Weapons of Our Warfare – Pt. 5: The Ones Less Taught

We don’t talk about these in spiritual warfare class (is that a thing? Should it be?), but the word of God talks about them, so I will too.

Authority with Humility

“The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven…Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-18

Jesus never taught arrogance, even arrogance against Satan. Arrogance will take our eyes and our heart off of the grace of God, and put them on us. The key phrase in the passage above is “the demons are subject to us in your name” . They are subject to the authority of Christ’s name, not our own. It is the authority of Jesus, not us, that demons must obey. That gives us zero reasons to boast. When we wield Christ’s authority with pride, it becomes a weapon against us, not the enemy.

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

By all means, use the weapon of authority God has given you through Christ. But watch your heart dear one.

Demons know the difference between the authority of Jesus and pride that simply uses His name.

The secret place, where we meet with God, has a very low ceiling and one simply cannot saunter into it. Pride knows no other stance than on its feet. Humility is more comfortable on its knees. Therefore, our pride is best vanquished by our continual time spent with our Father.

Intimacy with God will ensure that our weapon won’t be used against us.

Finally, when I looked at these two verses from a different angle, I saw this…

Don’t waste your rejoicing on demons who did what demons do when confronted with the authority of Jesus. Spend your rejoicing on what God has done. On the last day, a book will be opened in heaven and your name will be found in it. Just sit with that for a while, and imagine it. Feel the breathtaking joy that your name is written in that book, and understand the equally breathtaking sorrow if it were not. What demons did or did not do while you walked the earth will pale, I promise.

Discernment

“From that time on Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Matthew 16:21-23

I’m going to boil this down to one statement: What made sense to Peter, was not of God.

Jesus was not saying that Peter was Satan, He was saying that Peter’s thoughts in that moment were not from God, they were from Satan.

Like Peter, we rely all too often on common sense, or what makes sense to us, when what is needed is Holy Spirit discernment. Without it, we will talk people out of something difficult, when their difficulty is God ordained. Without discernment, we will allow others to talk us out of what does not make sense to the human mind but has been assigned to us by God.

Without discernment, our common sense will be a stumbling block.

While scripture lists discernment as a spiritual gift, that does not mean that only those with that gift have discernment. We become more discerning the more we spend time in God’s Word. As we learn to distinguish the voice of God, we get better at recognizing a voice that is speaking from a concern for the things of men, rather than the things of God.

Discernment will uncover strategies that were formed in darkness, and common sense is often one of those strategies. Let us take care not to let the common sense of even those who love us derail what God is calling us to obey.

Submission & Resistance

“Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

First, we submit to God. hypotassō. Subject yourself to; obey

And then, we resist the devil. anthistēmi. To set oneself against, to withstand, resist, oppose.

Once we have bent our knee to God, we must then set our feet against the enemy. We are not in a boxing ring. We won’t float like a butterfly or sting like a bee, staying light on our feet and ducking and dodging. This is war and we must be unmovable in our stance against evil, and especially its desire to have us.

“If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7

{BTW: Many of my own bondages were formed because I resisted God and submitted to the enemy.}

I believe our ability to resist sin is connected to our willingness to submit to God, – to bend our knee to His Lordship over us and obey His commands. True submission to God is obedience to God.

If we say we are submitted to God but do not resist and oppose sin, we have nothing from which the devil will be inclined to flee.

If we do not submit ourselves to God, then resistance is futile.

Submission and resistance are not two different weapons. They are two halves of one. The deeper and stronger our relationship with God becomes, the greater our submission to Him and our opposition to sin. Again, a spiritual weapon forged through intimacy with our Father.

Our Thought Lives

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:3-5

Here is what I know, and I know it by experience…

Our thoughts are dangerous and one thought leads to another and pretty soon we have a head full of thoughts that will bring chaos to our life, doubts to our faith, and feet to our flesh. Because we will speak and act according to how we think.

We all have disobedient thoughts, and some are living out the consequences of letting those thoughts run free, through broken relationships with others and with God.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

Doing this from our own strength makes it woefully impossible unless we’ve had a lobotomy. Then again, I don’t know what lobotomized people think, so even then it may be out of reach.

But we can do all things through Christ, who strengthen us. (Philippians 4:13)

We can take unruly, disobedient thoughts captive and make them obey Jesus. We can choose what we think about, and how long we let wrong thinking take up space in our minds. We can choose to counter an accusatory or critical thought with a thought that is based on grace and love. We can think the best instead of the worst – about ourselves, others, and God. We can force every thought that is lying to us to submit to the truth, assuming we know the truth. We can begin to direct our thoughts to that which is worthy of thinking about.

We can do this. If it were not true, He would not have told us to do it. What we cannot afford to do is let our thought lives go unchecked and unchallenged by truth. Uncontrolled thought lives damage the body of Christ.

Getting the word of God into your mind and heart is where taking thoughts captive begins. If we don’t know what our thoughts are supposed to obey, how will we ever make them obey it? And so it goes back to our relationship with our Father. Knowing Him, knowing His Word, and His ways, will enable us to know when our thought lives need to be made to get in line. Thought lives that line up with truth can resist the enemy’s attempt to sow lies that keep us from walking in the fullness of who we are as children of God.


From all that I’ve written so far, it is clear to me that the majority of spiritual warfare is obedience. Our spirituality will not defeat the schemes of the enemy, but our obedience to God will. How often we are in church, how much we volunteer, our giftings and talents, how much money we tithe…none of it matters without obedience that comes from faith.

Listen, I don’t like the obey word any more than you do. It has made something in me rise up bristling since before I met Jesus. That thing is called rebellion. It’s part of our sin nature. It’s also part of our free will. We choose.

Obedience or rebellion. One is a weapon against the enemy. The other is a partnership with him. So…

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