Spiritual warfare is real. We can be attacked by powerful temptations, overwhelming fears, or major anxieties.
The ‘enemies’ described in the Old Testament often waged physical attacks, whereas in the New Testament they are usually described as spiritual attacks. But the outcome is the same—God promises to rescue you from all your enemies.
And, God has given us the power to fight the enemy.
First, we can sing His praise.
When we praise God, we turn our back on Satan and his attempts to harm us spiritually.
Singing praise brings us into God’s presence. In 2 Chronicles 5 Solomon had completed the temple for the Lord. He brought in the furnishings, and finally the Ark of the Covenant. When it was in place scripture says,
“The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang:
‘He is good;
his love endures forever.’
Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:13-14)
God’s presence overwhelmed them in that moment. Psalm 22:3 says God is “enthroned on the praises of Israel.” The footnote says He is dwelling in the praises. When we praise, He is there with us.
Singing praise routes the enemy. In 2 Chronicles 20 Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, must face the armies from Moab and Ammon. He prayed to God for help. God answered and told Jehoshaphat that He would deliver them. Jehoshaphat chose to lead the battle with praise:
“After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.’
As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” (2 Chronicles 20:21-22)
Second, we can thank God continually.
Giving thanks to the Lord is closely related to praise. When we thank Him, we are at the same time acknowledging His goodness and other attributes. Psalm 136:23-26 says,
“He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.”
We can humbly thank Him for remembering us in all our circumstances, for freeing us, and for His eternal love.
Third, we can stay close to Jesus—abide in Him.
We struggle with our own propensity to sin, with the temptations of worldly living, and with the condemnation and deceitfulness of the devil.
James 4:7 says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” How do we resist the devil? The first part of the verse tells us—submit to God.
When we seek Him and continually give our wills over to Him, the devil can’t harm us. But it requires us to be intentional about turning to Him.
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
Finally, we can remember His victory is complete.
Jesus’ death and resurrection won the victory over the enemy. We can take that victory personally! We battle daily with living in a fallen world, but through Jesus, we have already won.
I’ve recently been reading Daniel. He had some amazing visions from God that revealed the future. Daniel foresaw that the victory would be won by a messianic figure in the form of a ‘son of man’.
“and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14)
The following quote from Bible in One Year describes how Jesus is the “Son of Man” seen by Daniel.
“Jesus spoke of ‘the Son of Man … coming on the clouds of heaven‘ (Mark 14:62), and ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory‘ (13:26; see also Matthew 24:30; 26:64).
This passage [in Daniel] clearly had a profound impact on Jesus and his own understanding of himself. He often described himself as the ‘Son of Man.’ The expression appears eighty-two times in the Gospels, all in the sayings of Jesus.
Jesus chose a title that did not have the same political overtones as some of the other Messianic titles. It spoke of a representative figure who would identify with human beings and ‘give his life as a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45). It carried with it the idea of suffering (Daniel 7).
In his great love for you and me, Jesus, the Son of Man, suffered as a representative of the entire human race, so that you could be rescued from all the spiritual forces of evil in the world. One day, Jesus will return ‘with the clouds of heaven’ (v.13) as he promised, and victory will be complete (Matthew 24:30–31).”
All of these things seem simple: sing, thank, abide, and remember. When we do these simple things, we wage war against the devil. And God will fight for us. We can remember these using the acrostic STAR:
Think of the star that guided the first worshipers to Jesus at His birth. Think of Jesus, the “Bright Morning Star,” our reference point guiding us through this life. By remembering the STAR, we can live out the victory won on our behalf!