Spiritual warfare is a major component of intercession. The two main thrusts of intercession are breaking open the way for those we are praying for and providing a protective covering for them through our prayers, both of which involve warfare. Yet, spiritual warfare should not be the dark affair that some intercessors have made it.
There are times we may feel heavy over circumstances we encounter or things we pray into, but this is more often than not due to our own human weaknesses. We have a tendency to look at daunting circumstances we face and worry because of what our eyes see. Lack of faith and less than perfect trust in the Lord are natural frailties common to man. Overcoming these weaknesses is part of the process we must go through to obtain our victories, but while we are in the midst of it, the heaviness can sometimes be nearly overwhelming.
In addition, felt heaviness may be due to demonic attacks upon our minds and emotions. We must also press through these spiritual pressures in order to triumph.
Thus, heaviness is connected with times when we are on the defense and are being assaulted by our circumstances, our flesh, and demonic influences. It is an intruder, not something we should embrace.
When we initiate spiritual warfare, we should do so with the understanding that Jesus has already defeated the enemy through the cross and resurrection. When He said, “It is finished!” He meant the entire deal. Colossians 2:15 states, “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” We are to pray from a position of enforcing the victory Jesus has already won.
We are to launch our offensive from our throne room position, mentioned in Ephesians 2:6: God “has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Heaven is a place of light and joy, not darkness, and the Lord wants us to participate in that light and joy, even while we are yet on earth.
This, then, is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. – 1 John 1:5-7
“God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” It was the first Bible verse that I taught each of our children to memorize, because it is a most delightful truth! “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light ….” We are to “walk in,” or abide, in His light and joy. God does not intend for His dear intercessors to trudge through life in heaviness. He wants us to dwell in the same light and joy that He dwells in.
Intercessors who focus on darkness, rather than on the light and joy of Jesus Christ, run the risk of becoming deceived and ensnared. Sadly, I have seen it happen many times. Intercessors with good intentions become absorbed with their enemy, rather than their King, and it puts them in a very great pit.
Malachi 3:16 comments, “Then they who feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it ….” We could paraphrase this, “Then they who reverenced the LORD spoke often to each other [about Him; in praise of Him], and the Lord inclined His ear and listened carefully.” When we speak of the goodness of the Lord, focusing on extolling Him, He draws near and pays attention. The atmosphere of heaven gathers around us.
Unfortunately, the converse is true as well. When we focus on the demonic, it attracts the attention of the fallen spiritual beings, and an atmosphere of darkness descends around us, as they close in to hear.
We give glory to the one we focus on, whether intentionally or unintentionally. The devil feeds on negative attention, just like some unhealthy people do, and we must not give him the satisfaction of receiving it!
We will continue talking about warring from a position of light next time.
Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual