Yesterday I, Pastor Todd, continued our series on Spiritual Warfare. I focused on engaging in spiritual warfare in the area of our domains, in particular the home and family. You can hear the entire message here.(Oct. 13, 2019). Today, I’d like to reflect on a few points connected to spiritual warfare’s roots in relationship.
Like conventional warfare, spiritual warfare requires more than one party. Under the surface, warfare is far murkier than two parties not getting along. So it is with spiritual warfare. Without relational components, there is no spiritual warfare.
What kind of relationships connect to spiritual warfare?
- Self and God
- Self and Other People
- Self and the Demonic
- Self and Self
Most of us envision spiritual warfare happening on the level of “self and the demonic.” Yet that is the tip of the iceberg. Before reaching that level of combat, breakdowns have occurred in our other relationships. If someone struggles with demonic oppression/possession, breakdowns in other relationships already happened. A brief address of the other three points are worth examining.
Self and God
Colossians 2:15 states that Jesus conquered the principalities and powers of evil. He made them a spectacle through the cross. The war for the spiritual cosmos is already decided. What we deal with today are skirmishes on localized levels. The first relational element to get right for victory in the spiritual realm is between the self and God. Relationship between individuals and God are the starting point for the Gospel procession.
Protestants talk about a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” It is in knowing Jesus on an individual level that empowers us to stand in the spiritual arena. If this relationship isn’t maintained, people succumb to demonic activity. Maintaining it means Jesus is implementing his power and his victory in the areas of our lives. To be an effective conqueror in the spiritual world, we need Jesus’ salvation.
Self and Other People
This is one of those areas we don’t consider when talking about Spiritual Warfare. Yet the second commandment of Jesus puts relationships to other people next to our relationship to God. Love is the force God created to bind people together in completeness. If we have made a profession of faith, but believe we can get along with “just me and Jesus,” we are very mistaken. We must have right relationship with people to thrive.
How is this related to spiritual warfare? Jesus says “If you are presenting a gift on the altar and remember you have something against your brother, go make right with him then offer your gift.” Before we can stand right with God, we have to be right with people. Ever hear the passage, “Give and it will be given to you, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.”? That passage is about forgiveness. And 1 Peter 3:7 exhorts us to respect and honor our wives, “lest our prayers are hindered,”
Broken relationships, is a major point of entry for demonic influence in our domains. If we don’t keep the core unit of our household in right relationship, then demonic attacks are sure to arise. Paul’s admonishment to “Be at peace with all men” is not just about “getting along with people.” It is a stronghold in spiritual warfare. A toxic relationship will admit a flood of enemy attacks. It will continue to admit them until it gets resolved.
Self and Self
Every serious Christian is familiar with this one. It is one thing for God to forgive us. It is another for people to forgive us. It is a special kind of venture for many to forgive self. Healthy thoughts, attitudes, self-talk, and self-belief is necessary to thrive in our domains. Irresponsibility with our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, and grudges will affect every other relationship. Brooding in unforgiveness or bitterness fertilizes our heart’s soil for demonic presence.
Scripture instructs knowing God’s word. It describes what it is to be under his authority because it is necessary to embody it. To have a chance against demonic attacks, we have to have godly mental processes. Our internal dialogue must reflect the truths of scripture. This brings us back to Romans 12:1-2, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
In The End
The above reflections are still applicable. Whether working to prevent spiritual attacks on our families or standing against current attacks. If you’re in the self-demon area, the first thing to do is start praying about where they got access. Someone in your environment (yourself included) is not maintaining relationships in a healthy way. It could be husband-wife divisions, mother-daughter, man-God, or father-son breakdowns. When unresolved problems live in a relationship, demonic presences can enter and attack. They are open doors of invite.
A quick note on self-demon connection. This can happen when we allow ourselves a lapse in judgment in “trigger” areas. These are areas you know allow demonic entry into your domain. For some it could be scary movies. For some, it could be occultic activity. It may be items from other cultures: dreamcatchers, statuettes, etc. These trigger areas are person-specific. There is no universal list. So knowing your triggers is helpful to know what to avoid.
Thanks for reading this week’s TGP Pastor Blog. I hope it has encouraged you to experience God’s
Presence. Love. Power.
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