Some Thoughts on Spiritual Warfare

By Mary E. Stephens
written before 2008
updated 2023

There are a lot of people today who are pretty careless in warfare with the devil. It is especially bad among Charismatic types, those in the New Apostolic Reformation, and those on their fringes. While they make fools of themselves in their over dramatic dealings, there are others who profess to be Bible believers who ignore the possibility of even needing to do warfare with our adversary the devil. These act as if they have "charmed" lives and are immune to attack simply by being saved. They apparently take the hymn literally when it says, "Jesus is the name that charms us..." He seems to be their "lucky rabbit's foot." (See: God Is not Your Lucky Charm)

What we find in the Bible about personal confrontations with our enemy is quite different than what is being done by some and ignored or rejected by others.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

When it comes down to it, many of these people of both extreme view points share a common error in their thinking. It was best stated by a preacher who was warned by trust-worthy members of his church that he had a witch sitting in his church pretending to be a Christian.  His response was, "I have more power in me than he has in him."

Well, God does have complete power over Satan because Satan is God's fallen cherub and God created him. There is nothing of God's creation that He cannot control. But, what we find in scripture about dealing with the devil is far from what many people are doing and claiming.

Our examples:

1) Michael the archangel --  Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.  

2) Jesus Christ - In Matthew 4, when He was being tempted by Satan, used scripture (the book of Deuteronomy) every time in his reply. The last one in particular, Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.  

3) The LORD (Jehovah) -- Zechariah 3:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?  

4) The saints in the great tribulation -- Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Now if the archangel (who so much more powerful than we are) relies on the power of God's name in warfare with the devil, who are we to take treat this warfare so tritely or to think that we are somehow immune? But even more, if God Himself will use His own name and His own word in forcing His fallen cherub into submission, then how much more should we? We are to follow Christ's example (1 Peter 2:21).

Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

And then, of course, there is power in the blood of the Lamb!

Ephesians 6:16-18 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;  

In this warfare we must follow the example of our Lord God Himself, of His archangel, and of His saints in the future. Those future martyrs will probably see more spiritual warfare than we ever imagined. We must rely on the name of the Lord, on His word, and on His precious blood or we will end up giving place to the devil. We must use the shield of faith else we will be hit by the fiery darts of the enemy.

Ephesians 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.

By the way, there is no need for special "prayers" pre-manufactured for us by alleged spiritual warfare experts. The simplicity of the scriptures given above will show that.

It is not a matter to pass over lightly, nor is it something to ignore. It is also not a matter to make into a superstitious circus. Thank God, that through His word, the blood of Christ, and His power we can fight the good fight of faith and resist steadfastly the attacks of our adversary the devil.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.



graphics by Mary Stephens
CA (edited 2014)