[box type=”info”] I am SO very excited to feature a guest post from Kristine McGuire. I “met” Kristine online via a book review of her book, (now republished) Escaping the Cauldron. Kristine is a Christian woman, a former witch and medium, and an excellent writer. I have been repeatedly moved by her story and her willingness to address issues that some Christians shy away from. I’m very honored to share her with you here.[/box]
The Heart of Spiritual Warfare
There is a very important principle Christians need to embrace as part of their daily faith walk with God. What is it? The authority we are given as disciples of Jesus Christ to overcome those things which try to separate us from Him.
Yes. I’m talking about spiritual warfare.
You see, every one of us is in the middle of a war. We have an enemy who is seeking our spiritual destruction. He is the one who rebelled against God so long ago, taking a third of the angels with him. Through a variety of tactics (deception, temptation, and sin being chief among them), this adversary seeks to draw us from the gospel’s truth and the life we can live in Jesus Christ.
Thankfully, God has equipped all those who confess their sin, professing JESUS as Savior Lord. Through the inspired writing of the Apostle Paul, God has provided a description of the battle. He details the function of each piece of the spiritual armor He provides:
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:12-18 NLT
This, my friends, is the heart of spiritual warfare. Believing God. Standing in faith, upon His grace and authority.
Yet, there are Christians who are worried about being drawn into this unwelcome battle. They don’t want to be “engaged” by the enemy (although this happens simply by virtue of being a Christian). Many feel stymied by the concept of spiritual warfare or prayer. They will ask, how do I pray? Are there specific words I should say? Do I have to pray more than once? Is there someone special I should go to for spiritual warfare or can any Christian pray?
What I have learned about spiritual warfare (especially prayer) is this. Jesus has given us the authority of His name. Prayer is not for special or select people. As disciples (adopted sons and daughters) we are invited into the very throne room of God. Boldly, we can ask Him for healing, justice, resolution in difficult situations. He is the One who goes to battle upon our behalf:
“We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT
As Christians, we can experience direct spiritual opposition or even attack from the enemy (especially when we are obedient to God’s will and word). But we have the power (authority) of Christ upon which to stand.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 ESV
Some times the result is immediate. We see God at work in a miraculous way. We witness the immediate response of the enemy to His authority. There are other times when we must go through a longer process. These are opportunities for us to grow in faith and dependence upon God as we focus on Him.
Our greatest spiritual weapons are scripture and prayer. By taking the time to seek God, draw close to Him, impress His word on our minds and in our hearts, building our faith, we can experience the victory Jesus Christ has already secured for us through His life, death, resurrection. And when we pray, we can be direct and honest with God. Honoring Him first and above all else, confessing anything which needs it, and trusting God’s will be done.
Spiritual warfare is a reality of the Christian life and journey. So long as we remember in whom our authority resides, we truly have nothing to fear.
A Special Prayer for Warriors (excerpt from Escaping the Cauldron):
Help me remember to put on the full armor every day. Protect my mind from temptation and wrong thinking. Guard my heart from acting on my desires rather than following the Holy Spirit. Remind me who I am in Christ Jesus, my identity as Your disciple and adopted child. When the fiery darts of the wicked one come against me, help me stand firm and to resist. Remind me of the truth every day. Write Your word on my heart. Give me the strength to stand with my Christian brothers and sisters against the enemy.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
[box type=”bio”] Kristine McGuire is an inspirational writer and speaker,sharing her testimony and encouraging others in their walk with Christ. A gifted writer, her work has been featured on Positively Feminine, Faithful Devotions, and Praise & Coffee Magazine (Fall 2011). Kristine ‘s first book, Escaping the Cauldron, is an informative memoir and Bible study, recounting her journey from committed Christian to witch, medium, and ghost hunter for eight years until restored to faith in Jesus Christ. Kristine is a wife and the mother of two adult daughters. She enjoys writing, spending time with her family, long walks, listening to music of all kinds, and experiencing God’s daily gift called life. You can read her blog at Kristine Remixed.[/box]