Summary: Spiritual warfare starts by using scripture as the foundation of your prayers. This results in confidence, and praying with the authority. We also must learn to incorporate worship and praise in our prayer times.
Introduction: Today I want to talk about how to overcome the enemy through spiritual warfare! Unfortunately for many, a message like this will seem utterly worthless… because according to Gallup poll… basically 60% of all Christians… don’t even believe in the devil. They think that the devil is only a symbol of evil.
Now I find that absolutely amazing considering that all the other major religions believe in the devil. Even Buddhism believes in the devil… which is quite fascinating… since they don’t believe in God.
Yet they do believe in the devil and He even has a name… which is Māra, which means “Bringer of Death”
Add to that… Both Old Testament scriptures and Jesus believed in a literal devil. Satan is referred by name at least in four different portions of Old Testament scripture… Genesis where we have the story of him deceiving Adam and Eve, Then in the book of Chronicles we see Satan leading King David astray.
Add to that the book of Job where we see Satan actively trying to get Job to turn his back on God. And lastly you have the prophet Zechariah giving us a picture of heaven where we see Satan as the great accuser of mankind… only to be rebuked by God.
In the New Testament… One third of it consists of stories where we see Jesus delivering people from demonic bondages. Add to that, we witness Jesus battled him personally when Satan came to tempt him right after he was baptized.
And adding to that… We see Jesus giving specific teachings about Satan and his purpose and how he works… which we will reference later. And then you have this unique verse where Jesus is talking with Peter about a conversation Jesus had with Satan concerning Peter.
Luke 22:31-32 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
Now I ask you… if Satan is just a symbol of evil… How does a symbol ask Jesus permission to sift Peter? Obviously it can’t! Clearly Satan is a very real entity.
The apostle Paul certainly believe this to be true as well and was actually concerned that some Christians were being led astray from their faith in Christ.
2 Cor 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
And not only did Paul believe in a real living entity called Satan… But he also believed that Satan has a whole army of demonic beings under his control… Each having different ranks and power ascribed to them.
Just like in the natural… like what we would see in a modern day army… where you have whole classes of privates and sergeants and lieutenants and generals and so on… Each class having its own rank, purpose and realm of the authority.
Many believe this is what Paul was getting at in the passage we referenced last week out of his letter to the Ephesians. Eph 6:11-13 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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 NKJV
According too many scholars… the terms… principalities, powers, rulers and spiritual hosts… refer to different spiritual entities of different ranking and authority. And regardless of whether we want to think about them or not, the fact is… they exist to create havoc in our lives! They are out to destroy you, your families, and your faith!
This certainly has been true concerning my own experiences as well! I have personally encountered then enemy throughout my entire Christian life, starting before I was a Christian. During that time where I was seeking, trying to figure out if there was a God and if so… who was he really.
I remember coming to my homeroom… I was only 16 at the time… And so it was during that time where we all had to go to our homeroom to take attendance and hear announcements before school started. And there lying on the table where I sat every morning… was a book on witchcraft.
Now I have always been fascinated with the supernatural… so this book… at that time… during that specific phase of my life… was a real temptation. But after riffling through the pages I decided that I didn’t want anything to do with that book. So I put it down and said no. It was soon after that I got saved!