How can Christians gain victory over spiritual enemies? There are certain prerequisites that the Army of God must meet. We have already seen the characteristics of David’s army now here is a list of additional spiritual keys to spiritual victory.
Holiness: separation unto God
Holiness is not so much a matter of religious purity in terms of sex and character, as much as an exclusive dedication to the task at hand. The Apostle Paul constantly compared Christians to Roman soldiers in order to demonstrate the necessity of dedication in the ministry. The state employed soldiers required them to be completely available 24 hours per day; after all, wars are not conducted in eight-hour shifts. In the same way, we as Christians must recognize that Satan and his demons never rest and are constantly at war against the Church and God’s purposes.
Therefore, holiness in terms of dedication and focus is a key principle in spiritual battle. We must spend time in personal preparation for battle and readiness to spring into action at a moment’s notice. (Romans 1:1; 6:11).
Faith: Trust and confidence in God’s provision
As soldiers in God’s army, we must be successful in counter attacking the enemy. Competence in combat is required and failure costs lives. In war, we do not consider love and acceptance as top priority but aggressiveness and competence. In this sense, Paul explained that only faith in God pleases him. Without faith, we cannot accomplish what we must do in spiritual battle and God’s cause will fail without it. John taught that whatever is born of God overcomes the world but our faith and confidence in what God has stated and promised in his word is what specifically gets the job done.
(Hebrews 11:6; 1 John 5:4; Romans 10:17; Daniel 11:32b; Heb. 11:33, 34)
Prayer and fasting:
Besides our trust and confidence in the provision that God has promised in his Word sometimes it is necessary to spend time in fasting and prayer. When the soldier of the cross fasts regularly, not only has he sharpened his spiritual senses but he has also strengthened his faith and increased his potential as a formidable spiritual adversary against Satan and his hosts.
Good soldiers are not afraid of mixing things up in spiritual battle. Battle implies hardship and the good soldier of the Cross is prepared to endure hardship when necessary. This can mean extended time and effort to help people with spiritual needs. Just as a soldier commissioned to battle is not concerned about how many hours he has to work or meeting dinner engagements and other social obligations a true spiritual soldier has disciplined himself to sacrifice his own agenda and leisurely pleasures so that he can be effective the moment he is called to battle. This is a definite and continuous sacrifice and many Christians would rather live in a more comfortable and convenient manner.
(2 Timothy 2:3, 4)
Just as Moses instructed the Israelites not to be intimidated by the horses and chariots and numerous armies of the surrounding nations neither must we be afraid our alarmed by the hordes of Satan and his earthly devices (the influence of the press, the power of politicians and the hostility of the world). Yet just as the Apostles prayed for boldness to speak God’s Word we also must lift up our voices and cry to our King for the strength and endurance needed to boldly face the enemy and not only stand firm but courageously advance against his territory to plant the banner of the Lord on enemy soil.
(John 1:5-9; Deuteronomy 20:1; Acts 4:29; 31)
Unity in battle is one of the most powerful principles of victory, so powerful it even works in hell! We can be sure that Satan and his devilish hosts work in unity and synchronize their attacks with astounding discipline. The church has always found unity a difficult concept to accept and implement and we can be sure that the Devil wants to keep it that way. Satan knows that when a church decides to walk in unity and clarity in purpose, the gates of hell will never be able to withstand its attacks. If 100 Christians can put 10,000 demons to flight, Satan’s forces can be thinned out in a very short time.
(Leviticus 26:8; Matthew 18:15-35)
The key to continuous victory is to know how to persevere in standing against the enemy dressed in the proper spiritual armor. Even though the Devil and his angels are spiritual beings, they do tire and when we persist, they will retreat just as Satan left the Lord after tempting him in the Desert for 40 days and 40 nights. Jesus passed the desert test and subsequent to that the Devil was never a serious threat to him and only when he surrendered himself was Satan’s servants able to take him into custody.
(Ephesians 6:10, 11; 13)
Aggressiveness against evil: Do not spare the enemy
Just as God sent Israel to utterly destroy the surrounding nations eliminating even their children and animals, we are to show no mercy to Satan and his hosts. The Lord has called us to be the aggressors and not the underdogs! We must attack the enemy with the mentality that we fight until they are utterly consumed, not as King Saul who preserved some against the Lord’s command. The Old Testament narrative reveals that a negligent hand in destroying the enemy never pleased God.
(1 Samuel 15:18, 19; 26; 1 Kings 20:42; 1 Peter 2:11)
As we follow these keys, we can expect a continuous victory over the enemy and his activity in our lives and the lives of those we love and are called upon to serve.