We live in a fallen world so life will at times be naturally hard. But, when accompanied by confusion and events that just don’t make sense, it could be more than human depravity at work. We ourselves can be the source of our own troubles. Yet, sometimes we can’t identify anything we have done wrong. While we could be experiencing trials from the Lord to make us better, it could be an attack from the evil one to discourage us.
When asked what to do in the midst of spiritual battles, I cannot give an approach that fits all situations. But, I can provide some principles from God’s Word that do apply no matter what the circumstances might be.
Remember These Biblical Principles in the Midst of Spiritual Battles:
1) Always remember that this is not your battle to fight but the Lord’s.
You need to constantly turn to Him, being sure to take hold of all HIS armor listed in Ephesians 6. You can do walks around the neighborhood claiming it for Christ, anoint your home with oil, and many other things people sometimes do in these kinds of situations but if God’s mighty power is not behind it, it will be to no avail.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Eph. 6:10-11)
2) Remember who the battle is with so you use the right tactics.
Though there may be some disruptive people in the equation, the real battle line is spiritual. Keep that perspective. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12) Though the enemy is strong, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 Jn. 4:4). We can win the battle against this enemy but only with divine intervention. — “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. 10:4-5)
3) Keep on praying.
You cannot let down your guard. Remember what Jesus told His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane — “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41). “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 5:7-8) — And, seek the prayer of others on your behalf. — “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Eph. 6:18)
4) Never stray from the Word of God.
Anything you do must always line up with and be filtered through the grid of God’s Word. Think about when the devil came to tempt Jesus. Each time, Jesus used the Word as His sword — “It is written” (Matt. 4:1-11). The defensive weapon listed in the armor of God that we are to take up and use is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).
5) Keep going back to the cross and the shed blood of Jesus as your source of victory.
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57) At the cross Jesus conquered sin, death, and the devil. Satan will not admit defeat but will one day meet his final judgment. Though this evil one may seem to win some skirmishes, He will not win the war. Jesus is our reigning conqueror. His death on the cross secured the victory!
6) Rest in God’s grace and the promise of His restoration even when you don’t see an end in sight.
The Apostle Paul described a battle he faced having been “given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me” (2 Cor. 12:7). Though He prayed, it did not go away. He took solace in what the Lord told Him — “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” and was then able to say, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Cor. 12:9). — “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Pet. 5:10-11)