Many of us have seen a video clip where two guys are facing off in an ultimate fighting competition. One guy is prancing around all full of himself and the other guy is watching quietly and then boom, the cocky guy gets knocked out with one punch. Spiritual warfare is not for the “showboat” but for the one who has a calm confidence in Jesus.
Paul said our spiritual warfare was not in the power of the flesh and our weapons were not of carnal means. Our weapons are not guns and knives, but by the might and power of God. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. / For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NKJV).
Spiritual warfare is not for the arrogant person who has an attitude of, “Hey God, stand back and just watch me handle this demon.” Those with such an attitude are the casualties on the spiritual battlefield.
We can have confidence, but we must have our confidence in the Lord. Spiritual pride and arrogance leave many defeated on the field of battle.
John tells us in 1 John 4:4 (NKJV) “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” He sets the stage by calling us little children who have overcome because our God within us is greater than any evil forces in the world. It is not about us but about the Lord in us.
Victories in spiritual warfare are not won by people with big attitudes but come about by humble men and women who rely upon the strength of our big God.
Experience and success can be our enemy because human nature tends toward arrogance. When we begin to believe that our success was our own doing and God should be thrilled that we are on His team; we are in trouble! Spiritual battles are not won by the strength of man but by the power of God. “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6 NKJV).
It is only possible for us to be successfully engaged in spiritual warfare because of our relationship with Jesus. It is not who we are but whose we are! In Acts, Luke relates a story about some Jewish exorcists (seven sons of Sceva) who though spiritually unrelated to Jesus or Paul sought to exorcise a demon from a person by calling on the name of Jesus. The evil spirit jumped on the men and left them wounded and naked, exclaiming, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you” (Acts 19:15 NKJV).
Some folks think they can use the correct formula or the right words and get the same results—wrong! It is so important to be properly related to Jesus before taking on the role of a soldier against evil.
David was an unlikely foe against Goliath. Goliath was a giant and a champion of the Philistine army, whereas, David was a mere teenage shepherd boy most likely under twenty years of age (the minimum age for a warrior). David went to the battlefield on an errand for his father to carry some supplies to his older brothers.
While David was in the camp of Israel, Goliath came out to defile the army of God and to challenge them to send a man to fight with him. David took the challenge and King Saul tried to put his armor on him. David refused the armor. I heard this said, “Never put on someone’s armor who is afraid to fight.”
When David went out to fight Goliath, he told the big man, “Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47 NKJV). David’s confidence was not in himself, but his confidence was in God.
Even though Goliath’s nine feet, nine inch height towered over David, there was a secret the giant did not know–God had already anointed David as the next king. The future king slew Goliath with a rock that may have been the first guided missile in the history of warfare.
We as children of God are in a spiritual battle. The ultimate victory has already been won by Jesus on the cross and through His resurrection. The battle continues because evil has not yet surrendered to the ultimate Victor. Our success in battle is based on our relationship with the Victor (Jesus). As we march obediently with Jesus, “No weapon formed against you [us] shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17a NKJV). We are in the fight and our success will not be in our strength but in the power of the Lord.
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt