When we take into serious consideration the concept of “Spiritual Warfare”, and if we take into account a deep biblical approach and study as to what takes place in the spiritual realm around us, you will soon come to realize that the battle zone of spiritual warfare is not the thing or things that go “bump” in the night. It is not necessarily what we “sense” could be under our beds or in our closets in the middle of the night. Or it is not what we think we hear or physically feel when we are “half asleep and half awake”.
If we truly take a look throughout Scripture as to what spiritual warfare is, you will be surprised that it is not what we think it is. This generation, now more than ever, has found herself desiring some sort of supernaturalism. They want to have the hairs stick up on their arms, or feel a “presence” while they are laying in bed all alone. They for some reason want to rest assure that the dark shadow they saw walking in the hallway was their grandmother who has been dead for years, and has come back to be their guardian angel. From reality television shows of ghost hunting and being a ghost hunter, supernaturalism has become more openly accepted than ever before!
While writing this, I can think back at some supernatural and weird events that I have seen or experienced that I myself cannot explain. In the same way, I’m sure you too can give a testimony and a story of things you have experienced. Yet, whatever we have experienced, we must remember to never take our “experiences” and put them up against God’s word. On the contrary, we must put God’s word up against our experiences. Hence, what is true spiritual warfare?
If we go to the temptation story of Jesus (Matthew 4), we can get a great insight as to what spiritual warfare is. In Matthew 4:5,8, there is a particular word that stands out in these passages. The word is “took”. Matthew states that while Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness that the devil “took” Jesus (vs.5) “into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple” as well as (vs.8) “took Him to a very high mountain”. At first glance it would seem that the devil had literally “took” Jesus to these places. When we consider the word “took”, we would immediately assume “physically”. For example: Matthew 8:17 states “…He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases”.
The word “took” in chapter 8 is the Greek word “Lambano”, which means to seize, or to catch, as with the hand. So when God heals us He takes and carries away by His hand! So at first glance when read that the devil “took” Jesus, it would seem that he “took” Him with the hand. Now, here is what spiritual warfare is. The word “took” (the devil took Jesus) in chapter 4 is the Greek word “Paralambano”, which means to take along, as with the mind! The temptation of Jesus was not necessarily physical (though Jesus was at that point tired and hungry), but the battle was in the mind!
Think about it for a second. If the devil tried to use mind tactics and trickery on the Son of God Himself, how much more, if our lives are not completely in Christ, will he do and at times accomplish that very trick? This is why the apostle Paul tells the people of Corinth, “But I’m afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). His desire is nothing more than to play mind games with you. If he can make you think and believe that he’s everywhere, that you are helpless, that you have no power, and that you will never be freed from fear, sin, unforgiveness, hate, anger, jealousy, envy, etc, than his “Paralambano” done took you for a ride!
How do we fight this? May your mind be rooted in God’s word! May you study to show yourself approved. May you put God’s word up against your experiences, and may you defeat the “mindless” tactics of the enemy by using thoughtful and powerful Scripture! Just as Peter writes “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13).
To sum it all up, the fight is in the mind. Your mind is the battle field. If you can whip it out of your mind by the power of Scripture, then there will be victory in the battle as the Scriptures will free your mind!
Study To Show Yourself Approved- Pastor Sammy