“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.” (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV).
The Lord Jesus Christ has won a complete victory over Satan and all his cohorts for all mankind through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.
The Scripture attests to this truth in Hebrews 2:
14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (NKJV).
The Scripture further affirms this truth in Colossians 2:
15 He rid himself of all the Powers of Evil, and held them up to open contempt, when he celebrated his triumph over them on the cross! (TCNT).
Christ’s triumph or victory over Satan and his cohorts on the cross is not a partial, gradual, progressive or ongoing victory; it is absolute, total, complete, perfect and final!
Christ’s triumph or victory over Satan is not just for Himself, but also for all those who put their trust in Him and His finished work of redemption. All the benefits or profits of Christ’s death and resurrection are credited to the account of the believers in Christ.
The Scripture states in 1 John 5:
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.
5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (NKJV).
Also in 1 Corinthians 15:
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV).
Although the Lord Jesus Christ by His death and resurrection has won for the entire mankind a total, complete, perfect and final victory over Satan, yet Satan is still given a short time to live and operate in the world before he will be eternally quashed, subjugated and cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 12:12, 20:10).
Until the close of the ages when Satan and all his cohorts will be bound and cast into the lake of fire to be tormented day and night forever and ever, the believers still have Satan and his cohorts to wrestle or contend against in spiritual warfare.
However, this ongoing spiritual warfare does not undermine, question, or belittle the absolute victory that Christ has won for the believers through His death and resurrection.
The born-again believers are in spiritual warfare against Satan and his cohorts not to earn or contend for victory, but to appropriate, enforce, defend and demonstrate the victory they already have in Christ through His death and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:57, 2 Cor. 2:14).
Sadly, many believers today are ignorantly contending or wrestling in spiritual warfare to win, earn or obtain the victory they already have in and through Christ. This is the main reason for the defeat, failure or frustration in spiritual warfare that many believers today are experiencing.
Here are some basic truths about spiritual warfare that every believer must know, believe and apply in order to fully and consistently appropriate, enforce, defend and demonstrate the absolute victory that Christ has already won for him over all the powers of evil.
First, the Believers are not fighting a Physical Warfare:
The Scripture forbids the believers from seeking revenge, retaliation or retribution, or from being engaged in any physical brawl or fight with his enemies because our warfare is not a physical warfare, but a spiritual one (1 Thess. 5:15).
The Scripture admonishes in Proverbs 20:
22 Do not say, “I will recompense evil”; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you. (NKJV).
Also in Proverbs 24:
29 Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.” (NKJV).
Apostle Paul admonishes in Romans 12:
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (NKJV).
The Lord Jesus also teaches in Matthew 5:
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
45 “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (NKJV).
Second, the Believers’ Weapons of our Warfare are not Physical, Carnal or Earthly:
The believers are not engaged in a physical warfare against Satan and his cohorts. Therefore, physical, fleshly, earthly or worldly armour or weapons of war cannot be employed or utilized for victory in spiritual warfare (Phil. 2:9-11, Rev. 11:19, 12:11).
Apostle Paul aptly states in 2 Corinthians 10:
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
5 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. (NKJV).
God has prepared and provided the whole or full spiritual armour for the believers to take up, put on, or utilize in spiritual warfare to resist or stand against the wiles, deceptions, schemes or manipulations of Satan.
Many believers today are vulnerable to Satan’s wiles and attacks because they choose not to put on, wield or appropriate the spiritual armour or weapons of warfare at their disposal.
The Scripture commands, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Eph. 6:11 NKJV).
“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.” (Eph. 6:13 NKJV).
Third, the Believer’s real Enemies are not Humans (flesh and blood):
The born-again believers are not in spiritual warfare against their fellow human beings who may hate, hurt, betray, persecute, or seek to cheat or exploit them (Luke 23:33-34).
Sadly, Satan has deceived many believers today into wrestling or contending against their fellow men or women while they erroneously think they are fighting spiritual warfare.
The Scripture clearly states: “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.” (Eph. 6:12 NKJV).
Your real opponents or enemies in spiritual warfare are Satan and his demons, not any man or woman notwithstanding his or her attitude or disposition towards you. When you focus on human beings as your opponents in spiritual warfare, you have been deceived and manipulated by your real enemy – Satan.
It is a sheer ignorance, foolishness or spiritual immaturity to spend or exhaust your strength on fighting people and not on fighting your real enemies – Satan and his demons.
Fourth, the Battleground is the Believer’s Mind:
You either stand against or fall for the wiles or lies of Satan in your mind. Satan always strives to keep believers in perpetual bondage or slavery and hinders them from enjoying God’s blessings in Christ by seeking to build strongholds, imaginations, arguments or reasons in their minds which are contrary to the truths of God’s Word.
But, God has provided for the believers effective spiritual weapons of warfare that can demolish, pull down and destroy every stronghold, imagination, argument or reasoning from Satan. Unfortunately, many believers don’t take up and utilize these weapons effectively.
Apostle Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 10:
4 for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
5 We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (RSV).
Beloved, when you allow Satan to gain a foothold in your mind, he will eventually build a stronghold in your mind, thereby influencing, dominating or controlling your thoughts, words, emotions and actions. The result will be fear, restlessness, failure, frustration, defeat or death in spiritual warfare.
The primary reason why many believers today are not appropriating, experiencing or demonstrating the victory that Christ has won and given to them is because they are failing in bringing every hostile thought from Satan to the obedience of Christ.
Your experience in life is largely determined by the thoughts you allow to dominate, prevail or rule in your mind!
The Scripture warns, “For as the thoughts of his heart are, so is he…” (Prov. 23:7 BBE).
“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6 NKJV).
“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” (Prov. 4:23 NKJV).
Friend, when you allow God’s Spirit through God’s Word to control, dominate, saturate, renew or sanctify your mind, you will always experience, enjoy, manifest or demonstrate the victory that Christ has already won for you over Satan and all his cohorts.
Therefore, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col. 3:16 NKJV).
Discover more basic and vital truths about spiritual warfare in the second part of this piece!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the absolute victory You have given me in and through Christ Jesus. Dear Holy Spirit, help and teach me daily to appropriate, enforce, defend, manifest and demonstrate this victory to the world, in Jesus’ name. Amen.