Believe it or not many people don’t think about our spiritual gifts being helpful as Spiritual Soldiers on the battlefield of spiritual warfare. But the Holy Spirit doesn’t give us spiritual gifts to sit on the sidelines.
As we continue our Spiritual Soldier Series we have talked about how our minds are involved in spiritual warfare and the authority Jesus gives us to wage warfare. One could argue that all spiritual gifts can be useful in warfare with the enemy. But I want to highlight four of them that have direct correlations in spiritual warfare.
- Distinguishing of Spirits
The gift of distinguishing of spirits is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:10. It is the ability to distinguish between evil and good spirits. Of course, this means that there are various spirits in the spiritual realm that fight on the side of good and evil.
We often have a one-size-fits-all understanding of spirit beings. The Holy Spirit is God and good. Angels serve God and are good spirits. Satan and his demons are bad. And that’s usually where we draw the line. But the pages of Scripture have several other spirits that challenge the imagination.
Just to name a few, there are territorial spirits, like those found in Daniel 10, princes of nations that are clearly much more than a human prince. Paul mentions rule, authority, dominion, powers, and thrones (Ephesians 1:21; Colossians 1:16). Whether these are individual spiritual beings, a hierarchy, or a reference to what pagans believe about the heavenlies they are a possibility.
Even more curious is God’s divine council alluded to and mentioned in Psalm 82 referring to the gods that exist there. Job 1-2 talk about Satan having to come and present himself with the other sons of God (most likely angels).
And some scholars suggest that when God speaks of His image being placed in humanity the famous “us” may refer to Him telling the divine council what He is about to do (Genesis 1:26). God shares His plans with His divine council so they can worship him. He is not asking for suggestions.
A “lying spirit” volunteers to go and lie to the Israelite king through a prophet (1 Kings 22:22). And John counsels us to “test the spirits” to see if they are from God or not (1 John 4:1ff). If all of these things did not appear in Scripture we could have a monolithic view of spirit beings. But these passages suggest there is more to the spiritual realm than just good and bad spirits.
We must know what we’re dealing with when we fight spiritual battles. We don’t have to know everything about each spirit. And I don’t believe it’s a biblical practice to name the spirits. Jesus only deals extensively with a demon in one place (Mark 5:1-13). In most encounters He simply casts them out without allowing them to speak.
Distinguishing of spirits gives us that ability. It’s like collecting intel on the spirits around you so we know what you’re walking into. This doesn’t mean we need to be afraid of any encounter with spirit beings. It just helps to know “Who’s in the room.”
As with all spiritual gifts that every Christian has this gift. Not every Christian is able to distinguish between spirits in the spiritual realm. But when you have this gift or are ministering with someone who has this gift it helps you in spiritual battles.
- Gift of Faith
The gift of faith is mentioned in the list of gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:9. This is the ability to have extraordinary faith beyond what most Christians exhibit. A person with this gift tends to be the catalyst to see miracles, healings, and incredible feats for God’s people in the spiritual realm.
Every Christian has faith in God. After all, our faith in Jesus coupled with His grace brings us to salvation (Ephesians 2:8). And we all demonstrate a level of faith to believe God for everything we find in Scripture.
Jesus said that faith as small as a mustard seed has the power to move mountains (Matthew 17:20). But those with the gift of faith believe God for over-the-top, hilariously outrageous miracles and actions many of us are too conservative to believe for.
It’s Christians with the gift of faith who believe for spiritual strongholds to be broken, ground to be taken back from the enemy, and Jesus’ salvation and deliverance to overpower the enemy in extreme situations. The more Christians with the gift of faith you have with you in spiritual battles the better.
When you are standing against the enemy you must have the faith to cast out demons in the name of Jesus. You must have the faith that the Holy Spirit dwelling in you is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). But it helps to have the heavy hitters of faith in the battle. Taking the fight to the enemy is that much easier.
- Gift of Leadership
The gift of leadership can also be helpful in spiritual battles (Romans 12:8). We often think of this gift for church administration, for pastors and teachers, for evangelists and prophets. People teach and speak of it in this realm of church leadership.
It is certainly that. But it is much more. It is the ability to lead God’s people into spiritual matters. It’s not really about administration of the church. It’s about spiritual leadership, knowing what the souls and spirits of people need and providing the guidance and resources to fulfill those needs.
But in the spiritual warfare context the gift of spiritual leadership can help in the spiritual fight. People with this gift can lead and direct others and how to use their giftings to fight the enemy in a sustained offensive maneuver.
They have God’s wisdom to guide everyone involved in organization and power. They have the ability to see the gifts and contributions of others and put them to the most effective and efficient use. God can use those with the gift of spiritual leadership in powerful ways.
- Word of Knowledgemove mouse a very fast and Word of Wisdom
I could have numbered these gifts four and five that I have seen them work together more often than not. The word of knowledge and the word of wisdom can work separately. Sometimes a word of knowledge is all that is needed for a person to move forward with the wisdom God has already provided.
Sometimes people have the knowledge that they need the wisdom to put all of that knowledge together and move forward in a successful outcome that glorifies God. But many times I have seen a person receive both supernatural knowledge of a situation, person, event, or thing and supernatural wisdom to put these things together wisely to produce a God pleasing result.
The supernatural word of knowledge gives a person insight they have been lacking to be able to move forward in a situation, relationship, confrontation, or any number of issues paralyzing them before they act.
The supernatural word of wisdom takes either the word of knowledge given or knowledge already obtained and shows that person how God wants them to move forward and use that knowledge to glorify Him in that situation.
They are called a “word” of knowledge or wisdom because a person with this gift speaks this knowledge or wisdom into a person’s life. Like me when I was younger you probably wonder if God violates your privacy by giving this knowledge to people with this gift.
But they don’t usually work that way. God is not out to embarrass His children. Perhaps if He cannot get your attention any other way He may use the word of knowledge this way. But I have never had it happen to me or seen it happen at any other time.
Either way, I have seen these gifts used more on a personal basis rather than a public one. I have seen people with a word of knowledge or a word of wisdom about an entire church congregation use them publicly, but they were focused on the whole congregation rather than individuals.
If God can give you a word of knowledge or a word of wisdom on how to proceed in your personal life imagine how He could use these two gifts on the spiritual battlefield. God could give you a word of knowledge that a person who may have walked into your church demon possessed.
God can provide real-time intelligence on how to handle a demonic spirit or tell you what He wants you to do when you come against the fiery darts of the enemy. God can give you wisdom as he did Jesus and the apostles when they were faced with opposition from religious leaders masquerading as godly teachers who were attacking them spiritually.
He can give you words of knowledge and wisdom about a spiritual attack you did not realize was a spiritual attack. The possibilities for these gifts being used on the spiritual battlefield are endless. But we must be open to seeing spiritual gifts used on the spiritual battlefield.
We must sometimes think outside of the box to see how God wants to use spiritual gifts in us to further His Kingdom and agenda in the spiritual realm. Whether we have these gifts or know people who do that can be helpful to us in spiritual warfare we must be open to the possibilities of spiritual gifts.
Sometimes we limit our understanding of spiritual gifts, or don’t believe in spiritual gifts even though they are mentioned in the Bible. But we need to avail ourselves of every weapon, tactic, and strategy God gives to win spiritual battles against evil forces. What are some ways you can see spiritual gifts being used in spiritual warfare?
Now that we have discussed spiritual gifts on the spiritual battlefield in this training, we want to turn to speak to dangers that will expose you to evil even as a Christian. Let’s see what to avoid so we are not in danger on the spiritual battlefield.