We must be vigilant and wise in spiritual warfare. Getting sloppy or casual in our understanding of the conflict wherein we are engaged can be crippling or even fatal.
Give no occasion to the enemy — even small compromises. If we aren’t clean of known sin, we will get walloped. If it is nagging at your thoughts that something you are doing isn’t pleasing to the Holy Spirit, even if it seems innocent or silly, listen. If you have to keep assuring yourself that something you are doing is OK, it probably isn’t. Little occasions of compromise are big entrances to enemy attack.
Watch your attitudes toward people — James 3:14-17 warns, “But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, do not glory, and don’t deny the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where there is envying and strife, there is also confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easily entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”
Unchecked bad attitudes about other people leave our minds wide open for deception and demonic mental and emotional attack. In fact, keeping our minds pure of ungodly thoughts about others is where we will encounter most personal spiritual warfare. The mind is the battlefield we will most frequently revisit.
Keep your spiritual life sharp — through prayer; Bible reading and study; gathering with other believers regularly for worship, teaching, and fellowship; accountability to leadership and alignment with them. Spiritual laxity leaves us unprepared when an unexpected ambush comes against us.
Pick your fights — James Goll, in his book The Prophetic Intercessor, says we must keep our focus on Jesus, rather than having our eyes on the devil or what the devil is trying to accomplish.
He comments that often the enemy brings problems to the forefront of our lives for the sole purpose of distracting us from Jesus and to derail our pure devotion for the Lord. We do not need to war about everything; we can pick and choose which fights are important to engage in. We must let Jesus guide our use of authority (through listening to the leading of the Holy Spirit), rather than wearing ourselves out fighting every battle that comes along.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. So take to yourselves the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. — Ephesians 6:10-13
“Having done all, to stand.” That is our job, like Eleazar defending the barley field, in 1 Chronicles 11:12-14. He stood through all his weariness until the job was done and they pried his sword from his fingers – but he recognized it was the Living God Who saved them by a great deliverance. Like it was in Eleazar’s day, so it is in ours – we partner with the Lord in spiritual warfare, but the battle is still the Lord’s.
Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual