Christian Biblical Counsel: SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Spiritual Warfare

Strategy for the Battle

by June Hunt

No one was more respected as a military genius during WWII than the American General George S. Patton. Likewise, no one was more feared than his enemy, the brilliant German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, whose clever tactics earned him the nickname The Desert Fox. Rommel’s success on the sun scorched desert of North Africa was renowned, yet Patton lured him into a trap that resulted in defeat of the German troops. Patton out-foxed The Fox, to bring about a major shift in the war that led to the ultimate allied victory over Germany. What prepared Patton to successfully defeat his cunning enemy? When asked, he reportedly said to Rommel, “I’ve read your book!” Patton had studied the tactics of his enemy. In the same way, believers need to read The Book. As you study the Bible, you will become increasingly aware of the strategies used by your unseen enemy, Satan and his spiritual forces of evil.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

(Ephesians 6:12)

I.     Definitions

History books tell us that from the beginning of civilization battles have continued to be waged between warring kingdoms. Some wars are so significant that they have changed the history of the world. The Bible tells us about the ongoing conflict that is taking place between two spiritual kingdoms … the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan with his unseen army of demonic influences. Although God reigns sovereign over heaven and earth, He allows Satan limited power over this age. Are you aware of the world system that is in opposition to the ways of God? Are you aware of the ongoing attacks from your fierce and formidable enemy? Although many are blind to the fact that there is even a battle, the God of the Bible says that the battle has already been won!

“The god of this age [Satan] has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

(2 Corinthians 4:4)

A. What Is Spiritual Warfare?

Spiritual warfare is the ongoing conflict against the human race with its enemies—the world, the flesh, and Satan—for the purposes of …

•     keeping non-Christians from coming into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ

•     rendering Christians ineffective

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air [Satan], the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature [the flesh] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.”

(Ephesians 2:1–3)

B. What Are the Three Enemies?

•     The World

—  The word world is from the Greek word kosmos. In other contexts kosmos refers to the physical earth or the people of the earth.

—  The world is that invisible system of ideas, activities, and purposes that Satan rules in opposition to God and His rule.

“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

•     The Flesh

—  The word flesh is from the Greek word sarx. In other contexts sarx refers to the physical body.

—  The term living in the flesh refers to living out of one’s own resources instead of out of Christ’s resources.

—  The “power of sin” (Romans chapter 7) is at work through the flesh of a person, whether saved or unsaved, and is demonstrated by going one’s own way instead of God’s way.

—  In Romans 7:18–25, sarx is better translated “flesh” not “sinful nature.”

“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature [flesh]. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18)

•     The Devil (Satan)

—  The word devil is from the Hebrew word Satan, which means “adversary or enemy.”

—  The devil is the supreme adversary of God and is leader of the spiritual forces of evil.

—  The devil is a created angelic being who rebelled against God, was thrown out of heaven, and was given earth as his temporary domain.

—  A demon is an evil spirit, a fallen angel who chose to follow Satan, his commander-in-chief, and who continues to obey his commands. In Greek, daimonion means “spirit.”

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ ” (Matthew 25:41)

C. What Are the Strongholds?

•     A military stronghold is a secure or fortified place dominated by enemy or friendly forces.

•     A spiritual stronghold is a deeply rooted thought pattern dominated by our three opponents—

—  worldly thinking

—  fleshly habits

—  satanic influences

“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.” (2 Corinthians 10:3–4)

“When will this spiritual battle be over?”

For now, the kingdom of God and this present age coexist. A time will come when God eradicates all evil and judges Satan and his army—throwing them into the lake of fire. (Read Revelation 20:7–21:8.) This will be the end of ways as they are now and the beginning of a new order.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

 

II.    Characteristics

A prepared military is designed to do battle in three arenas—in the air, on the land, on the sea. Christians also need to prepare for attack on three fronts. Just knowing your enemy will not be enough. As a well-trained soldier, you need to recognize danger from the world, the flesh, and the devil (Satan) and then be prepared before the attack occurs.

“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

(Proverbs 27:12)

A. Warfare with the World

•     The world tempts you to seek its approval.

•     The world tempts you to conform to its standard of ethics.

•     The world tempts you to accept its philosophy.

•     The world tempts you to gain its wealth.

•     The world tempts you to seek its power.

•     The world tempts you to question God’s Word.

•     The world tempts you to be intellectually ashamed of Christ.

•     The world tempts you to regard trust in God as foolishness.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.”

(1 John 2:15–16)

B. Warfare with the Flesh

•     sexual immorality

•     impurity

•     debauchery/orgies

•     idolatry

•     witchcraft

•     hatred

•     discord/dissension

•     jealousy

•     rage

•     selfish ambition

•     factions

•     envy

•     drunkenness

•     evil thoughts

•     theft

•     murder

•     adultery

•     greed

•     malice

•     deceit/falsehoods

•     lewdness

•     slander

•     arrogance

•     folly/foolish actions

“The acts of the sinful nature [“flesh” in Greek] are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

(Galatians 5:19–21)

“From within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’ ”

(Mark 7:21–23)

C. Warfare with Satan

•     Satanic attacks from without … oppression

The soul and the body

—  embroiling the emotions

—  weakening the will

—  menacing the mind

—  afflicting the physical body

“So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.”

(Job 2:7)

•     Satanic strongholds from within … obsession

—  consuming thoughts

—  phobias (excessive fears)

—  compulsive actions

—  addictions

“ ‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

(Ephesians 4:26–27)

•     Satanic control … possession

—  mental torment

—  chronic fear

—  convulsions

—  voice changes

—  catatonic states

—  psychic powers

—  insensitivity to pain

—  supernatural strength

—  sudden personality changes

—  violent dreams/nightmares

—  unnatural attachment to items of the occult

—  speaking in unknown languages

—  unrestrained outbursts of anger

—  infirm bodies … twitching, uncontrollable itching

—  violent reaction to the name of Jesus Christ and/or the things of God

Note: Some of these conditions may be a result of a physiological problem that needs medical attention.

“When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs.”

(Luke 8:27)

(Also read verses 26–39.)

“Can a Christian be demon possessed?”

In the Bible, a true believer is never described as demon possessed. Oppressed, yes—possessed, no. True Christians are rescued from Satan’s dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of light. The permanent indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is proof that a Christian cannot be demon possessed.

“He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” (Colossians 1:13)

 

III.   Causes of Defeat

The Battle of Waterloo marked the final defeat of the military genius Napoleon Bonaparte of France. Rain had turned the battlefield into mud, causing Napoleon to delay sending his heavy artillery into the fields. The hesitation proved fatal. Because he waited, his enemies joined forces and outnumbered the French two to one. For you, the battlefield is your mind. Hesitating to take captive every thought that sets itself up against God can bring about your own Waterloo.

“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 Corinthians 10:5)

A. Development of Strongholds

The Battle Begins in the Mind

•     A thought (a lie) enters the mind from worldly, fleshly, or satanic influences.

•     A choice is made by the will to accept or reject the thought.

•     A habit is formed when continual choices are made to act out the thought.

•     A stronghold is developed when a habit becomes a deeply rooted, controlling behavior.

“ ‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

(Ephesians 4:26–27)

Biblical Example

1 Samuel chapters 9, 10, 18, 19, 28, and 31

King Saul

Chosen by God to be king, Saul begins his reign as a humble ruler who delivers Israel from the Ammonites. When David becomes a successful warrior against the Philistines, Saul promotes him to a high ranking office. But David’s popularity with the people sends arrows of jealousy (thoughts) into Saul’s heart, eventually leading to an attempt on David’s life (a choice). When this fails, Saul devises continual schemes (habits) to harm David, his perceived enemy. Saul’s plaguing fear and distrust create a hold on him (a stronghold) the rest of his days. Unreleased anger, fear, envy, unforgiveness, rebellion, and pride can open the door to allow the demonic into anyone’s life. The King of Israel was no exception. Possessed by evil spirits, Saul seeks counsel from a witch—an act forbidden by both civil and spiritual laws. Ultimately, Saul reaps the most severe consequence—death.

“Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.”

(1 Chronicles 10:13–14)

“I’m constantly defeated in my thought life. How can I gain victory?”

Realize first that Satan is called “the father of lies,” and he delights in defeating you. Read through the Book of Philippians. Then take an inventory of every defeating thought and what you should be thinking instead. Write out your replacement thoughts. Then, as thoughts come, if they do not line up with Philippians 4:6–8, change your thinking! When you recognize a wrong thought, say, “In the power of Christ, I refuse that thought. The truth is … (state the truth).”

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

B. Root Cause of Defeat

If you were in the military, you would need to have thorough training before you were sent to the battlefront … training in using the issued equipment, training in mental and physical toughness, training in making choices that are wise. You would need to develop confidence in your preparation, in your commander, and in your fellow soldiers.

In spiritual battles, confidence in your Supreme Commander and steadfastness in the knowledge of the provisions He has made for victory are essential. If you are believing the subtle deceptions of the enemy, you are vulnerable to him and may lose a battle.

Wrong Belief:

•     Investment in the World

“Happiness is my highest goal, and that is measured by the world’s standards of success.”

“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

•     Indulgence of the Flesh

“I have a right to get what I want.”

“The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.” (Proverbs 11:6)

•     Ignorance of Satan’s Power

“The devil is only a mythical figure believed in by the uneducated and by religious zealots.”

“The devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8)

Right Belief:

As I rely on Christ’s life within me, I have His power to defeat any satanic attack or spiritual stronghold. I will be vigilant to reject any thought that would entice me to trust in anything apart from the truths of God.

“A wise man attacks the city of the mighty and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.” (Proverbs 21:22)

“Why do some demonic spirits not leave a person?”

Sometimes the power of prayer is not engaged. In the Bible, one boy experienced convulsions because of an evil spirit—severe convulsions that almost killed him. Jesus gave His disciples this insight …

“This kind [of spirit] can come out only by prayer.” (Mark 9:29)

 

IV.  Steps to Solution

In every major army, soldiers receive regulation equipment. They must be thoroughly prepared for battle from the top of their heads to the soles of their shoes. As for spiritual warfare, the ultimate victory is already God’s, but we are called to be soldiers of Christ in this present battle against evil. We too have been thoroughly equipped with regulation battle gear. Our part is to put it on.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

(Ephesians 6:10–11)

A. Key Verse to Memorize

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one [Jesus] who is in you is greater than the one [Satan] who is in the world.”

(1 John 4:4)

B. Key Passage to Read and Reread

Ephesians 6:10–18

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

God’s Strategy for Warfare

Depend on God’s power for victory—Ephesians 6:10.

•     Pray often for God’s protection.

•     Pray for God to overcome your fear and discouragement.

•     Pray for God to give you His wisdom and discernment.

•     Pray, interceding for others.

Know your enemy—Ephesians 6:11–12.

•     The unsaved are not your enemies.

•     Christians who sin are not your enemies.

•     Political and religious organizations are not your enemies.

•     Satan, sin, and demonic spirits are your real enemies.

Be prepared for battle by wearing the battle gear—Ephesians 6:13–17.

•     Have on the belt of truth to combat Satan’s lies.

—  Memorize and meditate on God’s Word.

—  Get accurate facts about complaints and accusations.

—  Take responsibility for your failures.

—  Face each situation with honesty, sincerity, and integrity.

•     Put on the breastplate of righteousness to overcome temptation.

—  Have a right relationship with God. Confess and repent known sin.

—  Act on God’s principles, not your passions.

—  Eliminate anything from your life that is not “holy.”

—  Lean on your righteousness in Christ.

•     Wear the shoes of peace, knowing God is on your side.

—  Seek reconciliation with broken relationships.

—  Pray for your enemies.

—  Confront issues with compassion.

—  Rest in the knowledge of God’s control over all circumstances.

•     Carry the shield of faith to withstand doubt and unbelief.

—  Believe what God says and obey Him.

—  Resist the temptation to do things your way.

—  Don’t act before God gives the orders.

—  Trust God to work on your behalf.

•     Put on the helmet of salvation to protect your mind.

—  Be assured of your own salvation.

—  Be confident of your eternal security.

—  Know that you are free from the penalty of your sins—past, present, and future sins.

—  Know that you are free from the power of sin—you don’t have to sin.

•     Use the sword of the Spirit accurately.

—  Become diligently involved in studying God’s Word.

—  Know specific Scriptures that deal with common temptations.

—  Memorize Scriptures that clearly defend the faith.

—  Know how to use Scripture to lead another to Christ.

Pray always—(Ephesians 6:18).

•     Make a commitment to pray about everything.

•     Pray for wisdom and discernment.

•     Pray and then listen for God’s response in your spirit.

•     Pray continually by being conscious of God’s presence at all times.

C. Overcome the World

Focus on Jesus as God the Son

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1–3, 14)

Acknowledge that Jesus has overcome the world

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Identify with Jesus and know that His victory is your victory

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Trust in the absolute truth of God’s Word

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

Hold up God’s Word as your measuring rod against the world’s standards

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)

“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

(1 John 5:4–5)

“If I sense that my loved ones are under spiritual attack, how do I pray for them? Will my prayers have any real effect?”

Yes, your prayers can have impact. Specifically pray that their faith will not fail. Jesus gave us this example when He prayed for His close friend Simon Peter.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.” (Luke 22:31–32)

Prayer for Victory over the World

Dear   Heavenly Father,

I   claim the victory You have given me over wordly thinking and its powerful   influence. As i look in faith to Your infallible Word, You will open my eyes   to the world’s deceptive promises.

Keep   me from being double-minded. I don’t want to desire both wordly approval and   Your approval. I have faith that as I yield myself moment by moment to   Christ, who lives within me, You will conform me to His character.

Thank   You, Father, for living me, choosing me, and givng me the way to come out   from the world. Thank You for adopting me into Your family, making me Your   child, and giving me Your Spirit to counsel me and guide me.

In   Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

D. Defeat the Flesh

•     Acknowledge the war between the Holy Spirit and your fleshly habits. (FLESH = a consuming passion to live life out of your own resources.)

“The sinful nature [flesh] desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature [flesh]. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” (Galatians 5:17)

•     Admit you were born with a sin nature, a natural bent to sin.

“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5)

•     Accept Jesus Christ into your life to save you from the penalty of your sins. Choose to go His way instead of your own way.

“Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:14)

•     Agree that Christ’s death on the cross for you brought death to the sin nature in you.

“We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:6–7)

•     Appropriate the “resurrection power” of Christ within you to break the power of sin over you.

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4)

•     Appreciate that you have been given a new nature.

“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:4)

•     Affirm that you are a new creation in Christ.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

•     Ask Christ, who lives within you, to give you victory over self-centered habits.

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature [the flesh] with its passions and desires.”

(Galatians 5:24)

“Since God knows that our flesh is weak, why does He tempt us to sin?”

God is not the author of temptation. We sin when we fail to immediately turn away from temptation and instead follow the enticing desires of our own flesh.

“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” (James 1:13–14)

E. Stand against Satan

Fundamental to victory on any battlefield is knowledge of your enemy’s weaknesses. And although Satan is the most powerful creature in all God’s creation, he is vulnerable. Knowing that his power and knowledge are limited gives us the courage to stand … and after being attacked to stay standing!

•     Satan is not omnipotent.

Satan is powerful, but he is not all-powerful. He cannot be greater than God, who created him. Jesus is the One who is victorious over Satan and the One who indwells the believer by His Holy Spirit.

“The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

•     Satan is not omnipresent.

Satan is a fallen angel, and angels cannot be in all places at once. Although he has a legion of fallen angels working for him in many places, Satan can travel only from one place to another at a given time.

“The Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the Lord, ‘From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.’ ” (Job 1:7)

•     Satan is not omniscient.

Satan is called “an angel of light” … he is cunning, crafty and clever, but sin has so corrupted his wisdom that he still tries to defeat God.

“Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.” (Ezekiel 28:17)

•     Satan has been confined to boundaries.

Satan cannot test a believer without God’s permission. It is important to know that God allows Satan’s activity in our lives only to strengthen and purify us.

“The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he [Job] has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.’ ” (Job 1:12)

•     Satan can’t tolerate resistance.

Satan loves nothing more than to pull you into an argument or debate. You cannot win a battle with him in your own strength. You resist his attacks by standing in your position in Christ.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

•     Satan hates the blood of Christ.

When Christ’s blood poured from His body at Calvary, Satan had no further opportunity to defeat Christ. Although Satan tempted Jesus to sin, Jesus never sinned. Christ’s blood signaled Satan’s defeat. Therefore, as a Christian, since you are in Christ and Christ conquered Satan, you too are a conqueror.

“They [believers] overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 12:11)

•     Satan is defeated by positive testimonies.

Satan rejoices in grumbling, complaints and criticisms, but he is defeated by the testimonies of true Christians who give thanks for the blood of Christ that purchased their full forgiveness.

“They overcame him by … the word of their testimony.” (Revelation 12:11)

“Stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then.”

(Ephesians 6:13–14)

“Does Satan have the power to know our thoughts?”

The Bible says that only God has the power to know the hearts of all men. Although Satan is highly intelligent (Ezekiel 28:12), he is still a created angel, and creatures do not have the divine attributes of God. King Solomon, known for his exceptional wisdom, states about the Lord …

“You alone know the hearts of all men.” (1 Kings 8:39)

Prayer for Victory over Satan

“Dear   Heavenly Father,

I   now the phenomenal victory that Jesus won over Satan. He not only withstood   Satan’s many temptations to sin, but also became the only sinless sacrifice   who could die for my sins and the sins of the entire world.

I   also see that the death of Christ on the cross reflects victory, not defeat.   for the moment Jesus shed His blood on the cross, Satan’s doom was sealed. He   had no more oppertunity to thwart Your plan of redemption.

Jesus,   thank You for all You went through to become my Savior and Redeemer. Thank   You that Satan is now a defeated foe. Because You live in me, Your victory   secured my own victory over Satan.

Right   now, I choose to walk in that victory. I renounce Satan and his demon and any   power they have ahd over my life.

Satan,   I command you, in the name of he Lord Jesus Christ, to leave my presence wih   all your demons.

Heavenly   Father, please put a hedge of protection around me to keep me from the evil   one. I choose to live victoriously, not in my power, but in the power of   Christ—in His supernatural, resurrection power. I now put on the whole armor   of God and yield my body to the Lord Jesus Christ as a living sacrifice and   as an instrument of His righteousness.

In   the powerful name of Jesus I pray. Amen.”

 

Never, never, never assume defeat if you struggle with a stronghold. Confess it, claim Christ’s blood over it, and in the strength of Christ, conquer it. As a soldier of Christ, your Commander-in-Chief gives you both the command and the power to regain the ground infiltrated by the enemy.

—June Hunt

 

the Spiritual Sword of Scripture

“The sword of the Spirit … is the word of God.”

(Ephesians 6:17)

•     Thank You, Father, that I am Your child   and that Christ, who is in me, is greater than Satan, who is in the world.

“You, dear   children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you   is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

•     I acknowledge that Satan is a defeated   enemy. He was defeated when the blood of Christ was shed at Calvary. His   blood paid for the guilt of my sins. I am a child of God, and Satan has no   authority over me.

“They overcame   him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not   love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:11)

•     I’ve been bought with a price. My body is   not my own. It belongs to Christ.

“Do you not   know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you   have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” (1   Corinthians 6:19–20)

•     I refuse all thoughts that are not from   God, and I resist Satan and his power.

“Submit   yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”   (James 4:7)

•     As I stand in the full armor of God, I   ask You to bind Satan and his demonic realm from any influence over me.

“Finally, be   strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so   that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians   6:10–11)

•     Just as You put a hedge of protection   around Job, I ask You to put a hedge of protection completely around me for   my good and for Your glory.

“Have you not   put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have   blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread   throughout the land.” (Job 1:10)

In the   precious name of Jesus, I pray.

Amen.

 

Dispelling the Darkness

One   of Satan’s strategies is to engage us in anything that opens us to ungodly   influences … ensnaring us through curiosity, excitement, thrill seeking,   trickery, subtlety, peer pressure, and any other possible means. Just   witnessing evil practices exposes us to the evil one behind those practices.   Therefore, renouncing every exposure to evil that God brings to mind is   necessary in order to remove every possible foothold of Satan in our lives.   Even those things that seem innocent to us can leave us open to demonic   attack.

“We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do   not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by   setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s   conscience in the sight of God.”

(2 Corinthians 4:2)

Inventory of Involvement

Check   all of the occult powers and practices to which you have been exposed or in   which you have participated.

□    Alchemy, New Age, magic potions

□    Altered states of   consciousness/hypnosis/self-hypnosis

□    Amulets, fetishes, talismans, idols   (objects of power or worship)

□    Animal and human sacrifices

□    Apparitions, ghosts

□    Astral projection

□    Astrology/horoscopes

□    Auras/the Kirlian effect

□    Automatic writing/speaking in a trance

□    Bad luck/good luck (avoiding: number 13,   evil eye, black cats, walking under ladders; trusting: rabbits’ feet,   knocking on wood, horseshoes, four leaf clover, religious items)

□    Blasphemous, lustful, or suicidal voices   (demonic, deceiving spirits)

□    Blood pacts and ceremonies

□    Cartomancy (tarot cards)

□    Channeling (channelers/mediums)

□    Clairaudience (supernatural hearing)   Clairvoyance (supernatural visions)

□    Crystal power/candle power/pyramid   power/incense power

□    Cults (Mormonism, Scientology, Jehovah’s   Witnesses, est, TM)

□    Curses, spells, chants, incantations   (sorcery)

□    Cutting the body destructively

□    Divination/fortune-telling/soothsaying

□    Divining rod (water witching or dowsing)

□    Dream interpretation (dream work) Drinking   blood/eating human flesh Drug induced states (psycho-stimulants)

□    ESP (extrasensory perception)

□    False religions and worldviews (pantheism,   Odinism, atheism, gnosticism, asatru)

□    Gypsy lore

□    Halloween power (spirits of the dead   wandering on earth)

□    Higher consciousness

□    I Ching (Chinese divination)

□    Jewish mysticism (kabbalah)

□    Levitation (lifting objects without touch)

□    Martial arts power

□    Materialization (spirits becoming visible)

□    Mental telepathy/mind swapping   (communicating thoughts without words)

□    Music exalting evil or Satan

□    New Age materials

□    Numerology (power in numbers)

□    Occult games (Ouija board, Dungeons &   Dragons, Heretic, Quake, Bloody Mary, Magic 8 Ball®)

□    Palmistry (palm reading, chiromancy)

□    Parapsychology courses

□    Precognition (foreknowledge)

□    Psychic surgery

□    Psychometry (identifying persons through   objects)

□    Reincarnation/karma

□    Rod & pendulum (locating lost items,   diagnosing illnesses)

□    Satanic folk religions   (voodoo/hoodoo/macumba/ Santeria)

□    Satanic rituals and symbols Scrying   (gazing into crystal balls)

□    Seances/necromancy (communicating with   spirits of the dead)

□    Secret religious ceremonies (freemasonry,   Rosicrusians, theosophy, the Golden Dawn)

□    Sexual spirits (sexual contact with unseen   spirits)

□    Shamanism (ancestral spirits)

□    Shooting arrows, interpreting their flight

□    Sortilege (casting lots)

□    Spiritists/spirit guides/spirit imaginary   friends

□    Tattoos of evil, satanism or the occult

□    Tea leaf readings (tasseography)

□    Telekinesis (moving objects by the mind)

□    Visualization (visualizing something into   reality) Witchcraft (white or black magic)

□    Yoga or other religious rituals

□    Other

In   regard to occult practices, the Bible says, “Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.… [We] must be blameless before   the Lord” (Deuteronomy   18:12–13). As a Christian, acknowledge your position in Christ and the   presence of Christ within you to cancel any and all oppressive powers.

Prayer of Deliverance

“God,   I admit I have had a rebellious heart and have sinned against You. Please   forgive me for all my sins. I now renounce Satan and all my involvement with   the occult. I recognize that You are the one true God. Jesus, thank You for   dying on the cross for me and for shedding Your blood on the cross to   purchase forgiveness of my sins. Jesus, please come into my life to be my   Lord and my Savior. I give You complete control of my life. I reject any and   all demonic works in my life and now announce to Satan that Jesus is my Lord.   I believe that I am saved through Christ, and now I belong to You. Thank You   for cleansing me of all my sins. I ask for Your power to resist all evil   influences. In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.”

 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anderson, Neil T. The Bondage Breaker. 2nd ed. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2000.

Anderson, Neil T. Resolving Spiritual Conflicts: The Workbook. La Habra, CA: Freedom in Christ, 1992.

Bubeck, Mark I. The Adversary: The Christian Versus Demon Activity. Chicago: Moody, 1975.

Bubeck, Mark I. Overcoming the Adversary. Chicago: Moody, 1984.

Coppola, Francis Ford, and Edmund H. North. Patton. Frank McCarthy, producer; Franklin J. Schaffner, director. Beverly Hills, CA: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 1997. videocassette.

Daniels, Danny. “The Building Up and Tearing Down of Strongholds.” In Spiritual Warfare, edited by Ras Robinson, 16–31. Fort Worth, TX: Fulness House, 1979.

Daniels, Danny. “Christians and the Demonic.” In Resisting the Devil, edited by Ras Robinson, 1–13. Fort Worth, TX: Fulness House, 1982.

Daniels, Danny, Sam Cathey, Bob Phillips, Charles Solomon, Jim Hylton, and Ras Robinson, ed. Resisting the Devil. Fort Worth, TX: Fulness House, 1982.

Discipleship Counseling Services. Discipleship Counseling Training Student Manual. Dallas: Discipleship Counseling Services, n.d. Epp, Theodore H. How to Resist Satan. Lincoln, NE: Back to the Bible, 1981.

Hunt, June. Counseling Through Your Bible Handbook. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2007.

Hunt, June. How to Forgive … When You Don’t Feel Like It. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2007.

Hunt, June. How to Handle Your Emotions. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House
Publishers, 2008.

Hunt, June. Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008.

Ice, Thomas, and Robert Dean, Jr. A Holy Rebellion. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1990.

Jeremiah, David. Spiritual Warfare. Turning Point. San Diego, CA: Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, 1995.

Logan, Jim. Reclaiming Surrendered Ground. Chicago: Moody, 1995.

Lutzer, Erwin W. Coming to Grips with Satan’s Plan for Your Life. Salt and Light Pocket Guides. Chicago: Moody, 1990.

Lutzer, Erwin W. Twelve Myths Americans Believe. Chicago: Moody, 1993.

McDowell, Josh, and Don Stewart. Demons, Witches, and the Occult. Pocket Guides. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1986.

Murphy, Ed. The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1992.

Sanders, J. Oswald. Satan Is No Myth. Chicago: Moody, 1975.[1]

 


[1] Hunt, J. (2008). Biblical Counseling Keys on Spiritual Warfare: Strategy for the Battle (1–22). Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart.

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