As we continue our Spiritual Soldier Series about spiritual warfare, we must be clear on the battlefield and how it is set up. We can only experience three if we know all the players involved, the realms we are involved with, and what to expect.
If we don’t know all of these factors we will become battle casualties instead of conquerors. So let us turn to these five facts about this battlefield. Our knowledge puts us in the right place to fight the battles we face and win them.
- The physical realm is the enemy you know.
So many things go wrong in the physical realm. If they haven’t happened to you, you have seen them happen to others. Financial ruin, starving, sickness, health issues, and every other form of sin and its results.
We are born into this realm. We have experienced and observed what happens here. Are familiarity with it makes us think this is the realm that matters the most. Everything that happens here happens on its own.
But that’s not the case. What happens in the physical realm is the result of another realm. We are connected to our bodies because we receive them at birth and they house who we really are. I have a body that as a quadriplegic does not respond to what my brain tells it to do.
Our bodies are important for our survival in this realm. If it weren’t for a ventilator I will not survive for terribly long time. I can only breeze off my ventilator for a number of hours before my breathing becomes labored as my lungs work as hard as they can to keep me alive. But eventually without ventilator support they would give out.
Paul says that if we only have hope in Christ for this life we are to be pitied above all people (1 Corinthians 15:19). There must be more to this life than what we see and feel. We all have a hope deep inside that there is more than this.
I have heard stories of naturalist scientists who only believe in this physical world and atheists who on their death beds have looked to the heavens and thought, “I wish this is not all there is.” There is no hope in an existence only in the here and now.
Look at our cultures from long ago and now. Why do we have so many legends and stories about the afterlife? Someone or something has placed this desire from within this life inside of us. We wouldn’t have the idea of an afterlife or something greater than us if the possibility didn’t exist.
We start here in this physical realm. But I thank God (another concept we don’t need if this is all there is) that there is so much more to our existence. We practice spiritual warfare because there is another realm more important than this one.
- The spiritual realm is the friend you need.
We are part of the spiritual realm and meant to dwell in both. God created every person with a soul and spirit. These are the eternal and spiritual parts of every person. We long for concepts like heaven, eternity, God, and a way to get there because the spiritual realm exists.
In fact, the spiritual realm existed before the physical realm. How do I know that? The Bible begins by telling us that God existed before physical creation and brought it into existence by His powerful voice.
Only after God spoke did something happen in the physical creation. If he would not have spoken nothing would exist. Because God is above creation He decides how the world works, including these two realms. Nothing happens without His say-so.
The spiritual and physical realms are overlaid on top of one another. It’s possible to see what’s happening in the spiritual realm from the physical realm. But we must have eyes of faith to see the spiritual realm. The Holy Spirit makes our spirits alive to know God.
Faith is a powerful weapon in the spiritual realm. It can cause God’s power to change the physical realm. Through faith, we can experience healing, salvation in others, deliverance from spiritual darkness and demons, and it can do so much more. Jesus said that faith can move physical mountains (Matthew 17:20).
Angels and Demons, spiritual forces, can be seen in the physical realm. God makes things happen in the physical. He controls whatever He wills. God has intervened throughout human history to bring redemption and salvation to His fallen creatures.
The Bible documents much of what God has done in the physical realm. Every miracle is evidence that the spiritual realm changes before the physical realm. Think of the physical realm as the mirror reflecting the results of the spiritual realm.
This makes the spiritual realm much more powerful than the physical realm. So if we want to be part of eternity, to have power from God, we must not only believe in the spiritual realm but be members of it.
We play a vital role in the spiritual realm. God our Creator made us as amphibians. We are part of both realms. But if our spirits are not awakened to God’s presence by the time we physically die, we will remain spiritually dead into eternity. So we must find our place in the spiritual realm. It is the plane of existence on which the battlefield of spiritual warfare is waged.
- Evil forces are out for your soul.
On the spiritual plane of existence are a number of spiritual forces. They are not your friends. They are out to destroy you. They succeed when they keep you from spending eternity with God. This is the spiritual battle of all time.
These evil forces have a number of players. Satan is the chief evil being in the spiritual realm. He wants to destroy you. He is God’s adversary, but they are not equal in power. We will be studying Satan throughout our Spiritual Soldier training.
The Bible has nothing good to say about him. He is not only God’s enemy. He is your enemy. He likes nothing more than to trip you up and pull you away from God. Herein lies the biggest challenge for us. We began dead in the spiritual realm, and headed for an eternal destiny with Satan before we meet Jesus.
We contend for the souls of others around us as part of spiritual warfare. As spiritually alive and connected to Jesus we are like bright lights in the darkness while those around us are lightbulbs that have yet to turn on. We talk about Satan in more depth later in our series.
This is why we spend such heartbreaking moments full of tears for our loved ones in prayer. There is so much going against them. They don’t even realize what’s happening in the spiritual realm around them. But prayer is one of the most powerful weapons we wield in the spiritual realm.
Along with Satan are the demons that serve him. Satan is only one being and he can only affect one or two things at a time, just like us. But he has a host of demons who individually push themselves into the lives of other people. They can disrupt and destroy people in the physical realm.
We will be talking about demons later on in our series as well. We must understand the distinctions between these beings so we are prepared to fight them. They are not the only spiritual beings in the physical realm. But everything they touch they desire to destroy.
Along with Satan and his demons there are also false gods and idols. They try to usurp God’s place by acting like Him. They use what little authority they have to try to convince human beings that they are true gods and God is false.
Paul enumerates four of these spiritual beings in his letters. We will be diving into them in later posts and what the Bible says about them. But we must understand that all these spiritual forces are against us.
They have no good motives in mind for us. We must be aware of their schemes and strategies so we can defeat them by God’s power.
- Jesus is all you need.
I gave you the bad news first. You are stuck in a spiritual realm you cannot win on your own. There are enemies you don’t know seeking to take your spiritual and eternal life for you. This hopeless situation is not the end.
Jesus is greater than all of these enemies. When you know Him you are on the winning team. Jesus went to the Cross and conquered all of these enemies. He is King of the universe. Everything in creation, including Satan, demons, evil spiritual forces, and every human being, bows to Him.
We will be talking a lot about Jesus, much more than we talk about the devil or anything else in the spiritual realm. Because Jesus is the great Conqueror and the Victorious One, He’s the only One who matters in our discussion.
Everything Jesus has done for you rings through eternity. What He has done no one can reverse. He is the Hero of the story. And He takes all Christians along with Him. His victory over sin, Hell, and the grave is your victory.
Because of God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, there is an extremely uneven distribution of power in the spiritual realm. Nothing else comes close to Jesus’ power and authority. When we work with Jesus we fear nothing because He has always had much greater power and authority.
If you want to be with God for eternity and experience eternal life you must know Jesus and serve Him. You can only conquer these spiritual foes through your relationship with Jesus. Only He can give you the authority and power to be victorious in spiritual warfare.
- You can have victory.
Many people are afraid of spiritual warfare and evil spiritual forces ranging from Satan to his demons. But you don’t have to be afraid when you walk with Jesus. You can have victory in spiritual warfare.
But you must serve Jesus. He is your only hope. Contrary to popular beliefs in multiple ways to God, Jesus proclaims himself the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Part of spiritual warfare is to present the truth of God’s Word in a world of delusion and lies. The spiritual darkness in our world is woven by Satan.
So be prepared and arm yourself to face off with all of the spiritual powers. We will experience through our Spiritual Soldier training how to handle these battles. Jesus had the victory long ago, and he gives it to us.
But for a time these evil spiritual forces have been given permission to wreak havoc on this world. Jesus has the victory but we still face these evil spiritual forces until they are destroyed by Jesus in the end.
If you are not prepared when spiritual warfare comes to your doorstep you will not be able to win. Victory only comes through being prepared in Jesus.
You must have a good handle on the spiritual realm, the physical realm, Satan and his demons, evil spiritual forces of all kinds, and the fact that Jesus brings victory to those who love Him. These may sound like very basic principles but without believing them you will not have victory.
These are important causation because there are teachers out there who are claiming that some of these things are true. They give too much power to the enemy. They make it harder to defeat the enemy than is necessary. We will look more in-depth at all of these things as we continue on. What are some teachings you have received about spiritual warfare in the past?
Our next training in our lineup concerns three levels of spiritual warfare. Satan does not just come at us in one way. There are several approaches to spiritual warfare. We will look at all three that are proposed by teachers and discern how to apply them to our lives.