Bad Day or Spiritual Warfare?

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,

but against the rulers, against the authorities,

against the powers of this dark world and

against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

~Ephesians 6:12

Spiritual Warfare

What is it? Anyone who has received Christ as savior becomes an enemy to the enemy. Your enemy does not take time off. We’re told he goes about seeking people to devour. If the devil wore a red suit and carried a pitch-fork we would be much more aware of his efforts. Instead, his wiles are much more subtle—more like a whisper than a roar. Our enemy works so understatedly clever most of us miss the day-to-day stumbles.

  • Frequent fear, anxiety, and lack of faith
  • Anger triggered by little things
  • Past guilt – not accepting God’s forgiveness
  • Holding on to bitterness
  • Jealousy, self-righteousness
  • Lack of self-esteem and confidence
  • Fear of change
  • Conflict, disagreement, and tension in relationships
  • Self-loathing

A typical conversation with people regarding Satan is often met with disbelief or a Hollywood version of who he is. Or people are fearful and feel the topic is too spooky to talk about. But Scripture warns us if we ignore the powerful deceits and charms of the devil is not only unrealistic but dangerous. We can not go to battle unprepared. Our best armor of defense is to understand where and how the enemy operates and then gird ourselves in wisdom and prayer.

Why do we fall into the path of Satan’s grasp? We often fail to recognize our enemy’s strategies. We let our emotions get ahold of us rather than standing on the words of Christ. Our prayer time lacks, our don’t know our bibles, or we get led astray by someone that ‘looks’ like they know what to do. We are often like lambs to slaughter.

The good news is we have an advocate more powerful than the deceiver that never sleeps.

First, let’s define a crisis. It’s different from person to person and from day to day. The truth is a real crisis borders on being a catastrophe, a calamity, a disaster, or an emergency. That’s the moment we need to react and allow the fight-or-flight hormones to take over.

More often today, what we call a crisis might just be a necessary confrontation, a surprised disagreement, procrastination, predicament, a need for clarity, or a personality clash. Instead of war, it’s a skirmish.

Could be:

  • We’re unprepared
  • We haven’t taken responsibility prior to the situation
  • Our perception is off
  • We misunderstand
  • We’re scared
  • We’re overwhelmed
  • We’re defensive unnecessarily
  • We’ve never defined how we feel about the situation
  • We’d rather not face the truth
  • We have unreal expectations
  • We haven’t truthfully communicated our needs (maybe we don’t know what they are)

One of the things I’ve learned (not that I have this perfected) is to ask myself five questions to help me respond:

  1. Am I over-tired, stressed, or hormonal and reacting instead of responding?
    1. If the answer is Yes, then stop, wait, handle this another day.
    1. If the answer is No, move on to question #2.
  2. Am I taking myself too seriously?
    1. If the answer is Yes, then stop, wait, analyze more, then handle this another day.
    1. If the answer is No, then move on to question #3.
  3. What can I learn from this? What am I going through that might be valuable to me or others in the future?
  4. How do I pass this lesson on?
  5. Who do I pass this lesson on to?

Reactions can be a positive emotion. We all enjoy the pure laughter of a child, and the gut reaction to a well-timed comedic punchline. But over-reacting to an unkind comment or a tense situation gives away our power to manage the situation.

We’ve all said things we wish we could take back or that we were sorry for the moment the words left our mouth. Then you must swallow your pride and apologize, hoping to repair the relationship.

If we can learn to take a slow deep breath before we assess the situation, then assume the best before we speak, we can preserve our power and dignity. By responding wisely, we reserve the right to speak wisdom into witnesses’ lives. It might just be that our carefully selected words—even in a situation where more people would not do well—may inspire character growth rather than leave lasting scars.

We cannot stop the wind from blowing, but we can set our sails in such a way as to respond to the wind.

Pick Up Your Sword –

  1. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” ~1John 3:8 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Look up the following verses and tell what the scriptures says of the devil:

Matthew 12:24 ______________________________________

Matthew 4:3 _________________________________________

Revelation 12:10 ______________________________________

Genesis 3:1 ___________________________________________

Isaiah 54:16 __________________________________________

Peter 5:8 _____________________________________________

Matthew 13:39 ________________________________________

1 Samuel 16:14 ________________________________________

  • When we are fearful of Satan’s evil, what do these verses promise?

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. ~Psalms 3:3 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. ~ 2 Samuel 22:3 (ESV) __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The God of peach will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. ~ Romans 16:20 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? ~Romans 8:31 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13-14 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was bord of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. ~ 1 John 5:18 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________