Combating Spiritual Warfare With Gratitude
WHEN the first plane hit the World Trade Centre (WTC) in September 2001, it was thought to be accidental.
But when another hit it, they knew New York was under attack.
Physicians aver that knowing the source of a problem is crucial to curing it. A navigational problem demands one response. A hostile strike requires a completely different strategy.
Everyday, our world is invaded by random events. Couples divorce, so we develop marriage guidance. Drug pushers increase, so we educate our wards to just say no. Crime rises among citizens, so we organise accountability groups. Communities threaten violence, so we employ arbitrators to help with conflict resolution.
But if the source is more than random and we are under enemy attack, would we change our strategy?
Through scripture, we discover there is an unseen world and it is at war with us. Paul the Apostle writes: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12).
You cannot just shrug your shoulders and turn a blind eye. We are living in the crossfire of that spiritual war. Our children and grand children shall live with the consequences of the rapine of the (former President Goodluck) Jonathan era in Nigeria. Which is why we must combat the scourge of corruption now.
The enemy is ready to destroy everything and everyone and those who dismiss the evil as insignificant do so to their own detriment.
Not to realise you are in a war means you are so hopelessly defeated and you don’t even know it. We are in a dire war, the stakes are high, the enemy is skilled and buoyant, armed and determined. You must be aware of what is happening and prepared to enthrone justice.
In ancient times, when an attack was launched against a city, a first strategy was to bring in a battering ram, demolish the gates and defeat the inhabitants.
Today, you are at war with Satan. Only when you recognise that is victory possible.
The good news is that the weapons we fight with- faith in an omnipotent Jehovah- have power to demolish strongholds.
“But you must put on the whole armour of God” (Ephesians 6:11).
This is not something you pick up and wear when you feel like. And you have got to keep it on, because the enemy never lets up. For he (Satan) wants you to think he is equal with God, who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.
Jehovah can do anything anywhere, anytime. Though Satan is a formidable foe, there are limits on what he is permitted to do (Job 1:12).
However, the centre of command stands in your mind. It is where victory or defeat is decided. Paul said: “I fear, lest your minds be corrupted” (2 Corinthians 11: 3).
Indeed, the end of Satan’s rule is near and he knows the Christ’s return is imminent (Revelation 12:12).
The ways to victory are praise, which is your armour, as the garment that protects you (Isaiah 61:3).
Secondly, abiding in Christ, your spiritual shield of protection.
Thirdly, the scripture is living and active and sharper than any sword and designed to beat the enemy. When Satan comes against you, combat his wiles with what God says.
Finally, walking in love with others. It is impossible to gain victory alone, when you are wrapped up in yourself.
The team is greater than the sum of its parts. Always walk with a think tank, a mastermind group. With a group, you are invincible and your success is inevitable.
However, God disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6). It would be foolish to ask Him to ease your discomfort when He is disciplining you to regain your attention.
Sadly, God’s discipline won’t help you if you dismiss it as Satan’s doing. If you misunderstand, you may blame Jehovah for not answering your prayers. For a little while, you may have had to suffer, that your faith may be proved genuine (Peter 1: 6, 7).