The Word of God gives his people important principles that soldiers of the Army of God must apply to succeed in combating the forces of Satan. Satan and his hosts know who God’s people are, they recognize their own abilities and limitations in the conflict against God’s people, they attack Christians where and when they are most vulnerable, they are trained to always be on the offensive, they are unified in strength and effective strategies, highly disciplined and persevering. In order for God’s people to advance against such enemies, they must at least match the preparation of these demonic hosts. The good news is that our King is infinitely more powerful and the Christian soldier has much more authority to do damage to Satan’s forces than his evil spirits have over the lives of God’s people.
Identify the enemy (Ephesians 6:12)
One of the principle errors that many Christians make is they constantly and consistently fail to identify whom the real enemy is. Christian husbands and wives must not battle each other; they are on the same side. Christian parents and their children must align themselves in unity against the evil spirits that attack the family unity. While siblings quarrel with one another, the enemy is systematically robbing them of their full spiritual inheritance.
The real enemy is spiritual not human, ethic, religious, political or denominational. Satan knows who Christians are and they do not waste their time with infighting like Christians do.
Know who you are in Christ and what you have (Matthew 16:19)
Many Christians around the world struggle with their own identity. The forces of evil do not have this problem. They waste no time trying to figure out who and what they are. They recognize their own power and limitations and focus on utilizing everything they have at their disposal. God has given his people the keys to his kingdom! We have the keys to his armory! We have the authority of his name. As Christ’s body, God expects us to move in the same power and authority that Christ did when he walked the streets of Jerusalem and all Israel. He came to destroy the works of Satan and that is why the Church is still here on the earth! Jesus said that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever we loose here will be loosed in heaven! God’s people can no longer afford to waste time navel gazing, struggling with their own identity. Satan and his forces are ultimately losers but they are committed to do as much damage as they can. This is only possible if we give them the chance!
Cover the most vulnerable areas (Ephesians 6)
Since Satan’s army will always attack the most vulnerable aspects of our lives, we must use God’s provision of protection. God gave us weapons and tools both offensive and defensive and he expects us to use them! We have armor to protect our mind (helmet of salvation), our heart (breastplate of righteousness) and to prepare our feet (sandals of the Gospel of peace). Interestingly, there is no armor to protect our back. That means retreat and flight, are not part of God’s battle plan. We advance with protection, covering our vulnerable parts and courageously pressing on until we crush the enemy!
The best defense is a violent attack or as the saying goes, “the best defense is a good offence”. The battle does not belong to the strongest. The battle belongs to the Lord. When God is on our side, he gives us the victory but we must value our training and be faithful in the exercise of all spiritual disciplines required to complete it. Just the fact that Christians are on the side that will ultimately overcome leaves no room for laxity in training. David was an effective warrior because his encounters with lions and bears had given him experience of depending on God’s supernatural ability to overcome stronger enemies. (1 Samuel 17; Deuteronomy 11:22, 23)
Unity and strength (John 17)
Christians must recognize that a house divided cannot stand. Satan’s house may be from hell, but it is not divided. His forces are united against God’s people so God’s people need to focus on who the real enemy is: Satan and his multi-level spiritual forces of evil.
Correct strategies (Genesis 14)
Abraham was able to face and defeat the armies of four allied nations by dividing his forces that consisted of only 318 of his servants. However because he was on the Lord’s side and because he was wise in devising an effective strategy (attacking from several directions at night), he was able to lead his forces to victory. In the same way, we must add the deployment of effective strategies to the previously explained principles explained here if we expect to overcome our spiritual enemies.
This requires total submission and obedience to each command without question. Discipline is a foundational principle because we can have all of the other principles in place and still fail to consistently put them in practice. The lack of discipline can undermine any amount of talent, ability and experience.
Perseverance (Matthew 17:12)
Certain types of evil spirits can only be cast out through persevering in focused prayer and fasting. It is not enough to do the right things. We must do the right things repeatedly without being concerned that our efforts are not making a difference. Demons may put up resistance and they may successfully resist our attacks for a time, but if we are resolved to continue relentlessly we will overcome. Perseverance in seeking the Lord’s strength, guidance and power will lead us to victory.