Leslie Shields has a doctorate in Christian Education and Evangelism. Her heart is to help others apply the Word of God to everyday living.
It's On And Popping!
The fight is about to begin! In this corner, we have the well-known defender, Head Faith, known by one and all as being self-dependent. In the other corner, we have Heart Faith contender for the crown. The less popular Heart Faith is God-dependent.
The bell rings, and they jump to their feet and move aggressively toward each other. Heart Faith swings first. It's a little high and barely misses Head Faith. Head Faith retaliates, goes low, swings, and misses. They dance around each other for hours. Talking and punching.
After days multiple blows have been landed by each opponent. They are bruised and battered. We still have no apparent winner, and it doesn't look like they want to quit! All I can say is stick around folks. This is gonna be a long battle.
The War From The Outside In
There are two types of warfare encounters that we have in the spirit according to the Bible. The first is with the outside forces of evil spiritual beings.
Ephesians 6:10-12 [King James Version]
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:10-12 [Living Bible Version]
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
12 For we[d] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Many Christians like to think that there is no personal devil or tangible and demons. They like to think the devil and demons are only concepts or symbolic representations of the evil that exists in the world. They somehow feel safe by relishing in the idea that there fight is only with a concept.
Jesus Encountered a Real Entity Not A Concept
The reality is the devil and demons are tangible spirit beings. Jesus went toe to toe with Satan while He was on His 40 day fast in the desert. He was not dealing with a concept, an idea, or an imagination.
Matthew 4:1-2 [Amplified Bible]
1Then Jesus was led by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After He had gone without food for forty days and forty nights, He became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him,
Matthew 4:5 [Amplified Bible]
5 Then the devil took Him into the holy city [Jerusalem] and placed Him on the pinnacle (highest point) of the temple.
Matthew 4:8 [Amplified Bible]
8 Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory [splendor, magnificence, and excellence] of them;
In these three verses, we see physical movement. We see a tangible being coming to Jesus, speaking to Jesus, taking, placing, and showing Jesus physical things. A concept cannot do these things.
Jesus Cast Out Tangible Spirit Beings - Not Concepts
Mark 5:1-2, 6-9, 12-13 [Amplified Bible]
5 They came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes. 2When Jesus got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him, 6Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him [in homage]; 7and screaming with a loud voice, he said, “[c]What business do we have in common with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore you by God [swear to me], do not torment me!” 8 For Jesus had been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 He was asking him, “What is your name?” And he replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 12 And the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the pigs so that we may go into them!” 13 Jesus gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out [of the man] and entered the pigs.
The unclean spirit Jesus cast out was not a concept. Not a personification of evil nor was it a representation of evil. It was a group of tangible, physical entities. You may not believe it, but the pigs did.
And, although there were "many" spirits in the man there must have been a leader because there was only one name given. Satan, who is the devil, and demons who are his cohorts are the tangible evil that we fight against daily.
The War Within
The second type of warfare encounter that we have in the spirit according to the Bible is the war between our sinful nature (our flesh, our mind) and our spirit. This is the most recognizable conflict that we experience. This is the warfare that causes indecision, confusion, and stagnation.
17 For the sinful nature has its desire which is opposed to the Spirit, and the [desire of the] Spirit opposes the [a]sinful nature; for these [two, the sinful nature and the Spirit] are in direct opposition to each other [continually in conflict], so that you [as believers] do not [always] do whatever [good things] you want to do.
All of our spiritual warfare stems from one of these areas. We will continue to war within these areas until Jesus comes back.
It may not be apparent to you, but we all have faced battles against the devil and demons. And we all have faced battles within ourselves. The most recognizable battle we have faced is the battle within ourselves.
Which Way is Best?
Sometimes we choose to go with our mind, or our flesh, following our precepts. Other times, we choose to go with our spirit, following God's precepts.
The battle will not cease. The war will rage on. What will you do? What will you choose? Who is favored to win in your war? Your Head or your Heart?