The War Between Your Ears – The Truth About Spiritual Warfare
Spiritual Warfare. The topic brings to mind something straight out of some horror flick: a dude dressed in a black robe waves a giant crucifix at a freaky-looking child while chanting some bible verses in a super-dramatic voice. Meanwhile the freak-child’s head spins around while she vomits some green gunk. Nice. When it comes to spiritual warfare we imagine two evenly matched forces – one good, one evil – locked in a head-to-head battle for dominance.
Even when it comes to our own daily lives, we can often be scared of the devil and think he has power over us. We say, “Man, I’m really being attacked by the devil” or “the devil made me do it.” We even think that our sin gives the devil power to mess with us. Well, hold on to your seats folks. Because what I see in the scriptures blows that idea straight out of the water.
You see it’s not a battle between two evenly-matched forces. It’s not even close.
Let’s look at Ephesians 1:19-21:
19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
This scriptures clearly tells us that when Christ died on the cross, was raised from the dead, and was seated in heaven, he was far above all principalities and powers. His power is above every name, including the devil’s. And the amazing thing is he has given that exceeding greatness of his power to us who believe! The first step in understanding spiritual warfare is to realize who you really are in Christ. You need to know the power that’s on the inside of you because of Jesus. The devil literally has no power over you unless you give it to him.
I was deployed to Iraq as a medic in the Army. Now we had all sorts of machine guns in our trucks: 240 Bravos, M4s, AR-15s, and 50-cal rifles whose bullets could tear a person open even if it just brushed past them. Though I also carried high-powered guns, I carried this little 9mm pistol on my hip so that I would be armed even if separated from the trucks. Wherever we went, crowds would gather and we’d hand out pens or candy. But sometimes the crowd got so out of control that we’d have to try to disperse them. My buddies with these high powered guns would shoot into the air to try to get the crowd to break up and nothing would happen. But if I just reached toward my hip for that little 9mm pistol the crowd would scatter in an instant. We had all these giant guns that could cause so much damage yet they didn’t scare the people at all. But if I just acted like I was going to reach for my gun, the crowd would run away. Why?
When Saddam Hussein was in power, he would hold a 9mm pistol to the temples of his people as they knelt on their knees and execute them one by one. This evil man had created such a mental stronghold over these people that just the sight of a 9mm pistol, much less powerful than the guns my buddies had, would make them run in fear. But the truth was, Hussein was powerless. Maybe you remember the headlines splashed across the newspapers, “Caught Like A Rat” with an image of this old guy with a bloody lip being pulled out of the hole he was hiding in. Hussein was just an old man, powerless and now in prison, but the mental stronghold he still had over these people made them run in fear at the sight of a 9mm pistol.
It’s the same way with the devil. His power has been stripped. He’s nothing but scum. He has no real power over your life. But YOU give him power over your life when you don’t realize that he’s been defeated; that YOU are now the righteousness of God in Christ and have been given exceedingly great power over the enemy. Ephesians 6:10-11 tells us:
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
You put on the full armor of God – the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet protected by peace, shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit (the word of God) – by seeing yourself the way God sees you. When you know who you are in Christ, you have all the weapons you need to live a victorious life.
I’m not denying the fact that there is a devil and there is evil. But what I am telling you is that the devil’s only power is deceiving you into agreeing that he has power over you. The power of God is alive on the inside of you. The devil is under your feet! You are clothed in the full armor of God! So instead of looking for the devil behind every bad thing that happens, or difficulty you face, start telling those difficulties to get under your feet! See yourself the way God sees you and expect victory in your life.