying God’s words back to Him is a powerful weapon. It brings His truth out into the open. This reminds us that God knows and understands all that we face, and it builds up our faith and trust in Him. It guards our hearts and minds and brings our focus back on Him.

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

2. Recognize The Power of God

In these hard moments, we may feel overwhelmed with weakness or strength. Normally I tend to let weakness win, which then leads to worry, fear, and depression. The spiritual warfare around us does have real power, and that can be scary. But what’s important to remember is that God’s power is far greater than any other. His name alone is far stronger. Too many times I have given into the lies and schemes of the enemy, and he wants nothing more than for me to feel defeated, alone, and afraid. And yet the Bible reminds us over and over to “do not be afraid.”

It wasn’t until recently that I had the realization that I could have a spirit of peace in these circumstances. This didn’t happen overnight; this took years of listening to the Holy Spirit’s voice and learning from the wisdom and encouragement from others. The spiritual warfare we encounter means that we are doing something right! We are following God, obeying Him, and pursuing the things of His Word and will. So take heart, and know that these moments can only mean that you are doing the work of God and not the enemy.

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3

3.  Seek Out Community

It’s very important that you know you are not alone. Other believers around you are struggling too, every day. It’s always comforting to know that we are not alone in our situations.

1 Peter 5:9 says, Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being expressed by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Talk about what you are dealing with with your close friends, your spouse, a mentor, and those close to you in your church community. Ask them to pray with and for you. Having that open dialogue with those we confide and trust in lifts the weight off our shoulders and provides us with encouragement, peace, and fresh confidence.

Even better, God is always with you, whereas the enemy isn’t! He never leaves us fending for ourselves in a dark world. As believers, we have the Holy Spirit living right within us to protect us and strengthen us as we overcome the temptations around us. He is our “very present help in trouble” according to Psalm 46. He is fighting for us, even when we cannot see.

Like you, I hate being lied to. What’s worse, is when I believe the lies and repeat them out loud. It has taken me far too long to discover how real this battle is. It has taken years and a continued daily effort to correct all the lies I have believed and used to shape different areas of my life.

Too many times I have let the enemy win, hurting my close relationships, my view of myself, and ultimately my relationship with my Heavenly Father, the one who loves me the most. I have allowed the plots of spiritual warfare to make me believe that I am alone, worthless, helpless, ugly, you name it. Thankfully, relying on God’s presence when I call on Him, trusting in His power, and the community I have surrounded myself with, I now have renewed strength. I have victory in Him.

Every day we must wake up and decide who is going to win our day– the enemy’s army or God’s army? God equips us with everything we need to help us fight our battles every day. Let’s be aware of the spiritual warfare and not let the schemes of the evil one distract us from God’s divine purposes for us.

 

Your turn. What has worked well for you?

 

24 comments on “3 Things We Must Do To Overcome Spiritual Warfare

  1. Why are Christians, especially in Evangelical churches, so focused on teaching about the “enemy?” Yet, I never hear the ultimate guidance from Jesus regarding the enemy. “Love your enemy.” Perhaps teaching this will help unlock the true potentials of all 3 ways to overcome spiritual warfare. Otherwise, you will fail.

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    • When Jesus says “love your enemy” in Matthew 5 He is talking about something totally different then what this article is about. Jesus did refer, several times, to the “enemy” i.e. satan, demons, false accusers etc. Paul in the Epistles went on to talk in even great detail about this. We are called to love our enemies on this earth yes. But that refers to people, not spiritual warfare.

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      • You mean spiritual warfare and how you love others have no relation to reach other?

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      • No not what I’m saying. The post is about how to overcome spiritual warfare from the “enemy.” You are referring to enemy as people in this world. How we respond to those enemies is VERY important, we are called to love and pray for them. However this post is not referring to people. The “enemy” is this case is satan and demons. Not people. We are not called to love and pray for satan and demons.

        I might have misunderstood your original comment. What are you referring too?

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  2. Wow! That is incredible that this happened to you. I cannot say something to that extent has happened to me- I can only say that I have been influenced by what is around me and I end up saying Jesus’ name out loud and demanding that satan leaves me alone… most times I get tempted when I am alone, when I am most vulnerable. I then start to sing a song with Jesus’ name and that in itself has power.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gail Poor

      It seems to happen to me too when I am alone and vulnerable, unfortunately…but singing worship songs is a great tool! I love when the Holy Spirit puts the right songs in our minds to encourage and lift us up! Thanks for sharing, Mary!

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  3. I think a big part of winning the spiritual battle comes when we refuse to engage the enemy and instead engage God. When the enemy tries to spark up a conversation then it is time to ignore him and begin to praise God as Psalm 8 says…. “From the lips of infants and children Thou hast ordained praise to silence the foe and the avenger. Praise engages with God and shut out the devil.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had a similar experience many years ago (but without Jesus), I woke up in a hard sweat, paralyzed, saying the Jesus prayer repeatedly. As you said, not an experience I care to repeat.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am focused on using the weapons our commander in chief has given us, namely prayer in His name, and just as this article says, community with the people of God. A solitary Christian is no Christian…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Number 3 is the hardest for me. We have a community, but it so big. I come from a church of 30 people, and now I am in a church with hundreds. It is easy to get lost there.

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    • Gail Poor

      Yes, that can definitely be difficult. Been there. Hopefully you can join a great women’s Bible study or a life group!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great advice. #3 is a very important one for me. I think that talking with someone that is dealing with the same or similar situation is a great way to gain encouragement and reassurance that you can make it through.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a great post. It think the subject of spiritual warfare is something that so few people talk about, it’s such a neglected subject. Thank you for posting! There have been so many times when I’ve felt myself in the middle of very real, very serious, very scary warfare and these are wonderful tools to have and remember.

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  9. Wow, what an experience you have. Although, I have heard and felt God’s presence I don’t think I have been in a situation such as that. I think that your suggestions are fantastic. We are meant to go out in twos and be surrounded by other believers. God is sovereign and our protector. My favorite is to call on Jesus, when I am weak and I need strength I call on Him and its almost instant relief. A calm comes over me and even if the situations doesn’t go away I can deal with it better. This is great advice for someone going through Spiritual Warfare and prayerfully I will keep it on hand if I am ever fighting.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mihaela Echols

    Yes! There is so much power in Christ’s name and it’s so encouraging finding other beleivers to pray with as we each continue to seek him.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Natalie

    I have been engaged in spiritual warfare so many times! The spiritual battle that wages around us is constant, and those who grow in the Spirit cannot help being engaged in it. Interestingly, I have a difficult time communicating the spiritual side of faith though. I think it’s because those who cannot see it or have not experienced it cannot comprehend what we’re talking about. You’ve done a tremendous job here! Crying out the name of Jesus does have power. I also love how you incorporate multiple scripture verses. A word of encouragement for those who struggle and for those who sometimes fail, God uses those things too. Good doesn’t just come from good, it pleases God to bring good out of evil and brokenness too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gail Poor

      Thanks for stopping by and reading the post! Yes, great point! It does please God!

      The Bible is full of so many good verses to use in these difficult moments. I hope and pray you feel encouraged this week.

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  12. Anonymous

    Gail, I’m so glad I found this article. What a great read. Though I’ve never had anything close to what you experienced, something I do when I have dark or negative thoughts is to say outloud “Get thee behind me Satan!” It’s always amazing how quickly my mind is cleared & it jerks me back to a good place. Thanks so much for sharing. Take great care. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jay Arnn

    Gail, I am a little late to the conversation but thought to share this with your readers. First, as believers we must understand that Jesus has won the victory of spiritual warfare for us at the cross. However, just as God anointed David as King, David did not immediately take the throne from Saul. Instead David remained in a cave out of sight until it was time to take the throne and bring the men who were with him. This is a type and shadow of the Kingdom of Heaven to come. Jesus is king, but remains out of sight until it is time for Him to take the throne of David in Jerusalem. Until that time, like Saul, Satan holds dominion of the earth even though he has been defeated. When it is time for Jesus to take the throne He will bring with Him His bride – the church, just as David brought those with him. So, how what do we do when we feel like the enemy is coming against us – what will bring us peace in those times?
    Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
    When we put on God through faith in Jesus we are to stand – just stand, rest in His promises to fight our battles for us and that the wiles of the devil and his fiery darts will not prosper against us.
    Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
    You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,”Says the Lord. You are made righteous by God through faith in Jesus and the word righteous means acquitted of all guild by God – therefore satan can accuse you all he wants but the truth is that the judge has already judged you not guilty!
    Jude 1:17 Now to Him who is able to keep you[fn] from stumbling, And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, – Jesus joyfully presents you as faultless to God for His glory.
    Deuteronomy 21:5 “Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister to Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; by their word every controversy and every assault shall be settled. Jesus is now our High Priest and by His word every controversy and every assault shall be settled.
    What then brings us peace: John 14:1“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. What brings peace to our heart? That we believe in God and we believe in Jesus and He (Jesus) promised that He would return for us.
    1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. – When we wait on Jesus to return we are confident in His faithfulness to us to return and deliver us from the wrath to come – the tribulation.
    Look at the first thing Paul instructed to the church at Corinth. 1 Corinthians 1:6-9 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. – Paul teaches to rest in the promise and wait for Jesus to return because God is faithful and we will be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ when He comes to judge the world. Through our fellowship by faith in Jesus, God has made us righteous and therefore we have already been judged and will not be judged again on that day – the day of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    What is the last thing Paul teaches to the church at Corinth? 1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. Paul teaches about the rapture and the promise of Jesus to return.
    This is the comfort and peace we have with God: Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (of note in Romans 5:1 – have – is the word echo which means by a bond of blood or marriage – so when God says we have peace with God through Jesus – He means this as a bond between Him and us through the blood Jesus and our marriage to Jesus – that is how strongly we have peace with God).

    Kind regards and Shalom
    Rabbi J Arnn
    Jewish Studies for Christians

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