Equipping the Saints for Spiritual Warfare and End Times: How to Prepare Yourself for Battle and What is Happening in our Culture Today.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the darkness, against the spiritual; forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4
Be of sober spirit, be on alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
As Christians, we need to understand and equip ourselves for spiritual battle, and understand the times we are living in. If you are a born-again, Christian, you are engaged in warfare and have an enemy who would seek to destroy your life. We are not to be ignorant of the enemy nor his schemes. God is more powerful than our adversary, but we still must know that he has a plan for our lives as well as God does. God, however, gives us the authority and power to overcome the schemes of the enemy, but we must know how to use these.
We are seeing in our culture, like never before the enemy aggressively infiltrating people’s lives. If you just watch TV, movies, or the news, you can see the devastation and havoc left by the destructive forces of our opponent. We must understand the times and days we are living in, and understand how to combat this evil foe. Temptation and enticements are being hurled at innocent people daily, some unknowingly, take the bait of satan. Our eyes and ears must be guarded at all times, for we live in a world and culture that opposes the truth and the way of Christ. We must take a stand, and not be followers of the world, and easily swayed or compromise our beliefs. We are being bombarded daily with demonic messages and materials via the internet, TV. and movies. Our culture, this generation is in an epic battle for their souls, and we must know what it is and how to make a stand against these schemes.
Jesus warned that the last days would be like the days of Lot, who lived in wicked Sodom (Luke 17:28-30). We know the root of Sodom’s sin was pride and complacency (Ezekiel 16:49). However, Sodom’s lasting infamy stemmed from their aggressive homosexuality. (Genesis 19; Jude 1:7). Today, the homosexual agenda is flaunted and forced upon our culture like no other time in history. The availability and consumption of sensual products has exploded in this generation. Sexual immorality will be rampant in the last days (Jude 2:18; Revelation 9:21). Christians, guard yourselves from the temptations that are coming from unholy agendas, magazines, movies, pornography, TV, shows and commercials, and guard yourselves from temptresses. The spirits of lust, perversion, and sexual immorality are prevalent in our culture and we watch be watchful for them. Do not believe you are strong against them, and do not need to protect yourselves from them; lest you slip and fall into sin.
We are seeing an occult movement, new age, and witchcraft in this generation as well. Nearly every new show has some sort of occult/new age theme. We know that the Bible references sorcery, witchcraft, magic, and occult practices will be used to enchant and deceive in the last days. (Revelation 9:21; Isaiah 47:9-15; Micah 5:10-15). Today, we see the interest in the occult flourishing. It is ever popularized in music, TV. shows, movies, books, and even in children’s programming. Parents, be watchful of what your children are viewing, as innocent as The Smurfs or Wizards of Waverly Place may seem, they and many more kid’s programming have underlying occult themes. Listen and monitor the music choices your children listen to. You can research the group and lyrics to the songs they listen to, you might be surprised what messages they are receiving through the music they are listening to.
There is a rise in people departing from their faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1). We see deception in many facets, such as, false doctrines, false teachers, yoga, martial arts, horoscopes, psychics, new age movement and practices, and transcendental meditation/channeling. This generation has witnessed the explosion of false doctrines that are embraced by professing Christians even though their message contradicts the Word of God. People are rejecting sound doctrine of the Word of God and are following the doctrines of men that appeal to their own lusts (2 Timothy 4:3-4; Acts 20:29-30). Others are confessing faith in Jesus Christ, but do not obey the Word of God (Matthew 24:48-51; Matthew 7:22-23). As Christians, we must not follow the world and their standards, but we are to be Christ’s representatives here on earth. Let us not confuse others or cause others to fall away from the truth by our behavior.
As true followers of Christ, let us take a stand for truth and walk in truth at all times. Others are watching and observing us. Let’s not be what the world perceives us to be.
Ways to know if you are in a Spiritual Battle/Warfare:
1. Experiencing Infirmity: headaches, fever, vomiting/diarrhea, dizziness, back and/or neck pain, cold/flu-like symptoms, malaise, fatigue.
2. Your Mind: fear, anxiety, depression, discouragement, defeat, delusions, worry, torment, doubt, unbelief, confusion, negativity, condemnation, guilt, shame, and feeling unworthy and unloved.
3. Your Vision and Purpose: You feel like giving up on your life, calling, or purpose. Question if God really called you to that ministry, church, or task.
4. Oppression: Feel spiritually dead. May have difficulty reading God’s Word, worshipping or praying. Feel “heavy” in your spirit.
5. Hindrances and Distractions: A lot of little annoying things come up all at once causing irritation and aggravation. Causes you to lose your peace. You begin to take your eyes off Jesus and onto the things distracting you.
6. Anger, Strife, and Divisions: Feel uncontrollable anger, or feel strife and division in your relationships.
7. Offense: You feel offended by what others do or don’t do.
8. Financial difficulties: Unexpected bills and debt that can cause a strain on your budget.
9. Close relationships with unbelievers and people who walk in unrepented sin: We are to influence others, but if we begin to be influenced or affected by others we need to take a step- back, recharge, refill, and place ourselves around strong believers.
1. Nightmares: Not all our bad dreams are demonic in nature, but sometimes we are disturbed and agitated at night.
1. Your Speech: If you are full of complaining, whining, self-pity, fault-finding and criticism, these are not stemming from God.
Open doors that can allow the Enemy to Infiltrate:
1. Unconfessed sin in our lives.
2. Unbelief in Jesus Christ and the only plan to Salvation.
3. Former or current influences in the occult, new age, and other religions.
4. Pornography, lust, and sexual immorality.
5. Drugs and alcohol. These can be open doors to the demonic realm by mind control.
6. Fear, worry, doubt, unbelief, anxiousness, and anger.
7. Watching, listening, or reading demonic influenced TV, movies, music, or other such material.
8. Not walking in Christ’s love but hatred, anger or unforgiveness.
How to equip yourself in the End Times and be Spiritually Dressed for Battle:
1. Make sure that you are truly born-again, not merely in words but by faith and by your heart’s believe in who Christ is.
2. Make a stand for truth and do not comprise truth. Do not follow the standard of the world; you will be misled.
3. Repent of all known and unknown sins, to keep yourself pure and Holy in a perverse and crooked generation. Be known as a true follower of Christ by how you live your life.
4. Walk in faith and not by sight. Do not speak of what you see with your physical eyes; the enemy will magnify and distort what he shows you.
5. Monitor and be guarded the company you keep, who is influencing you, the things you watch, read, and listen to.
6. Know your weaknesses. The enemy will try and set you up, especially when you are weak, tired, sick, or alone. Be on guard to how the enemy uses your weaknesses.
7. Praise and worship His Holy name. Go to the throne room and praise His name. Give the Lord thanksgiving and bless His Holy name.
8. Pray; pray in the Spirit, and wait for God’s intercession on your behalf. Do not react to what the enemy is showing you. Prayer is a powerful weapon.
9. Read the Word of God and say out loud scriptures that speak life and faith.
1. Plead the blood of Jesus over your life, your home, and family, when you are under spiritual attack. The blood of Jesus is our victory, His shed blood conquered the enemy!
1. If you feel spiritually attacked/oppressed in your home, once again, plead the powerful blood of Jesus Christ, pray and anoint each room in your home, command anything that is not of God to flee your home in the name of Jesus, and play praise music in your home, 24/7 (It does not have to be loud to be heard by unseen forces).
1. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if you need to rid your home of anything that is not representing Christ or has a stronghold over you.
1. Take and use the authority you have in Jesus Christ and command dark forces, evil spirits, principalities, and rulers of darkness to flee from you in Jesus name.
Take note, what the evil spirit told the “seven sons of Sceva.” “Jesus I know, and Paul I know but who are you?” This teaches us that the enemy recognizes and responds to the authority that has been given to believers in Christ. How do they know we belong to Christ? Only believers have been given the seal of the Spirit of God (Ephesians 1:13-14).
And these signs shall follow them that they believe; IN MY NAME, they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover (Mark 16:15-18).
1. If you resist the devil; he will flee from you. (James 4:7). Resist meaning flee from temptation, resist the lures and lusts of our culture, keeping yourselves free from habitual sin, and standing in truth.
Know the seductions and the lures of our culture, be equipped and battle-ready to overcome the enticements and deceptions of the enemy. Let us not fall into the traps set-forth by the enemy, but let us be wise and discerning in these end times. We should be equipped to handle the forces that come against us, so that we will stand in the end and receive the crown of righteousness. This generation and culture are being deceived, and the enemies’ agendas are going forth in precedence. Let us not be caught off guard during these perilous times. We are engaged in a war, and the enemy would love nothing more for you to be lured and deceived and eventually turn your back upon God. Let us not be deceived by the mockery and inhibitions of our society, these are sensual, demonic, and have purpose to destroy truth. We need to be aware that compromise often leads to downfall. Guard yourself and your family from these influences. We are all influenced by something; CHOOSE to be influenced by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.