For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. —Ephesians 6:12
Have you ever considered what could be hindering you from your breakthrough personally, physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially? Could it be that you are wrestling with the wrong opponent in your life? The word wrestle means to take part in a fight, either as sport or in earnest, by grappling with one’s opponent and trying to throw or force them to the ground.
As Christians, we aren’t supposed to wrestle with other people no matter how much we think they’re the problem. We are called to wrestle against spiritual forces:
- Against the rulers
- Against the authorities
- Against the cosmic powers
- Against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places
I am emphasizing the real spiritual battle we are in because Jesus and His disciples had so much to say about our real enemy. They gave us strong warning. Don’t be ignorant! Don’t ignore it!
That we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. (2 Corinthians 2:11)
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in the faith. (1 Peter 5:8–9)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10–11)
Why does the Bible have so much to say about our spiritual adversary? Because this warfare between Satan and the human race began a long time ago in the garden of Eden. I believe this spiritual warfare exists because Satan hates us; he is jealous of believers in Christ. Simply put, he will never again be able to receive God’s love. He will never be reinstated to the position he once had before almighty God.
You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God…till unrighteousness was found in you. (Ezekiel 28:14–15)
Satan can never be forgiven and permitted to sense God’s holy presence. He is jealous of us and wants to steal or destroy any good thing God has given to us. Jesus declared, “The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they [all believers] may have life and have life abundantly” (John 10:10).
Jesus also told us that we should “be wise as serpents and as gentle as doves” (Matthew 10:16). We are not wise but foolish if we don’t train ourselves and others to understand exactly what is fighting against us. Paul went to great lengths to educate the body of Christ about success- fully living for Jesus and being a soldier of His kingdom against the real enemy. Paul wrote, “We wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us” (1 Thessalonians 2:18 nkjv). If Satan could hinder the apostle Paul, don’t you think he could hinder you?
Please don’t think I’m saying these spiritual forces can force you to do anything; they cannot. My desire is to give you the facts about who you are in the eyes of God and why you need the authority He has given you. You are God’s child, and He wants you to have “rivers of living water” flowing from your innermost being (see John 7:38), but our spiritual enemy wants to do what he can to hinder you in your walk, to keep you from reaching God’s divine purpose for your life. That is why the Bible tells us to be watchful and resist the devil. Being properly equipped is the key to success in anything. In the spiritual world, it’s not how much money you have, or what schools you attended, or any of the natural things we generally look at to determine success. It’s the power of God’s Word.
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3–5)
As believers, we don’t have to live in fear of the supernatural. God has given us powerful weapons against temptation and accusation. He has given us weapons of warfare, prayer, the Word, and our faith to
stand strong and resist. “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3 niv).
Thank God for Jesus Christ, who gave His life to deliver us from the hands of the enemy.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excel- lencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and trans- ferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. (Colossians 1:13)
Wow, almighty God loves you! He loves you, He loves you, He loves you! You are redeemed. He has taken you from the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous light!
Now, I know that spiritual warfare can sound weird to some people. I know if you have this conversation with someone who is not walking with God, they can look at you like you’re uneducated or crazy. It’s happened to me plenty of times! But the apostle Paul had that prob- lem covered 2,000 years ago!
But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. (1 Corinthians 2:14 nlt)
To be ignorant of the facts about spiritual warfare doesn’t make it any less true. And since God’s Word tells us that it is true, don’t you want to win this wrestling match?
Let’s go to the throne of God in prayer together today and battle for those who are being hindered. We will take the shield of faith and quench all the darts of the wicked one coming against anyone God has placed on your heart!
Excerpted from “21 Days of Deeper Prayer: Discover an Extraordinary Life in God” by Jim Maxim with Daniel Henderson, © 2020 by Jim Maxim. Published by Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA. Used with permission. All rights reserved. www.whitakerhouse.com.
Free audio prayers found here: www.acts413.net/deeperprayer