Moving Into Victory: Spiritual Warfare Strategies

(Unsplash/Aaron Burden)

Editor's Note: This is part two of a two-part article. Check out part one at this link.

Jesus Combined Prayer With Fasting

Fasting can help raise your awareness of your need to depend on God. The Bible teaches that fasting can enhance your ability to hear from God as you prioritize Him above your physical needs.

It's worth noting that Jesus was fasting during His 40 days in the wilderness. This was immediately before Jesus began His public ministry. The devil must have felt threatened by what Jesus was doing given the efforts He went to trying to distract Jesus from His mission. Jesus saw fasting as a weapon of spiritual warfare.

Fasting is something that needs to be undertaken wisely, given the physical implications.

The Holy Spirit's Role in Spiritual Warfare

God is three persons in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the most often misunderstood member of this Trinity. But to experience consistent victory in spiritual warfare, it's crucial to know and understand His role in your life.

After Jesus was raised from death, He appeared to His closest friends and followers. They were scared and confused. They did not know what was going to happen to them because they felt surrounded by enemies, including the Jewish authorities. But Jesus knew this, and He knew the spiritual battles that lay ahead of them.

As He met with them, He commissioned them for the work of making Him known throughout the world the same work Christians today are invited to join and one of the reasons Satan is so determined to wage war on Christians.

Jesus wanted His friends to have peace and clarity for their spiritual battles. So, He told them that their greatest source of strength, His Holy Spirit, would now live within them: "'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.' And with that He breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'" (John 20:21-22, NIV).

We rightly think of God as someone completely separate and different from humanity. But Jesus entered our humanity and experienced the same struggles we do. When He was leaving to return to His Father in heaven, He left us with the greatest gift He could. He offered each of us the chance to experience His own presence living within us—His Holy Spirit.

So, as you experience spiritual warfare, you are not just looking for strength from outside yourself or from the tools God gives you, such as prayer and the Bible. God is working within you, giving you everything you need to live the way you are designed to as His child.

Praying With Other Believers

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of the faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working" (James 5:13-16, ESV).

Not only is it pleasant and encouraging to pray with other followers of Jesus, but it's also crucial to your success in spiritual warfare. When you admit to others the things you struggle with, the sin that you're wrestling with—that is, the decisions you make that go against God's best for you—and even the sickness you experience, and you pray for each other, it is so you can be healed.

The fact that God designed for you to experience freedom from your sin, struggles and even sickness through praying with others clearly shows He doesn't intend for you to go through spiritual battles or any part of life alone.

Engaging a community of fellow believers is vital to persevering and overcoming spiritual warfare.

What Does Victory Look Like in Spiritual Warfare?

God encourages you to be bold in the things you pray for.

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours" (Mark 11:24, NIV).

If you feel like only God could win the spiritual battle you are fighting, you're right. Bring it to Him in prayer and let Him do what He does best: fight your battles.

Spiritual warfare will often look like major challenges in your life. But you will also face battles that are more internal than external. The enemy wants to put as much distance between you and your heavenly Father as he can. His tactics often involve exploiting very human emotions, such as shame, disappointment, insecurity and loneliness.

Victory might look like overcoming a clear obstacle to your faith, such as persecution of some kind relating to what you believe. But on a day-to-day level, victory will often be demonstrated by your perseverance through any circumstance that might cause you to question whether you can trust God.

It's very tempting to hold God responsible for things in your life that don't go the way you want (and also easy to forget to thank Him when they do). But the Bible reminds us that "the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18).

Your victory may look like your willingness to continue believing in a salvation that the world tells you is ridiculous.

When it comes to using prayer as a weapon of spiritual warfare, victory is fundamentally about trust. Do you believe your battles are His battles? Do you trust that when you bring a heartfelt need to God, He hears you and will respond?

The Bible says the Lord will fight for you and that Jesus has already won the ultimate victory by defeating death on your behalf on the cross. His Resurrection was the declaration of victory in the war to end all wars.

But until Jesus returns or calls you home to heaven, spiritual warfare will remain a reality in your life. God wants you to experience a sense of victory in the battles you face. Prayer is His chosen means of offering that to you. That's why it is often said that victory in this conflict is won on your knees.

Scriptures That Help You Pray Through Spiritual Warfare

Try using the following verses from the Bible as prayers when you are battling the world, the flesh or the devil. You can even insert your own name or the name of someone you are praying for to personalize the verse.

— "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor. 10:3-5).

— "''No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,' declares the Lord (Isa. 54:17).

— "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).

— "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:7).

— "If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you: (John 15:7).

Ross McCall is a content strategist working alongside Cru. Cru is an interdenominational Christian evangelism and discipleship ministry committed to giving people everywhere the opportunity to know and experience God's love and plan for their lives. For more information, visit cru.org.

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