What are the keys to subduing your enemies in the spiritual realm? As you know Christian life is a life of spiritual battles. The moment we profess our faith in Christ, we enter into that battlefield, and as our faith increases the fight also intensifies.
Many of you might have decided to follow Christ thinking that following Him would put an end to all your worries, problems and scarcities. However, for many, the reality can be a bit different.
On the one hand we will definitely, enjoy a divine peace, joy, healing and prosperity, but on the other hand, we will also face hard times mainly because of the attacks from the enemies in the spiritual realm. And often we expose ourselves to these attacks by straying away from the life that God almighty has laid out for us to live.
Often, we recognize our enemies and the battle fields but still fail to resist them effectively; and the reason for this is: our ignorance about the factors that weaken us before our enemies in the spiritual realm.
This known world consists mainly of two realms. One is the Spiritual Realm and the other is the Physical Realm. The Physical Realm is just a manifestation of the Spiritual Realm. Everything happening in the physical realm has a connection to the spiritual realm. This is even more true in the case of our Spiritual life on earth.
As Christians, everything that we do according to the will and purpose of God will be against the will and purpose of the spiritual forces in the dark spiritual realm. So, definitely confrontations are natural. But we will be defeated in these confrontations if we confront our enemies without equipping ourselves with God’s power.
Saints, when I talk about enemies, I am not talking about the people that you live with; here I am talking about the dark spiritual forces that operates in the spiritual realm who often manipulate the people around us to accomplish their goals. These dark spiritual forces are the real enemies of the Kingdom of God.
Apostle Paul understood this truth, that is why in Ephesians 6, he says – Our fight is not against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities in the spiritual realm.
12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6, 12)
Unfortunately, many Christians do not understand who their real enemies are and as a result they find it difficult to withstand or subdue them. Moreover, they also enter into the battle field unprepared or without knowing what it takes to get a victory over their enemies.
If we examine the spiritual life of many Born-again believers including Pastors, Preachers and Leaders we could find that they are being attacked from all sides and often getting defeated by their enemies. Their lives and their churches have become the playing fields for the enemies in the spiritual realm.
But why this is happening? It is because we are relying on our own strength and strategies to win a battle. We are repeating the same mistakes that ancient Israelites made. Saints, please remember: when we set out to fight an enemy in the Spiritual realm, we need the power from the spiritual realm. We cannot defeat an enemy in the spiritual realm by employing the power we gain from the physical realm.
Of course, as believers in Christ, we are equipped with this Heavenly Power but we, because of our spiritual insensitivity, often fail to utilize this power against our enemies. There are spiritual keys that we need to be aware of before setting out into a spiritual battlefield; some of which I will be discussing below.
1. Follow God’s ways in Your life.
Yes, as a believer in Christ, you need to walk in God’s ways in order to receive strength from God to fight your spiritual battles. You might wonder what I mean here by saying “Follow God’s ways.” It is nothing complex, in simple language it means – to live in obedience to God’s Commandments.
If you live in disobedience, no matter, how hard you pray and how long you fast, you will not get a response from Heaven. Willful disobedience will shut the doors of heaven in your life. See what Prophet Isaiah says in chapter 59.
1Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.2But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. 3For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken falsely, and your tongue mutters wicked things. (Isaiah 59, 1-3)
Again, in Psalm 81 God Almighty says that if the Israelites had listened to Him and followed His ways, then, He would have subdued their enemies without fail.
Also, in Proverbs 19 we hear the Spirit of the LORD saying – He who turns a deaf ear to the Law or the Commandments, his prayer will be an abomination. That means; God Almighty will not accept a prayer that is offered by a disobedient heart. A person who lives in willful disobedience will not receive strength from heaven to fight his enemies in the spiritual realm.
Therefore, living in obedience, or following the ways of God is of paramount importance for us to receive strength from above to fight our spiritual battles.
2. God Almighty is the one who will subdue your enemies and not you.
Yes, in every spiritual battle, God Almighty is the one who will subdue your enemies. It is not your power or strategies that will give you victory over your enemies. Ancient Israel often failed to recognize this truth and as a result they tasted many defeats in the hands of their enemies. We get a glimpse of this in Deuteronomy 1.
When God instructed the Israelites to go ahead and fight the Amorites and take possession of their land, they were unwilling to go because they thought that; they are the ones who will fight the battle and hence wanted to know if their enemies were bigger or stronger than them. So, they requested Moses to send out spies to gather information on their enemies.
21See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” 22Then all of you came to me and said, “Let us send men ahead to spy out the land for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns we will come to.” (Deuteronomy 1, 21-22)
Sadly, despite so many miracles right in front of their eyes, the Israelites still failed to comprehend the eternal, invincible power of God Almighty.
Again, Psalm 81 gives us more specific information on who really fights our battles and subdues our enemies. In verses 13 and 14 we find God Almighty categorically declaring that – if Israel would listen to His voice and follow His ways, then, He would subdue their enemies and turn His hand against their foes.
Also, in 2 Chronicles 20, we see God Almighty declaring to Jehoshaphat that the enemy that has gathered around his Kingdom will not be able to defeat him as the battle is LORD’s and He, Himself will fight and defeat the enemies that have come against the people of God.
15He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20, 15)
Thus, as the above examples prove, every battle that we have to fight belongs to God and He will fight those battles and subdue our enemies. In a spiritual battle, our role is only to be present at the battle field and the real fighting will be done by the Angels of God Almighty.
3.Do not repeat the mistake of David by Counting your men.
When confronting an enemy, we all have a tendency to take stock of our capabilities, skills and knowledge and we rely on them to gain an upper hand over our enemies. David made this mistake when he counted his fighting men in order to make sure that he had enough power to with-stand an enemy army.
However, the LORD was angry with David as he relied on flesh blood to gain victory over his enemies. The LORD’s hand was behind every victory David had in the past but he forgot that fact when he counted the fighting men available in Israel.
1Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”2So the king said to Joab and the army commanders a with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.”
3But Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?”4The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.( 2 Samuel 24, 1-4)
Similarly, like David, we, the followers of Christ, often count our men and money before going into spiritual battle fields. Though, we had many victories in the past because of the intervention of the LORD Almighty, we still have a natural tendency to rely on visible sources of strength rather than invisible sources of strength.
Saints, let me give you a simple example to help you understand this point.
Just imagine you are debating with your atheist friend and trying to convince him about the existence of God. Here, you might miserably fail if you rely solely on your knowledge and wisdom to change your friend’s mind. (remember, this too is a battlefield because you are trying to snatch someone away from the kingdom of darkness; definitely there will be resistance.)
Instead, if you prayerfully submit everything into God’s hand and rely on His Holy Spirit to lead you, definitely you will have a fruitful debate. Therefore, do not count on your own assets when you enter into a spiritual battle field. Always remember – The Battle belongs to the LORD.
4. Do not magnify the power of your enemies.
In a spiritual battle, magnifying the power of your enemy is a sure recipe for defeat. No enemy is strong enough to withstand the power of God Almighty. Magnifying the power of an enemy is a sign of your distrust in the power of God Almighty.
Israelites often committed this mistake. In Deuteronomy 1 we could find an example for this. When God Almighty asked the Israelites to go and take over the land of the Amorites, they really hesitated as they thought the Amorites were too formidable for them to defeat.
And this conclusion was based on the report of the ten spies who Moses sent; two of them brought positive reports though. The following verses tell the story.
26But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. 27You grumbled in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. 28Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’ ” (Deuteronomy 1, 26-28)
Saints, actually when you magnify the power of your enemy, you are in fact, diminishing the power of God that dwells in you. Therefore, never, ever, magnify the power of your enemy in a spiritual battle.
5.Consecrate Yourselves before a Battle.
This is another important point that you need to bear in mind before going into a spiritual battle. A spiritual battle is won by the power of God Almighty and He will not stand by you if you are not holy in His sight.
Therefore, before entering into a spiritual battle field you need to consecrate yourself by removing everything unholy in your life. You need to spend time in prayer and repentance and abstain from things that might prevent the Spirit of God descending up on you. See what Joshua said to the Israelites before the community crossing the Jordan.
Yes, consecrate yourselves before the LORD for He is in the midst of us and you will see amazing things tomorrow.
But on the contrary, if you go into a battlefield without dealing with your unholiness; surely you will be miserably defeated by your enemies. Here, you are defeated not because your enemies are stronger, but because you are powerless due to your unholiness. Israel’s defeat in the hands of the people of Ai is the best example for this.
1But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things a ; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, b the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel. 2Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.
3When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.” 4So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, 5who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted in fear and became like water.( Joshua 7, 1-5)
Yes, only a few people lived in Ai but still they were able to chase and kill many from the Israeli army which was a real shock for Joshua who had witnessed the huge walls of Jericho collapsing without even shooting a single arrow. Immediately Joshua went on his knees before the LORD and He answered him right away.
10The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.
12That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.( Joshua 7, 10-12)
Saints, we have an excellent lesson to learn from the defeat of Israelites at the hands of Ai. The reason for this defeat was neither material or physical but spiritual. A holy nation under a holy God needs to be holy. But, instead, if they allow unholiness to dwell in their camps, then, that will definitely lead to defeat.
If we examine the contemporary Christian world (here I mean the Bible believing congregations around the world) we could find that the church is going through very hard times. Corruption, greed and immorality have crept into all facets of our spiritual life.
Our enemies are standing on the pulpits and sitting in the pews. The church instead of being a victor has become the victim. The great falling away is happening right in front of our eyes.
Many of the shepherds and sheep alike are falling away from their faith and profaning the name of Christ through their unholy deeds. And the sad part is – we are unable to stop this spiritual deterioration despite employing so many prayer warriors, preachers and teachers.
No matter how hard we pray or how long we fast, we are still unable to get the enemy out from the lives of our people and churches. On the contrary, what we see is: the enemy occupying more and more space within our congregations and families.
Here, we genuinely need to introspect about our defeats in the hands of our enemies and as Joshua did, we need to go on our knees and ask God Almighty to reveal to us the unholy things that are hidden in our camps.
6. Do not Compromise with the Word of God to Gain Victory.
Yes, do not compromise with the Word of God or resort to unholy means to gain victory in a spiritual battle. If you enter into a spiritual battle with the intention of sacrificing biblical principles in order to gain victory, then, surely you will taste defeat in the hands of your enemy.
Occasionally, you might gain victory through unholy means but that victory will be temporary and surely a time will come when you will be forced to pay a double price for your former unholy victory.
Sometimes Christians have a tendency to tell lies in order to convince an unbeliever regarding the importance of salvation. People even exaggerate a miracle to make it appear as super-natural so that the listener might be encouraged to believe it. Of course, you are doing it with a good intention. However, the end does not justify the means. Surely God is not pleased with what you are trying to accomplish.
Saints, these are all undesirable means and employing them in our spiritual life will lead to disastrous consequences. When we let unholy things dwell in our hearts and homes, we are letting the hands of our enemies to be strong over our lives.
David knew this principle very well and he honored God Almighty by not compromising with His Word. Consequently, God also honored David by giving him victory over his enemies. David’s encounter with Saul at the desert of Ziph is an example for this.
At night David and Abishai goes to the camp of Saul secretly and it was one of the best opportunities for him to get rid of Saul. But he did not do so because it would have violated the commandment of God. Here, David did not want to resort to evil means to gain victory over his enemy. The following verses tell the story.
7So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.
8Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice.”9But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? (1 Samuel 26, 7-9)
7.Wait for God’s Timing.
Yes, there is a time for everything under the sun. It is true even for spiritual battle. An untimely entry into a spiritual battle is a sure recipe for defeat. A servant of God should wait for God’s timing before entering into a battlefield.
Yes, it might be true that your enemy is roaming around near your camp. He might be even provoking you to your face. But still, you need to keep your cool and wait for the LORD to lead you. Sit at the feet of Christ and listen to Him. Wait until He speaks to you regarding how to deal with the situation. Instead, like the gentiles if you listen to the counsel of the fortune tellers in your congregation and jump into a battle, it will not help you gain victory over your enemy.
As an example, for this I would like to lead you to the book of Joshua chapter 7 which talks about the defeat of Jericho. Here we see the Israelites going around the walls of Jericho for seven days and on the seventh day the wall collapsing. The LORD had determined the seventh day as the day in which the walls of Jericho should collapse.
Similarly, The LORD might have set a day for the walls of your enemy to collapse, but you should wait for that very day instead of running ahead of God to defeat your enemy.
15On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. 16The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! (Joshua 7, 15-16)