The steps below was the path I took to engage in Spiritual Warfare...simply having a Bible without opening it doesn't work.
The heart of God's warrior is rooted in His word...spending unhurried time with what's inside, and having an honest and open heart to hear from God while you read.
This is bigger than us. All of it. The heavens are raging around us and somehow we ended up here, in 2021.
God, in His wisdom sent His Son to conquer sin and the grave - and as if that wasn't enough, He gave us His power, His love and His sound mind.
It's up to us what we do with it.
It cost our God everything to love us - what does it cost us to love Him back?
Repenting our sins and accepting Jesus as our Lord and savior is the least we can do honor and love Him in return. It's also the foundation of how we're able to go on the offensive spiritually.
The simple truth is that if God does nothing else for us besides giving us Christ - that's enough. But He's done so much more, and He's not done.
In fact, it looks like He's just getting started.
Many of us lived the life we were taught - church on Sundays, God in our hearts and us at the wheel for everything else.
God should have been the thread through it all. We should have lived boldly. We should have lived without hiding God within us. We should have spoken up and often about what we saw around us and ultimately - we played a role in how we as a church and a nation got here.
You can't put God in a box of your design, letting Him out when it's convenient. You can't withhold God from every part of your inner world and live to your fullest.
Remove your inner partitions and allow Christ to invade every aspect of your life and who you are, which is one of the cornerstones of Spiritual Warfare.
Our enemy is twofold - first, ourselves. We make choices and cause our own consequences.
But the second enemy is old, biblical and successful. The Bible says our enemy has a mind, heart and will - and we know those things make a person. The Bible calls him the devil, Satan, the accuser and enemy of our soul.
The devil doesn't know your name, but he knows your character before God.
Those partitions you have? Then enemy knows all about them, because he helped create them. He fuels and affirms them. The enemy loves that people profess to love God but won't be vulnerable to Him, which keeps God from doing His best work in and through us.
We don't glorify the devil by giving him more credit than he's do - but his tactics are perfected and he has an army working to steel, kill and destroy us 24/7.
You'll hear us often say that a life of warfare is a life of worship, because worship changes the atmosphere around us. As the Holy Spirit inhabits the praise you offer God, His presence stirs within and around you - whether you're alone or in a crowded stadium.
The enemy can't easily operate in this environment...in fact the devil and entire demonic realm hates it because it makes them vulnerable and their power and ability to affect you is cutoff.
Worship ushers in every aspect of God's presence - including peace - God's peace which surpasses all understanding. We hate evil and wage war from a solid place of grace, humility, power and peace the world can never understand. The fact that we can wage war from a place of inner peace defies logic, reason and most of all - conventional warfare.
Then comes prayer...less for ourselves, more for others, all of it for the glory of Jesus and Kingdom gain.
In fact there will be seasons of spiritual warfare where all of your prayers are for others and for things that the Holy Spirit places in your mind or on your heart.
Start with worship, receive His peace and unleash holy hell with prayer against strongholds, demonic oppression and sabotage the work of the enemy at every turn. Or, get on your knees to pray heaven down for your neighbor who's battling anxiety and depression, or for your kids to be saved and lives turned around. It's all fair game as long as it's Biblically sound, and your spirit is walking in step with the Holy Spirit.
Our warfare isn't limited to what the world thinks or sees...and it's in fact more infinite and connected than most of you could imagine. But we yield to Almighty God and operate with restraint.
All the battles we fight belong to God - we just need to walk in the wisdom, grace and authority He calls us to because while He works in the heavenly realms, we're His first plan to operate here and pray heaven down.
There are a few foundational ideas to wrap your hands around when it comes to Spiritual warfare.
First, the Bible tells us that this world belongs to the devil, which means every living soul here is born behind enemy lines. But the devil has legal rights against us if we don't forgive others and don't ask for forgiveness for the sin we've committed.
Accepting Jesus as your Lord & savior leads to repentance and salvation, and the Holy Spirit convicts us of the sin we've committed against God. But thankfully this isn't a one and done process. It's ongoing - as we fall short and commit sin, God loves us enough to forgive us - but we have to ask for it, and mean it.
The Bible tells us sin is in our hearts and we're all wicked, compelling most of us to repent daily - hourly, if needed. Accepting Jesus doesn't change us overnight, because we try to hold onto ourselves - our habits, our thoughts, our drugs, our injuries, our grievances and ultimately - our story.
We need to give it all to God and allow the Holy Spirit to work on us, which includes what we call our spiritual grievances. These are things that still burden us or things we're mad at God for.
Your story is unique. There are things that happened to you - devastated you, wrecked you, destroyed you and were probably meant to kill you or throw you off God's path long enough to make you feel insignificant. God sees it all and HATES the enemy all the more for it.
But you need to resolve your anger at God because the enemy is using it to keep you in a mental and emotional prison. Write down a list of what happened to you, ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you were affected, how deeply you were wounded - and also how you were used to hurt, manipulate and destroy others.
You need to forgive everyone that grieved you, ask God to forgive you for how you've grieved others and go deeper and deeper down that process until you've purged everything that the devil is using against you.
Start with un-forgiveness and continue uncovering the sin you try to hide from God because that affects your standing before His throne.
God sees your character before Him - but so does the devil, and if you attempt spiritual warfare against the enemy without addressing these things - not only will he empty hell to attack you, he has the legal right to do it.
Write down your grievances, atone with God, then use that same list and ask him for permission as your legal right to attack the enemy. Pray on it. Fast on it. Continue writing that list until the Holy Spirit gives you permission to go on the offensive with the full force of heaven behind you - to the measure that you're called to do so.
Fasting and kneeling in prayer are familiar habits of prayer intercessors. We were born with no real power to defend ourselves, both physically and spiritually.
We have no real power except that which Christ gave us in His name, and we are reliant on the infilling of the Holy Spirit to teach us, guide us and orchestrate our efforts almost similar to a one-two punch: God gives us power in the name of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit tells us where and how to apply it.
Fasting is our way of telling God we're hungrier for the Holy Spirit to operate in us than we are for human food. It's part of conditioning our body to come into alignment with the scripture telling us to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength.
As we fast, we don't parade it around people bragging how holy and righteous we are. We don't do it for the credit or esteem, in fact most of the time nobody knows we're doing it.
Based on Jesus telling the disciples about fasting and our own personal experience, we've come to believe that fasting amplifies our ability to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and God willing, allows us more authority as we pray against larger targets.
Targeting deserves its own section. We pray to receive a sense of God's anguish, and with it comes a burden to pray for things as the Holy Spirit guides us. That's the best starting point for prayer...but it's often not the first.
Our story has left us with grievances that, once addressed with repentance, forgiveness, prayer and fasting - leads us with our own burdens and anguish to pray for.
The marriage that ended abruptly.
The family member that died tragically.
The sexual abuse as a child.
The assault on our friends or family members.
The history of self destruction and sabotage that's left a wake of hurt, anxiety and hardship in your past.
All of these things are examples of people's story that becomes part of their ongoing prayer walk because they have direct, intimate knowledge of them - and that experience equips them to take ownership of their story and pray heaven down to keep it from happening to others. This is heart felt intercession at it's core...praying down heaven to help others avoid the same thing from occurring.
That is faith in action. That's faith with works. We still trust God, but we want to be trusted by God to be His emissaries and stewards here on earth. That's getting off the couch and doing something more than just trusting God.
If you're reading this right now, we believe you have a role to play. If not for yourself, for others you love. If not now, when?
First, a disclaimer: This isn't for everyone
Second, spiritual violence and warfare is occurring all around you whether or not you choose to believe in it, avoid it or dismiss it.
Third, God isn't asking us to do anything He hasn't already done first.
Fourth, water baptism is a declaration of war.
Fifth, if there was ever a time to seize hold of the full measure of prayer against the enemy in a world falling apart, it's now...but only to the measure that you're called.
The truth of it is, some of us are built for warfare the same way others are built for love.
Everything about spiritual warfare and violent prayer is based on love.
First, it's based on God loving us so much that He sacrificed His only son so that we could spend eternity with Him, and also to restore us to a place of dominion that Adam gave up in the garden.
But then comes the depth of our love...
We love God more than we love ourselves. More than our own comfort, more than our life and more than the world.
We reset our value system and simplify things based on God's word.
We love what He loves, and hate what He hates.
We're filled with actions that love and serve others and have proven ourselves worthy and humble enough to believe everything God's word says, and the fruit of our faith is evident.
We're not angry or violent people - but we're fully accessible to God as His commissioned saboteurs against the enemies plans.
If you're on a journey with God and feel comfortable where you are, this isn't for you.
If you only want to do what your Pastor says, keep doing that and move on.
If you aren't ready to be completely honest with yourself, God and others, don't try this because the devil knows your character before God and you'll get rolled. Go read Job.
However...for those of you that have moments of righteous indignation where you know God's burden is heavy on you for a number of reasons, like when you see depravity or callous actions or violence against innocent people or good people suffering at the hands of those that are more powerful, there's a good chance God's already been calling you in this direction.
If you're on a path of growing your faith and are at increasing odds with society, wondering how we got here and how things can change - keep reading.
If you're a former soldier and angered by the tyranny and treason after you and your brothers and sisters fought and suffered for our freedom, this is a way for you to be sharpened spiritually as well as physically.
The body of Christ is more than the loving hands and feet...the book of Judges reminds us that God is looking for those who are called to be the sword of the Lord to step forward. First in prayer, and then in person.
We're made in the image and likeness of God
In fact we're "fearfully and wonderfully" made
All of us feel anger and rage, however, we're told to suppress it, ignore it or manage it away
History is filled with exploits of men who did great and terrible things operating from a place of anger and rage...and the Bible teaches us about men acting on God's behalf, for His glory, at His instruction and then restrained and evoked by the Holy Spirit's presence did mighty things for the Kingdom of God on earth, as it is in heaven.
The modern church became part of modern cultural movements of tolerance
How do we expect men that come from our culture to be better than, and above our culture?
How can these Pastor's and teachers not be susceptible to cultural influence?
Does the bible say our teachers and leaders will be exempt from deception?
No...the Bible tells us to remain vigilant, watchful and warning others of the deceit around us
Violent prayer is personal
The enemies attacks against our mind, soul, bodies and spirit are personal
Imagine what would happen if people would lay all of their experiences, enmity, rage, anger, hatred, bitterness, angst, pain, suffering, anxiety, fear and memories - ALL OF IT at Christ's feet
Imagine telling God with a genuine, honest posture - not my will, but Yours be done
And then imagine asking God for permission to wage war against the enemy on behalf of Him, you, others you know and society at large - and pray to be filled with righteous anger
This is what an intercessor from Isaiah 59/58 does...this is how the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence...when people humble themselves before God and wage war according to HIS strength, ability and battle plans.
A life of warfare is a life of worship.
So many of us hold onto bitterness, strife, bickering, anger and pain to the point that it defines us and without realizing it, debilitates our mind and makes us vulnerable to satan's legal claims against us.
Imagine you've accepted Christ, you've sought the Word for God's answers, you've led your family and you're seeking the full measure of action on God's behalf.
It's time to engage the kingdom of heaven with violent prayer, as the Holy Spirit leads you.
Not by might, nor by power - but by God's Spirit.
If you're able to truly lay everything at Christ's feet and take nothing of ourselves into spiritual battle...being completely empty vessels for God to use, wield and restrain, the hope is for God to trust us enough to abide in Him and wage war on His behalf.
What does our King need? Nothing.
What does He want? Loyalty and obedience.
What else can we offer? Ourselves, sacrificing our time, ego, short sightedness and comfort to intercede on behalf of others and make the Lord's enemies our own.
God had this figured out a long time ago. We're all part of His family and we're all supposed to work in concert with one another - our gifts and calling at work, coincide with other believers and their gifts/calling.
The Body of Christ is the full collective group of people worldwide that accept Christ as savior and desire to be used to help others by receiving insight, wisdom and direction from the Holy Spirit.
God made you intentionally, exactly as you are - including abilities and attributes that are specific to the calling He's placed on your life. God's done this intentionally so that if His people would listen to the Holy Spirit, God will work through us to reach other people.
Historically, people have used the gifts God gave them for selfish gain. But what feels right for a moment won't feel right for eternity if you're acting outside of God's will.
God didn't make you with bad habits, He didn't give you anger to unleash on your friends and family that aren't saved and He didn't tempt you to sin and cause others to stumble.
Some people are loving caretakers, some are wise teachers, others are gifted leaders and some are God's vessels of righteous anger, to be used to protect others where physical strength and fearlessness are needed.
We're all made for specific use - regardless of our own self-image, confidence or lack thereof.
This is most evidenced by missionary teams that travel for specific engagement. You'll often find grandmothers, school teachers, retired soldiers and students all working in unison towards the goal at hand. The unifying requirement? They're intentionally coming together, often abandoning vacations and comfort to show Christ's love in work clothes.
Yes and no.
Yes because God uses everyone, whenever/wherever/however He chooses. He's not bound or restrained to only using Christians - even though we're His first choice.
God loves everyone - but until someone has chosen to love Christ and believe He was who He said He was, they're not willingly stepping up to the plate and often won't abandon their own selfish pursuits to work with others for the benefit of complete strangers and the glory of Jesus.
Christians desire to be used by God because we've been given so much more than just eternity. We desire to be wielded and applied as the Holy Spirit guides us because we trust God's at work for more than our benefit and most believers will tell you - helping others without seeking any kind of reward is the most fulfilling and gratifying work you'll ever do.
What's the big deal here? What's the benefit to being used by God?
God shows how much He loves us by filling our spirit - our inner self, with His spirit. That means His peace, joy, hope, strength, power, confidence and righteousness overflows within us and leaves us with a deep sense of significance.
Non-believers think that all of those things are completely within reach - but good luck manifesting all of them at the same time or making them sustain. Speaking from experience - we've sought and achieved most of those things but none of them simultaneously, and the feelings never lasted.
You can't be used by God and the devil at the same time. Christians are human - we don't 'always think Godly thoughts or have Godly actions - we're responsible for how we act on these thoughts and our faith often needs to be focused.
Many people's lives may have been negatively impacted by someone that called themselves a Christian, but the Lord knows those that are His. On one hand people profess faith but have none. On another hand Christians fail, sin and have to repent the same way we all do. We ask the Holy Spirit to help us discern those people that are in fact His, and we proceed with healthy amounts of love and caution.
The reality, is that people truly being used by God with the Holy Spirit operating inside of them are very, very difficult to influence or sway for the enemies use.
Don't be fooled or misled. You can be a Holy Spirit fire breathing weapon for God and still be burdened by unresolved sin, un-forgiveness and anger that you haven't surrendered or have yet to be delivered from.
You can be a Pastor of a large congregation that didn't keep your spiritual guard up and need deliverance from the enemy operating within you.
This is where the phrase cosmic geography comes in - there are demons on the loose since the dawn of man and we, Christ followers are tasked to evict them from their bases of operation - people.
Don't avoid this ministry. Don't be arrogant or prideful that you're above this or somehow not susceptible of being influenced. I'm not saying every believer has demons to deal with - but I can't dismiss the idea either.