If you’re reading this, you’re likely suspecting that you’re facing a spiritual battle in your life right now.
Perhaps you’re facing a huge crisis in your life and don’t even realize just how spiritual it is. That is where I was just two days ago.
A battle that I thought I had won the victory over came crashing back down on me with a vengeance.
I lost sleep over it, I cried, I begged and pleaded for what I thought was the human answer to the problem. I reached for my knee-jerk reaction, fully certain I was right.
I was prepared to go head-to-head for what I wanted, and despite my best efforts was even a little manipulative.
But I had no real peace inside.
I crawled into the bed the other night, knowing that I was angry at my situation.
Even worse, I was a little miffed at God that He’d chosen to bestow this particular hardship on me. I mean, what had I ever done to deserve to constantly butt my head against this same wall year after year…month after month….day after day.
And the voice spoke to me quietly but very unmistakably, “Can you thank Me for this?”
I knew I could either lie to my heart – which is futile, because God knows my heart – or I could just speak the truth. “No, I can’t right now. I can in no way be thankful for this right now. But I’ll try to get there.”
Over the next few days a revelation began to open up to me that has ushered me into a whole new level spiritually.
Because I chose to be open and authentic with God, rather than just ignoring His voice, it opened the door for me to begin a journey with Him that I want to share with you step by step.
It suddenly came to me, the next morning, that what I was facing was a spiritual battle.
This wasn’t a battle against bureaucracy and people’s misconceived perceptions of our current situation, it was a spiritual battle designed by the enemy to take my family out.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
Or at the very least, render then ineffective, passive, and insecure of who they are in Christ Jesus.
I’ll be honest, this was a battle that I feel ill equipped to fight!
Five Stubborn Pitfalls To Spiritual Warfare
God doesn’t lead us into battle and leave us there to figure it out on our own. He will train our hands for war.
“Blessed be the LORD my rock, who trains my hands to war, and my fingers for battle.” Psalm 144:1
But if we are going to engage in spiritual warfare, we must first resolve these six areas that will trip us up before we even begin.
1. Our fatigue
It almost never fails when we enter into a spiritual battle that we know will be lengthy that we suddenly become too tired to pray.
We are tempted to sleep in instead of getting up early to pray.
We’re tempted to veg out on the couch and watch Netflix instead of turning off our devices and engaging in prayer.
We start to pray, but our minds wander and we start yawning – so we give up instead of first gaining the victory over our fatigue and leaning in on the strength of Christ for our battle.
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2. Our to-do list
The enemy is tricky. Very tricky – but not very original.
He tries this with all of us.
We start to pray and suddenly we remember a very important task that we’d forgotten to do the day before and the urgency drives us from the most important task – prayer.
We make empty promises to pray later, knowing full well that we won’t get around to it later.
And we don’t.
Hebrews reminds us:
“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1
If we want to endure in this battle, we must first lay aside all distractions, all weights, and win the victory over our flesh!
3. Our self-will
We all have mornings when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed and we don’t feel like doing anything other than turning on the TV and escaping a day we’re not prepared to face.
It’s on these days when we need the grace of Jesus most.
But it is on these days when our self-will so often wins out. Instead of going to battle against our flesh, we give in. Even worse, we give free reign to our self-will that says, “I know I should pray, but I don’t feel like it. So I won’t.
This is a great sin.
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4. Our passivity
If the enemy can’t make us tired, distracted, busy, or sinful, he’ll make us passive.
He’ll whisper in our ear that whatever it is we’re battling isn’t really all that bad. In fact, we’re probably over-spiritualizing the situation.
He’ll further prove his point with scientific evidence, medical terminologies, and other wisdom of man – all in an effort to keep us from engaging in a strategic battle to thwart his plan to take us out.
5. Our urge to use human means to achieve what we want
Finally, he’ll cause us to forget that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood – and so we’ll resort to all kinds of human means to bring about results based on our own strategy:
Manipulation, seizing our rights, anger, intimidation and domination.
When the Lord leads us into battle, we must first examine ourselves and create a strategy that will first and foremost crucify the flesh so that our flesh has no influence in this battle.
We must decide to first win the battle over our flesh.
If we don’t first win the war over our flesh, we will not have the strength to take up our spiritual weapons of war!
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in 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 10:5-6
When we’ve conquered our flesh, we will be well equipped to move on to the next step of spiritual warfare!
Resources for Spiritual Warfare
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