In my first article on this subject I discussed the importance of knowing that there is a spiritual battle going on around us. I want to spend a bit more time exploring the training and preparation involved in being a spiritual warrior. Whether you consider yourself a spiritual warrior or not, if you are a follower of Jesus you are called to the fight. At some point in your walk with Christ you will have to engage the enemy.
Develop Spiritual Muscle
Anyone who trains for a fight has to develop muscular strength and endurance. Muscular endurance will enable the performance of many repetitions against a force of resistance. In order to increase muscular strength, the weight has to be heavy enough to break the muscle fibers down and repair itself again. The newly repaired muscle is stronger. The tribulations and trials that we go through help to grow us, give us endurance and strength. It never feels good when we are in the midst of it, but the breaking down and breaking off of those things that are not of God will only make us stronger in the end. I Peter 5:10 says, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you,” (KJV). “…..but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience,” James 5:3 (KJV). As we grow and mature from trials and tribulations, we will also be able to come alongside other believers to support them in the battle.
Proper Spiritual Diet
We’ve all heard the popular saying, “you are what you eat.” In order to be healthy and fit, the junk food has to be cut out. Junk food lacks the proper nutrients that the body needs for health maintenance and growth. This is no different in the spiritual realm. So what’s in your spiritual diet on a daily basis? Are you filling up on television, movies, music and other forms of entertainment that have no spiritual nutritional value? Also, if you fail to feed on the word of God, you will become a spiritual anorexic. You will be weak and ineffective in the battle. It’s not enough to just get into the word on a Sunday morning and let your bible collect dust for the rest of the week. In Matthew 4:4 (KJV) Jesus tells us “…It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Come Dressed For the Battle
Ephesians 6:11 (KJV) instructs us to “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” No warrior is going to go out to face his enemy without his battle gear. To do so would put him in a very vulnerable position. We also have to be battle ready and fully dressed for engagement. There are several key pieces of armour that every believer needs.
Having your loins girt with truth (Ephesians 6:14) means to surround yourself with truth in preparation for battle. Girding up the loins is an idiom for preparing to do something that will require strength and endurance.
A breast plate in the natural will cover the heart and other organs that may be vulnerable to life-threatening injuries. The breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14) is essential to guarding our hearts when offenses and other insults from the enemy come at us.
“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,” Ephesians 6:15(KJV). Where ever our feet take us, we should always be ready to share the gospel with those that are perishing. Whether that be at the workplace, at school, in the grocery store, or at the mall; go with the readiness to share the gospel.
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked,” Ephesians 6:16 (KJV). Faith is such an important part of our walk with the Lord, and without it we will not be able to stand against opposition. The bible says in Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” To waiver in faith is to be weak and unstable. This instability will allow the enemy to come in and wreak havoc. “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways,” James 1:6-8 (KJV). No matter how difficult or impossible a situation looks, keep the faith.
A soldier wears headgear to protect himself from potentially life threatening wounds. The helmet’s purpose is to protect the wearer from penetration and impact. A blow or impact to the head could cause serious damage such as concussions, impaired thought processes or even brain injuries. In the same sense the spiritual warrior has to have on the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17). If we are devoid of the helmet of salvation, the enemy will have free reign to attack the mind and cause confusion.
A warrior will use a sword to protect and defend. The sword for the believer is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). Since we are not fighting flesh and blood our warfare is not reliant upon physical blows to an opponent. The blows that we deliver to the enemy are delivered by standing upon and speaking the word of God. We see the perfect example of this when Jesus was tempted of satan in Matthew chapter 4. Jesus did not come at him with physical blows. Instead, he simply stated “It is written…” The devil knows the word of God very well, but he is counting on you not knowing the word.
Find a Sparring Partner
Sparring is the closest you can get to an actual fight without actually fighting. It’s considered an important part of training as it tests the ability of the fighter and how one may fare in an actual combat situation. Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend,” (KJV). The rubbing of iron upon iron sharpens its edges and makes it better able to do its job of cutting, stabbing or slicing. In preparation for spiritual battles we need to have that partner or partners for accountability, encouragement, edification, and correction so that we continue to grow stronger in our faith and closer in our walk with Jesus.
Know Who the Real Opponent Is
Make sure that you’re not trying to fight the wrong opponent.
“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 6:12 (KJV). It’s very easy to place blame on flesh and blood that can be seen, when in fact we need to recognize the driving force or spirit that is behind that person’s actions. So many of us spend an enormous amount of time focusing on and trying to fight against a person instead of getting before the Lord and fighting the battle in the spiritual realm.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints,” Ephesians 6:18 (KJV). We are to always be watching and praying. Not just for ourselves, but for all saints as the verse tells us. Prayer is our lifeline to God. Also remember that prayer is not a one sided conversation. We also have to listen to hear what He is saying back to us. We have to remember that we are not in this battle alone and that, a soldier gets his assignment from his commanding officer. Our commanding officer is God, but if there is no communication with Him then you might as well consider yourself a lone wolf and you will be vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. Prayer is such an important part of our walk with the Lord and it shouldn’t be up to just a few people to pray. We are all called to pray.
I'm committed to speaking the truth at all costs and exposing lies. If you are a politically correct person, then this site is not for you. If you're tired of all the smokescreens and lies, then welcome, you've come to the right place. - Brenda Kessler