How the Holy Spirit Helps us to PraySeptember 26, 2023
The Scriptures make it clear that all believers are in a spiritual battle with the powers of darkness. While Satan is a defeated foe, he still wages war against the people of God until his final judgment. Peter writes, exhorting Christians to be vigilant in steadfastly resisting the devil:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
We can’t afford to deny the reality of spiritual warfare or be ignorant of the enemy’s schemes. We can’t pretend like demonic attacks do not happen or that we never need to deal with them. Navigating through spiritual warfare is a normal part of the Christian life for every believer. Some seasons can be more intense than others, but the battle is unavoidable.
All that being said, it is also important to maintain the right heart-posture and mindset regarding spiritual warfare. We must not be ignorant, but nor must we get into any unhealthy extremes of paranoia, fear, or over-emphasis on the enemy. Some things are a spiritual attack, but not everything is a spiritual attack. We still battle the flesh and live in a fallen world. Sometimes, you just have a bad day.
A Victorious Approach
What we need is a victorious approach to spiritual warfare, one that does not deny the battle but also does not give the devil or his minions an undo place in our focus or attention. In my opinion, some believers give too much emphasis to demonic attack and seem to live in a constant state of being under spiritual warfare. To be clear again, we should not deny the reality of the devil or spiritual attack. (I have regularly cast out demons for many years, so I am well aware of the reality of the kingdom of darkness!) But we must have a healthy, biblical, Christ-centered, and victorious approach.
Spiritual attack does not necessarily mean that something is wrong—it can often indicate that we are on the right track. But nor should we see it as a “badge of honor,” allow ourselves to identify too much with it, or come under a subtle sense of self-importance (“I must be really important for the devil to be attacking me”). Our approach and mindset matters!
Some seem to expect and anticipate warfare in an unhealthy way:
- “I just ministered deliverance so I know I’ll be attacked.”
- “It’s October and there is more witchcraft, so it is going to be a really heavy month.”
- “I’m stepping out for God, so the devil is going to really come after me.”
While there can be a measure of truth in these scenarios, it is the emphasis, focus, and mindset that I am concerned about. What seems to be lost in all of this is that Jesus is victorious, and the devil is defeated. While spiritual battle is a reality, it is not meant to consume all our energy and focus. I believe that a healthy, biblical, and victorious approach looks like this:
- We are aware of spiritual warfare, but we are not afraid.
- We are familiar with the enemy’s tactics but not fascinated by them.
- We walk in authority but also in humility.
- We fight from victory not for victory.
- We keep our eyes on Jesus while not denying the battle.
Victory is Assured
We’ve been given spiritual armor and weapons for this battle. We have the power of the Word of God and the sufficiency of the blood of Jesus. We have the Holy Spirit in us to lead, empower, and strengthen us. We have angels on assignment to fight in the spiritual realm on our behalf. Sometimes the battle becomes intense. Sometimes a season of warfare can be prolonged. Sometimes we become weary. But never forget that victory is assured as we stand firm in the Lord.
After Peter encouraged the believers to steadfastly resist the devil, He assured them of God’s strengthening and restoration: “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:10-11)
If you find yourself in a time of warfare, be encouraged. God is still sovereign. Jesus is still Lord. The devil is still defeated. God will have His way, and He will be glorified. You will come through this season more strengthened and established as you faithfully stand firm and cling to the Lord!