Spiritual Warfare for Dummies

I woke up in a swirl.

My soul was not at rest. I had made some errors at work that had impacted my team negatively. I felt like communication was going sideways. I felt a bubbling unrest, dis-ease in some of my primary relationships. I felt overtired, undernourished spiritually, and like a spear of discouragement had somehow lodged itself in my psyche.

In other words, I felt spiritual resistance. I was under attack.

We have three enemies, scripture says – the world, the flesh, and the devil. When the famous evangelist D.L Moodie was asked one day, “Who is the biggest obstacle in your ministry?”, his response was, “D.L. Moodie!” That has been my experience as well. My biggest problems are usually caused by…

Well, me, of course.

But the enemy is an opportunist, and loves to wiggle through the chinks in our armour to try and cause irritation and harm. So in the swirl of a spiritual storm, what to do?

I love the simple prescription of Scripture:

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double- minded.
Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. ~ James 4:7-10

1. Submit to God. In a word, repent. Where am I part of the problem, in my actions and attitudes? Deal with it before God. Confess it to someone, if you really want to give your sin nature a kick in the teeth.

2. Clean off your side of the street. Is there anyone I have harmed? Go to them. Quickly. Ask for forgiveness.

3. Then resist the devil. Simply. Authoritatively. If you’ve done the first two steps, then any legal ground the enemy may have to harass you is gone. You will find that mountains shrink back down to molehills pretty darn quick. The fog lifts. You can see the sun.

Often when I don’t see breakthrough, its because I have tried to shortcut the process, and have not done steps one and two before wading into the fray. I have to remember that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. The most powerful warfare stance is the bent knee and the contrite heart.

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