Learning to Wage War Part 2

October 13, 2008 · Print This Article

Learning to Wage War

Part 2


The Word

Text: Luke 3:21; 4:1-7

Relationship between baptism and spiritual warfare

The relationship between Jesus’ baptism and His temptation in the wilderness is a logical, spiritual necessity, and establishes a pattern lived out in the lives of His followers.

When Jesus comes up from the waters of the Jordan, the spiritual realm was opened to His perspective and awareness (Luke 3:21, Mark 1:10, Matthew 3:16). Most believers who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit as Jesus was at Jordan will tell you that since that time, spiritual blessings, warfare and conflict have become more readily discerned, and the Word of God more readily understood.

Immediately following His baptism, the Holy Spirit brings Jesus into the arena of conflict and combat in the wilderness of temptation. For many believers, entering a time of great doubt, testing or struggle is common right after they have experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is there in the spiritual realm–where the real battle is lived out–that the Lord brings us to learn principles for a life of Holy Spirit fullness with spiritual discernment.

The problem is that many become casualties in that first struggle and back off out of fear. Some who go through the flack then start venturing out beyond their own preparedness, ignorant of the armor provided for them, and get shot down. Others learn to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. They don’t know what to do, but they call on the name of the Lord, find Him adequate, and begin to learn how to do battle.

One aspect of coming into conformity with the image of Jesus Christ is that of the Holy Spirit coming upon a person, the spiritual realm opening up to them, spiritual combat beginning, and learning to do spiritual warfare. The same thing happens corporately when the Lord births a church.

Satan’s method of attack

When Jesus went into the wilderness, Satan attacked three areas of discipline:

  • Feed Yourself. The first temptation had to do with working a miracle for Jesus’ own comfort.
  • Worship me. The second temptation was to miss the power in the “meek” thing to do which is to seek the face of God. Satan offers power in exchange for worship; Jesus refuses because He worships Father God and through that worship comes power.
  • Prove Yourself. The third temptation is a false application of authority that is undisciplined, presumptuous and untrusting. It is the temptation to think you can force God’s hand.

Satan had the right to offer Jesus the kingdoms of the world

When it says that Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world (Luke 4:5), Jesus was seeing all the power centers controlled by spiritual beings  of the dark upon this earth. Satan freely exposed the kingdom of His control to Jesus because he knew that for the first time, there was a clear vision into the realm of his domain and a new order of  Being was entering the human scene.

Jesus did not contest Satan’s right to offer Him the power of these kingdoms because they had been delivered into Satan’s hands by Adam when man fell (Genesis 1). The heartbreak of this world is administered by the power of hell himself whose master stroke is to indict God for what he does. (Why does God let this happen to me?)

Spiritual warfare is a necessity

There are seven levels of spiritual power mentioned as being opposed to the way of the Lord (Ephesians 1:20; 6:12; Colossians 1:16):

1.     Thrones

2.     Lordships (Dominion)

3.     Rulers

4.     Authorities

5.     Mights

6.     World Rulers

7.     Evil Spirits (Demonic Powers)

The way out from that dominion is to come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and open the possibility of a new ruler-ship entering your situation. The Lord Jesus was raised up high above all of these, enthroned in heavenly places with these under His feet (Ephesians 1). However entering that new realm of ruler-ship does not exempt you from combat and warfare.

Through teaching and maturity a believer is brought into balanced tension between the spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:19-21) and spiritual warfare against principalities, powers and evil spirits (Ephesians 6).

  • We are to move forward from a place of position and identity with Christ (Ephesians 1:3; 2:5-6).
  • We have been given a place of enthronement with the Lord, a place of power and authority to enter into the struggle (Ephesians 3:10)
  • There is a balance of position, a stance of aggressiveness we are to take against evil and darkness (Ephesians 6:10-17).
  • We are to put on our armor and enter in with all the weapons of battle: prayer, fasting, praise, intercession, worship, petition, and truth, the Word of God.

We are seated with Christ

We have been ushered into a place of ruler-ship in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He who was raised and seated in a place of authority with all powers under His feet, has invited us to come and sit with Him. You have a place of rest in Jesus. He has given you a command to enter into spiritual struggle with prayer. He is totally in control and He’s going to work His victory through you in time.

The eternal God doesn’t work on our timetable. Our part in His plan is to pray with all mannerism of prayer and supplication in the Spirit. We can’t force His hand to make things happen; our job is to glorify the Father who is in control, enter into warfare with Faith and rejoice in the place He’s given us. It isn’t our job to analyze everything perfectly, but to understand what we can and respond in Faith and obedience.

 

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