We need to plan for battle – because we are in one – a very serious one. Lives are at stake. We didn’t choose this fight, but we need to do everything we can to fight it with every ounce of wisdom, courage and strength that is in us.
The battle is spiritual – against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)
God Created human beings to rule the earth and bring every living thing into subjection. That means mastering the knowledge of all things living on the earth. What God did not give man was dominion over angels. God made man a little lower than the angels. So, how do we fight against a more powerful enemy – one we cannot even see?
The 5 “Knows” for Spiritual Warfare
Rule #1 – Know Your God
God commanded Adam – “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16) God holds the Power of life and death – immortality and mortality lie within His Domain. He is All Powerful, All-Knowing, Everywhere Present at the Same Time, and Unchangeable.
King Jehoshaphat stood before the people of Israel and declared – “O LORD God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?” 2 Chronicles 20:6
The 24 elders in Heaven worship God saying – “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.“ Revelation 11:17
Hannah, the mother of the Prophet Samuel, said – “Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the LORD is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed.” 1 Samuel 2:3
The Apostle Paul wrote the Romans – “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33
King David wrote – “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:7-10
The writer to Hebrews – “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13
God told Malachi the Prophet – “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” Malachi 3:6
The writer to Hebrews – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
The Apostle James wrote – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.“ James 1:17
God is also Good, Loving, Kind, Compassionate, Merciful, Gracious, Longsuffering, Forgiving, Holy, Righteous, and Just! He is an All-Powerful God with an All-Loving Heart for His people.
The Son of God revealed Himself to Joshua in a Theophany as a Man holding a sword. When Joshua asked Him if He was for Israel or for their enemies, God said – “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, ‘What does my Lord say to His servant?’ Then the Commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, ‘Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.’ And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5:14-15) When Jesus Christ returns to earth to destroy the armies of nations opposing Israel, He will lead the Army of Heaven as its Commander.
Know your God!
Rule #2 – Know Your Enemy
The leader of the principalities, powers, rulers, and spiritual hosts of wickedness is Satan – the devil. Jesus called Satan “the ruler of this world.” (John 12:31) The Apostle Paul called Satan “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2) and “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). The Apostle Peter called Satan “a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” The Apostle John called Satan “the great dragon, that serpent of old.” (Revelation 12:9; 20:2) Jesus spoke of Satan as a thief whose only desire is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).
Understand that Satan is a liar and deceiver. That’s how he attacked the human race in the Garden of Eden and that’s how he attacks us now. Satan attacks his enemy with lies and deceit. Jesus called Satan the father of lies – “When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44) Satan constantly opposes the Work of God. Jesus said that Satan sows bad spiritual seeds in the hearts of men (Matthew 13:38) and snatches the Word of God from the hearts of many who hear it (Mark 4:15). The Apostle Peter taught that Satan oppresses people through many kinds of physical, mental and spiritual attacks (Acts 10:38). Paul taught that Satan is proud and his pride was his condemnation (1 Timothy 3:6). The Apostle John wrote that Satan accuses believers day and night in Heaven (Revelation 12:10). Paul wrote that Satan is evil and tempts people to do evil (1 Thessalonians 3:5). Jesus resisted Satan’s temptations in the wilderness and taught His disciples to pray that God would “deliver” them from the “evil one” (Matthew 6:13).
Though Satan is powerful, he is not equal to God and does threaten God’s power in the least (Isaiah 45:5-7). We know from reading the last chapters in the Bible that God defeats Satan and casts him into the lake of fire and brimstone where he will be “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).
How can we as human beings fight against a foe as powerful as Satan and his forces of evil? “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” (Ephesians 6:10) We are able to stand and fight in spiritual warfare as we stand in God’s Strength and Power.
Know your enemy!
Rule #3 – Know Yourself
It is wise when going into battle to know yourself – your strengths and weaknesses. That is one of the primary purposes of basic training in the military – to learn about yourself and what you must do to conform to the demands of warfare.
The first person “born” on the Earth was Cain. How would he deal with spiritual battle? Adam and Eve taught Cain and their other children how to worship and serve God. As was their custom, Cain and his brother Abel brought offerings to God as part of their worship. God accepted Abel’s offering, but rejected Cain’s offering. That made Cain very angry. God told Cain to beware of his weakness. “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” (Genesis 4:6)
Cain’s spiritual weakness was sin. It is every human being’s spiritual weakness. God warned Cain about his weakness and also encouraged him with the potential for strength – “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” However, Cain did not take God’s wise advice and allowed his anger to turn into rage and the murder of his brother.
Cain made three major mistakes: he did not know his God … he did not know his enemy … and he did not know himself. The Apostle John explained it nicely in his first Letter – “… not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.” (1 John 3:12)
It’s important to be honest with yourself and with God. God already knows everything, so it’s more about your being honest. When God called for Adam in the Garden of Eden and asked where he was, God already knew what had happened. He’s God. He knows everything. God wanted Adam to be honest and face what he had done. When God asked Cain – “where is Abel your brother?” – God already knew what Cain had done. God wanted Cain to be honest and face what he had done.
We need to face the truth about ourselves and be honest with God about who and what we are. It is in the process of honesty and openness with God that we will find strength and purpose in Him.
I highly recommend regular “reviews” with God. That’s where you tell God what’s on your heart, what you see as your strengths and weaknesses, then ask Him to tell you what’s on His Heart and what He sees as your strengths and weaknesses. These ongoing reviews with your Commander will reap great rewards as you learn how to please Him with your life and ministry.
We will complete our study about spiritual warfare next week with the #4 and #5 “Knows” for spiritual warfare. Our prayers are with you as you engage the enemy!
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”