In our daily meditations over the last few days, we have learned that this world is under the control of Satan and that he influences what happens in the world by controlling flesh and blood individuals. What is the church to do against such forces? In some way that I cannot fully explain, all true believers are seated in the heavenly realms with Christ, even though, at the same time, we are walking on this Earth. Christ is sitting on the throne far above every authority, power, and dominion. Because of our relationship to Christ, we are seated with Him, exercising His authority in the world through prayer. Paul explains this place of authority in the following words:
18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way (Ephesians 1:18-23).
6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6-7).
How does each of us become a formidable force in the kingdom of God? We have established that every one of us is in a spiritual battle, whether we are aware of this or not. We know that we have been given the authority in Christ and the powerful weapon of prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. There are some basic principles we need to know to be effective.
1) Know who you are in Christ. Are you convinced of the authority of Christ? Don't try and wage warfare in your strength. Rely on His power and take direction from the Holy Spirit.
2) Agree with the Word of God. In this world, you will find that it is becoming more and more unpopular to agree with God's Word. The Word of God is consistent and does not change. The truth of God's Word should shape our thinking and our decisions. Learn His Word, and in applying that truth, you will find yourself on the right side of the spiritual conflict, regardless of what others think of you. God’s Word is powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12).
3) Agree with the Holy Spirit quickly. Every time you choose to forgive instead of harboring bitterness, and every time you decide to consider other's needs before your own and make unselfish decisions, you are training yourself for battle and becoming a formidable warrior. You cannot fight the enemy while at the same time giving him ground in your own life. If you submit to the Lordship of Christ, you will grow in your ability to exercise Christ's authority and overcome the enemy.
4) Be Honest and Transparent with God as to the Enemy’s Infiltration. We need to be more active in the spiritual battle for members of your family or friends. The enemy seeks to blind us to possibilities to do battle in these situations! Do not accept defeat but allow God to enlarge your vision of what He wants to do in your life and family! The forward advance of God’s will and purpose is warfare, and God is for you! Every time you draw close to the battle lines in prayer, you are waging war. The beautiful thing is that we can proclaim the victory Christ has already won on our behalf. If God is for us, who can be against us? Keith Thomas
This meditation is a shortened version of the more in-depth study: Know Your Enemy.