Conflicts 102: Spiritual Warfare

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Christian Disagreements

We aren’t pursuing God’s will merely against our bodies and environment

The Bible frequently mentions Satan, which means he’s not symbolic or figurative

  • He tempted the first sin (Genesis 3:4-5)
  • He can disguise himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14)
    • He is exceptionally glorious, beautiful, and intelligent (Ezekiel 28:11-19)
  • He fell from heaven and roams the earth (Job 1:6-7, Isaiah 14:12-14)
  • He continually steals truths people hear before they can understand (Matthew 13:19)

He’s more powerful than most Christians think

  • The entire world is in Satan’s power (1 John 5:19)
  • You can only resist Satan through Christ (Ephesians 6:11)
    • God will protect you from him (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
    • God has granted all Christians full power over Satan in Jesus’ name (Luke 10:19)
    • Even non-believers who use Jesus’ name have power over Satan (Matthew 7:21-23)
  • However, Satan’s power only extends as far as God permits (Job 1:12)
    • God keeps Satan constantly within the range of temptations we can overcome (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Satan commands an army of demons

  • A large portion of Jesus’ ministry was casting out demons (Matthew 8:16, Mark 1:34)
  • Jesus’ followers were granted power to cast out demons (Luke 9:1)
  • The demons have names, and knowing their names gives us power (Luke 8:27-33)

Satan campaigns his battles inside minds

The mind is Satan’s battleground (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 10:5)

  • Every conversation and interaction can become a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12)
  • Satan’s attack comes in three distinct degrees
    1. Harassment and oppression, which everyone experiences
    2. Influencing and speaking to people, which happens to anyone willing to listen (including believers)
    3. Direct control, which can include possession
  • Because of our design as humans, gaining the mind will win the rest of a person

If we satisfy our sins, our thoughts dwell on them more

  • Dwelling on sins slowly develops a fearful, distrustful, anxious, violent, envious attitude that poisons everything

Satan’s battle makes it crucial for us to submit our minds fully to Christ

  • The Holy Spirit brings new right and healthy thoughts into your mind through reading Scripture
  • Meditating on Scripture improves our ability to associate other positive thoughts into our minds
  • As little as fifteen minutes of daily prayer and meditation will make your mind calmer

Your physical weaknesses make Christ stronger when you’re under duress

Satan is extremely efficient with his resources

His strategy directly attacks Christians and the Church from many angles

A. Before anything else, Satan traps people with their sins and idols

  • The easiest way to tempt someone is in their body
  • Satan has a whole world of pleasures to distract people with, from mass media to natural forces to creature comforts
  • Non-believers are inherently trapped in their sin from their conscience knowing the Law (Romans 2:14)
  • Believers can trap themselves in sin when they neglect to confess or acknowledge it
  • At this stage, people are responsible f0r repenting to the Lord and are oblivious Satan’s presence

B. Satan tries to interest people in self-glorifying religion

  • Outside of their fruits, they’re difficult to distinguish from believers
    • They declare their belief in Jesus (James 2:19)
    • They act in the name of Jesus (Matthew 7:21-23)
    • If they teach, they’ll mislead many followers from the truth (Matthew 24:10-11)
    • Personal experience will come before God’s Word, but the Bible will often enforce those experiences
  • These people need to repent, but some of them have been possessed or oppressed by a demon

C. Satan attracts people with the occult and its practices

  • Occult practices have many things in common
    • Always some contact with the spirit world
    • Always involves uncovering hidden knowledge of the past or future
    • Most of them promise an experience of receiving power
    • They all require a passive meditative state before the spirit world can operate properly
    • Many of them give participants a strange magnetism alongside an underlying fear
  • These activities open a door for massive demonic influence and often can lead to demonic possession
    • They can all pass to the third and fourth generations of a family (Deuteronomy 5:8-10)

D. Satan looks again for straggler sins a believer might have

  • Beware any odd temptations you haven’t desired in years or decades
  • Can also show as unusual feelings of guilt, fear, shame, lust or anything else abnormal for the situation

E. If he can no longer destroy someone, he’ll find ways to entice and drag down close family or friends

  • Satan will often try to inspire those people to attack and undermine the person
    • Sometimes he tests someone’s patience by intensifying conflict or magnifying the experience of particular sounds or noises
  • Satan will work progressively from closest to furthest affiliations
  • As much as you can, pray for their protection and for God to deliver them (Matthew 6:13)

F. Once someone has come to understand spiritual activity on a circumstance, Satan tries a direct assault

  • Spiritual warfare often feels oppressive, a bit like a thick cloud in the air
  • Demon-possessed strangers like drug abusers or witch doctors will harass or curse them
    • The cures to all curses are specific prayer requests to Jesus (Luke 9:1)
    • Even Christians have a risk of suffering curses (Deuteronomy 29:24-28)
  • Prayer is the most consistent way to fight Satan’s forces

Anyone can detect demonic activity

A. Rule out the possibility of any physical issues

  • Satan can easily sow distrust and fear in the Body through people who become “demon inspectors”

B. Search out biblical principles anyone is violating

  • You need a clear relationship with God to gain wisdom to observe how people are misusing or invalidating Scripture

C. Wisely discern how Satan is attacking

  • Sins which are impossible to control
    • Immorality, which usually manifests as an abnormal desire for sex
    • An unusual bitterness, temper, rage or any other attribute of the flesh taken to unreasonable extremes
    • Unrestrainable impulsive behavior
  • Complete misery with no reasonable basis
    • Deep depression
      • Will be a disproportionate and unbearably intense experience over a wrongdoing
      • A sense of darkness and evil will cloud out any will to live or behave appropriately
    • Self-criticism
      • Wholly shattered self-image and a powerful feeling of worthlessness
    • Suicidal thoughts
      • Often accompanied by suicide attempts
  • Supernatural behavior
    • Drug abuse
      • Most recreational drugs have a spiritual connection
    • Psychic power and paranormal experience
      • Satan has access to the entire world’s current information, so he knows more than you about others
    • Extreme strength and power
      • Directly from demons manipulating the environment through the person
    • Irritation during prayer, Bible reading, worshiping or preaching
      • Most apparent when the person couldn’t have heard from where they first reacted
    • Abnormal physical pressure which feels like heaviness in the air
      • Often, many slight afflictions will feel more painful or intense
  • Psychological and physical disorders
    • Antisocial and passive behavior
      • Someone will spend days upon days alone without any desire to connect with others
    • Epilepsy and seizures
    • Multiple personalities or schizophrenic behavior
    • Sickness or affliction which coincides with spiritual or good things
    • Hearing voices opposing God or His values
    • An obsession with committing the “unpardonable sin” (Mark 3:29)
      • The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is merely rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit that comes through Christ

D. Test the spirits

  • Test the spirit, not the person affected by the spirit
    • By the time spiritual oppression has set in, the person is a victim of that demon’s influence
    • Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God (1 John 4:2)
    • An unholy spirit will either say “Jesus is cursed” or won’t be able to say “Jesus is Lord” (1 Corinthians  12:3)
    • The Holy Spirit bears witness that Jesus came by water and blood, not just by water (1 John 5:6)
    • Evil spirits acknowledge extra-biblical and non-biblical activity, but the Holy Spirit only confirms biblical things(1 Corinthians 4:6)

Remove spiritual strongholds with the Bondage Breaker steps

Pray the following prayer

  • Acknowledge God’s presence in the room and your life
  • Affirm He’s the only all-knowing, all-powerful, always-present God
  • Affirm your dependence on Him and how you can’t do anything without Christ
  • Affirm you stand in the truth that Jesus has received all authority in heaven and on earth, and because you’re in Him you share that authority to make disciples and set captives free
  • Ask to be filled with His Holy Spirit and to lead you into all truth
  • Ask for His complete protection and guidance

Boldly declare Christ’s authority

  • Declare you’re a child of God seated with Christ in Heaven
  • Command Satan and all his spirits to release you in the name and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to be free to know and choose to do God’s will
  • Verbally commit yourself to do God’s will
  • Verbally submit your body to the heavenly Father as a living sacrifice and an instrument of righteousness
  • State your refusal to be intimidated by Satan’s lies or to give in to any physical harassment
  • Affirm you are a child of God, and the evil one can’t touch you

Step 1: Counterfeit vs. Real

Renounce previous or current involvements with satanically inspired occult practices or false religions, which can include any influences

  • Ask Him to guard your heart and mind and to reveal to you all involvement you’ve either knowingly or unknowingly had with cult or occult practices, false religions, and false teachers

Write down everything God brings to mind

  • “Lord, I confess I have participated in ___. I ask your forgiveness, and I renounce ___ as a counterfeit to true Christianity.”

Step 2: Deception vs. Truth

(John 8:32, John 8:44, 1 John 1:8, Ephesians 2:6, John 16:3, Psalm 139:23-24)

Pray for God to give an understanding of the truth

  • Affirm you know that God desires truth in the inner self and that facing this truth is the way of liberation
  • Acknowledge the father of lies has deceived you and that you’ve deceived yourself
  • Pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that God, heavenly Father, will rebuke all deceiving spirits by the shed blood and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Affirm that you’ve received Him into your life by faith and are now seated with Christ in heaven
  • Command all deceiving spirits to depart from you
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth
  • Ask God to search you, know your heart, try you, know your anxious thoughts, see if you have any hurtful ways, and lead you to the everlasting way

Step 3: Bitterness vs. Forgiveness

(Romans 2:4, Matthew 18:35, Matthew 5:23-24)

Most of Satan’s victories in Christians come through unforgiveness

  • Forgiveness isn’t forgetting; it’s a choice to submit the will
  • Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of another person’s sin
  • Forgiveness costs us the price of the evil we forgive
  • Forgiveness only comes from the heart, so acknowledge the hurt and hatred

Pray for the ability to forgive

  • Thank God for the riches of His kindness, forbearance, and patience, knowing His kindness has led you to repentance
  • Confess you haven’t extended that same patience and kindness toward others who have offended you but have instead harbored bitterness and resentment
  • Pray that during this time of self-examination God would bring to mind only those people you haven’t forgiven to do so
  • Pray that if you have offended others that God would bring to mind people you need to find forgiveness from and the extent you need to seek it

Step 4: Rebellion vs. Submission

(1 Samuel 15:23)

Rebellion can be against multiple authorities

  • Governing authorities (Romans 13:1-5, 1 Timothy 2:1-4, 1 Peter 2:13-16)
  • Parents (Ephesians 6:1-3)
  • Husband (1 Peter 2:1-2)
  • Employer (1 Peter 2:18-21)
  • Church leaders (Hebrews 13:17)

Ask for God’s forgiveness for your rebellion

  • Confess how God has said that rebellion is like witchcraft and insubordination is like idolatry
  • State you have sinned in action and attitude against God with a rebellious heart
  • Ask for forgiveness for your rebellion and pray that by the Lord Jesus Christ’s shed blood all ground gained by evil spirits from your rebelliousness is canceled
  • Ask for God to shed light on all your ways so that you can know the full extent of your rebelliousness and choose to adopt a submissive spirit and servant’s heart

Step 5: Pride vs. Humility

(James 4:6-19, 1 Peter 5:1-10, Proverbs 16:18, Matthew 16:24, Philippians 2:3, Romans 12:10)

Pray to repent of your pride

  • Confess how God has said that pride goes before destruction and arrogance before stumbling
  • Confess you haven’t denied yourself, picked up your cross daily, and followed Him
  • Admit you’ve given ground to the enemy in your life
  • Admit you believed you could be successful and live victoriously by your strength and resources
  • Confess you’ve sinned against God by placing your will before His and centering your life around self instead of Him
  • Renounce the self-life and indicate that by doing so it cancels all ground that was gained in your members by enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Ask that God will guide you so that you will do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard others as more important than yourself
  • Ask God to enable you through love to serve others and in honor prefer others

Pride can arise in many regions of the mind

  • Stronger desire to do your will than God’s will
  • More dependent on your strengths and resources than God’s
  • Sometimes believing your ideas and opinions are better than others’
  • More concerned about controlling others than learning self-control
  • Sometimes considering yourself more important than others
  • Tending to think you have no needs
  • Finding it difficult to admit you’re wrong
  • More focused on pleasing people than pleasing God
  • Overly concerned about getting the credit you deserve
  • Driven to get the recognition from degrees, titles, and positions
  • Often thinking you’re more humble than others
  • Anything else where you have thought of yourself more highly than you should

For each of the areas that have been true in your life, pray out loud

  • “Lord, I agree that I have been prideful in ___. Please forgive me for this pridefulness. I choose to humble myself and place all my confidence in you. Amen.”

Step 6: Bondage vs. Freedom

(James 5:16, Romans 13:14, 1 Peter 2:11, Romans 6:12-13, James 4:1, 1 Peter 5:8, 1 John 1:9)

Pray for forgiveness from sinning

  • State how God has told us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh regarding its lust
  • Acknowledge you’ve given in to fleshly lusts that wage war on your soul
  • Thank God that in Christ your sins are forgiven, but that you’ve transgressed His holy law and given the enemy an opportunity to wage war in your members
  • Entreat Him to acknowledge those sins and to seek His cleansing that you might be free from the bondage of sin
  • Ask Him to reveal to your mind the ways that you’ve transgressed His moral law and grieved the Holy Spirit

Pray through Galatians 5:19-21

  • Pray for sexual sins, sexual difficulties, and lack of intimacy in your marriage
    • Ask Him to reveal every sexual use of your body as an instrument of unrighteousness
    • Renounce the specific uses of your body with the people involved and ask Him to break that bond
  • Commit your body to Him
    • Renounce all uses of your body as an instrument of unrighteousness and by doing so to also break all bonds that Satan has brought into your life through that involvement
    • Confess your participation
    • Present your body to Him as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him, and reserve the sexual use of your body only for marriage
    • Renounce Satan’s lie that your body is unclean, dirty or in any way unacceptable as a result of your past sexual experience
    • Thank Him that He has entirely cleansed and forgiven you and that He completely loves and accepts you unconditionally, which means you can accept yourself
  • Pray to renounce specific sins against the body
    • Homosexuality
      • Renounce the lie that God created you or anyone else to be homosexual and affirm that He completely forbids homosexual behavior
      • Accept yourself as a child of God and declare that He created you as a man/woman
      • Renounce any of Satan’s bonds that have perverted your relationships with others
      • Announce that you are free to relate to the opposite sex in the way that God intended
    • Abortion
      • Confess that you didn’t assume managing the life God trusted to you and ask for forgiveness
      • Choose to accept His forgiveness by forgiving yourself
      • Commit that child to God for His care in eternity
    • Suicidal tendencies
      • Renounce the lie that you can find peace and freedom by taking your life
      • Affirm that Satan is a thief that comes to steal, kill, and destroy
      • Declare Christ, who said He came to give you life and to give it abundantly
    • Eating disorders or self-cutting
      • Renounce the lie that your worthiness depends on your appearance or performance
      • Renounce cutting yourself, purging or defecation as a means of cleaning yourself of evil
      • Announce that only the Lord Jesus Christ’s blood can cleanse you from your sin
      • Accept the reality that you may have sin present in you because of the lies you’ve believed and the wrong use of your body
      • Renounce the lie that you are evil or that any part of your body is evil
      • Announce the truth that you are fully accepted by Christ just as you are
    • Substance abuse
      • Confess that you have misused substances (alcohol, tobacco, food, prescription/street drugs) for pleasure, escaping reality or coping with stressful situations
      • Affirm how it’s resulted in abusing your body, harmfully programming your mind, and suppressing the Holy Spirit
      • Ask His forgiveness and renounce any satanic connection or influence in your life through your misuse of chemicals or food
      • Cast your anxiety on Christ who loves you
      • Commit yourself to no longer yield to substance abuse, but instead to the Holy Spirit
      • Ask the Father to fill you with His Holy Spirit

After confessing all known sins, pray a final confession

  • Acknowledge you confess those sins to Him and claim through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ your forgiveness and cleansing
  • Declare that you cancel all ground that evil spirits have gained through your willful involvement in sin

Step 7: Acquiescence vs. Renunciation

(Exodus 20:4-5, Galatians 3:13)

Renounce your ancestors’ sins and any curses they may have placed on you

  • Declare God’s power of breaking curses
    • Declare that you here and now reject and disown all the sins of your ancestors
    • Declare that as one who has been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, you cancel out all demonic working that may have been passed on to you from your ancestors
    • State that as one who has been crucified and raised with Jesus Christ and sits with Him in heavenly places, you renounce all satanic assignments directed toward you and your ministry, and cancel every curse that Satan and his workers have put on you
    • Announce to Satan and all his forces that Christ became a curse for you when He died for your sins on the cross
    • Reject any and every way where Satan may claim ownership of you
    • Affirm you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, who purchased you with His blood
    • Reject all other blood sacrifices where Satan may claim ownership of you
    • Declare yourself eternally and completely signed over and committed to the Lord Jesus Christ
    • Command every familiar spirit and enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ to leave your presence by His authority
    • Commit yourself to your heavenly Father to do His will from this day forward

Pray to God for cleansing

  • Come to Him as His child purchased by the Lord Jesus Christ’s blood
  • Affirm that He’s the Lord of the universe and Lord of your life
  • Submit your body to Him as an instrument of righteousness, a living sacrifice, that you may glorify Him in your body
  • Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit
  • Commit yourself to renew your mind to prove that His will is good, perfect, and acceptable for you
  • Pray it all in the name and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ

Make a daily prayer to Him

  • Honor Him as your sovereign Lord
  • Acknowledge that He is always present with you
  • Affirm that He’s the only all-powerful and only wise God
  • Affirm that He is kind and loving in all His ways
  • Express your love for Him and thank Him that you are united with Christ and spiritually alive in Him
  • Choose not to love the world and promise to crucify the flesh and all its passions
  • Thank Him for the life that you now have in Christ
  • Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit that you can live your life free from sin
  • Declare your dependence on Him and take your stand against Satan and all his lying ways
  • Promise to choose to believe truth and refuse to be discouraged
  • State that He is the God of all hope and how you are confident that He will meet your needs as you seek to live according to His Word
  • Express with confidence that you can live a responsible life through Christ who strengthens you
  • Take a stand against Satan and command him and all his evil spirits to depart from you
  • Affirm that you’ve put on the whole armor of God and submit to your body as a living sacrifice and renew your mind by the living Word of God to prove the will of God is good, acceptable and perfect

Say a prayer before you go to bed every night

  • Thank the Lord that He’s brought you into His family and blessed you with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ
  • Thank Him for providing the time of renewal through sleep
  • Accept the sleep as part of His perfect plan for His children, and indicate that you trust Him to guard your mind and body during your sleep
  • From your meditation on Him and His truth during the day, you choose to let those thoughts continue in your mind while you sleep
  • Commit yourself to Him for His protection from every attempt of Satan or his emissaries to attack him during sleep
  • Commit yourself to Him as your rock, your fortress, and your resting place
  • Pray it all in the name of Jesus Christ

Cleanse your home of all articles of false worship

Pray for the home you’re clearing

  • Acknowledge that the Father is Lord of heaven and earth
  • Express that in His sovereign power and love He has given us all things richly to enjoy
  • Thank Him for the place you live in
  • Claim the home for your family as a place of spiritual safety and protection from all the attacks of the enemy
  • On the authority of being children of god sated with Christ in the heavenly realm, command every evil spirit that claims ground in the structures and furnishings of the place based on the activities of previous occupants to leave and to never return
  • Renounce all curses and spells used against the place
  • Ask your heavenly Father to post guardian angels around the location to guard it against the enemy’s attempts to enter and disturb His purposes for everyone inside

Pray specifically over your room

  • Thank the Father for a place to live and be renewed by sleep
  • Ask Him to set aside your room or portion of the room as a place of spiritual safety for you
  • Renounce any allegiance given to false gods or spirits by other occupants
  • Renounce any claim to the room or space by Satan based on activities of past occupants or yourself
  • From your position as a child of God and a joint heir with Christ, who has all authority in heaven and on earth, command all evil spirits to leave this place and never return
  • Ask your heavenly Father to appoint guardian angels to protect you while you live there
Next: Persecution