Battle (Dictionary): A general encounter between armies, ships of war, or aircraft; a combat between two persons; to engage in a fight or struggle; to contend with full strength; vigor; skill; or resources.
Battle (Bible): War; an insertion, an army in battle array; strife, contention, quarrel; a struggle (in the soul).
In his book entitled “The Invisible War”, Chip Ingram talks about spiritual warfare. He states: “that the Bible is clear: If you are a Christian you are at war.” God’s kingdom is under a constant attack and the fate of millions of souls is in the balance. All we need to do is watch the news! We need to stand firmly in this battle. My good friend Richard reminded me that I should revisit 2 Corinthians Chapter 10 which talks about this continual war:
2 Corinthians 10:1-6: Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent! 2 I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,6and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. (NASB)
When we talk of the “flesh” we are talking about man’s ideas and manmade boundaries which usually clash with God’s plans and desires. And there seems to be little room for forgiveness when operating in the flesh! The Apostle Paul was often at odds with members of the early Christian churches. Within their ranks he found petty arguments and attacks on his ministry. He replied to these accusations and made it clear that he saw such attacks as fleshly. He went further in his arguments noting that his warfare was empowered by the Holy Spirit! Those people who took exception to Paul’s leadership also challenged Jesus.
Matthew 21:23: When He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?
When people use nasty words to challenge or hurt others, they are doing so in the flesh. When we look at the confrontation in Matthew 21, we see the leaders operating in the flesh. They rudely interrupted Jesus teaching. It was a direct challenge to Jesus authority. This same offensive spirit by the rulers persisted throughout Jesus ministry.
In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul is clearly telling the believers in Corinth that our weapons are powerful because they are from God. Our weapons have the ability to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ! This means thoughts that can come against our mind and that of others. The word obedience is the same as submissiveness. We must remain obedient to God as we fight the good fight. We must remember God is in the battle with us and we have been granted great authority to overcome the devil. Our weapons are spiritual and include prayer, praise, the word, worship, faith, and the gifts of the Spirit! Our weapons can also destroy fleshly fortresses within people’s minds such as confusion, bitterness, anger, impure thoughts and jealousy to name a few.
Paul warned the church at Ephesus about their warfare:
Ephesians 6:10-13: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (NASB)
This past year I watched the Christian movie The War Room which is a phenomenal movie! As we watch the movie we see the family in the movie going deeper and deeper into darkness. Their marriage is not healthy, their little girl is struggling and the husband is stealing from his place of work. In addition, they were ignoring the spiritual battle and were focusing on the flesh. It was a mess! But God sent a godly, older woman to mentor the wife. In the end, the wife becomes a strong intercessor and God saves the marriage. (If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it.)
We will face battles of the flesh our whole life. But God has given us His word so we can fight and have spiritual victory. The word of God is an incredible and powerful weapon to use in our battles. We must focus on the word and stand firmly on His promises. A really great place to start is to study and pray over key Scriptures such as: Ephesians 6, and 2 Corinthians 10. Also pray using God’s word as a prayer foundation.