Is it Spiritual Warfare or Your Own Disobedience?

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Spiritual Warfare or Disobedience

 

You Can’t Blame Everything on Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare has been a HOT topic for at least 10-15 years. We’ll pay hard earned money for books and teaching CDs to teach us strategies for how to combat the “spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

But does it have to be that complicated? Are we focusing our efforts (and money) in the right direction?

Before I go further into this topic, let me state plainly that I believe in the supernatural. I believe that spiritual warfare DOES occur. I believe that angels and demons DO exist and interact in our lives on a regular basis.

However, I do NOT believe that spiritual warfare is to be blamed for all of our issues, bad attitudes, challenges and/or tragedies that have happened to us. Now, most of you would be quick to agree with that statement, but how many of us cling to the “spiritual warfare” excuse when something negative is happening? When the “rubber meets the road,” are we focusing inward and analyzing our obedience level toward God, or are we wondering what principality is afflicting us?

And the Flesh Cries “NOT ME!”

Although there are a few Scriptures that exist on the topic of spiritual warfare, the truth is that the Bible doesn’t really talk much about it. Many people grab those few Scriptures and either twist them and write books about them (that’s another post for another time), or inflate them so they overshadow other Scriptures that could resolve our issues with more finality. It is easy to look externally for the answers to our present dilemmas – it doesn’t take any personal initiative to do that; however, often the answer isn’t to be found in looking at the spirit realm, but in the mirror.

One all too often overlooked area causing struggles and conflict in our lives is our own disobedience, and the Word has PLENTY of Scriptures on the value of the fear of the Lord and obedience.

Proverbs 10:27
The fear of the LORD prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened.

Proverbs 14:26-27
In the fear of the LORD [there is] strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to turn [one] away from the snares of death.
Proverbs 19:23
The fear of the LORD [leads] to life, and [he who has it] will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil.

This is only a small sample of what you’ll find in the Bible on the fear of the Lord and how it relates to our well-being. In fact, that was only a sample from Proverbs!

Don’t Ignore the Possibility of Spiritual Warfare – But Pay More Attention to Your Obedience Level

If you look in the Word, you will find that Scriptures on obedience and the fear of the Lord FAR outweigh and outnumber those on spiritual warfare.

Could it be that we are paying far too much attention to an inferior enemy because we do not want to deal with our own disobedience? Could it be that the following verse is true about us?

Jeremiah 2:19
“Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that [it is] an evil and bitter [thing] that you have forsaken the LORD your God, and the fear of Me [is] not in you,” Says the Lord GOD of hosts.

Let it never be said that His Bride refused a chance to purify herself just as He is pure (1 John 3:2-3).

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25 replies on “Is it Spiritual Warfare or Your Own Disobedience?”

    1. This is true. Our flesh nature fights against this with a vengeance! Over the last few years, I’ve had to come to terms that, no matter what, the Word of God is ALWAYS true, and if His promises are not showing up like the Word says… it’s my fault! How sweet it is to surrender my ego into the hands of a loving God!

      The Word says, James 4:8-10 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [you] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [you] double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and [your] joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

      I believe that admitting to God how much we fall short of His Promises is part of the process of humbling ourselves …. but Good News, He will lift us up!

  1. This is good. I have always been suspicious of those “demonic warfare books.” Ones I checked out years ago, had a demon for everything. I know they exist, for real, but I am not studying them. I would like to know what to do about some manifestations I am seeing where they should not be. But, I think I will let God lead in that.

    1. Simple obedience to the Lord creates a hedge of protection around those who love Him.

      Psalm 34:7 “The Angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.”

      There may be some good “warfare” books out there, but why search them out when you have a Bible, right? That’s the ULTIMATE warfare book… when your faith in the Word is at it’s peak, there will be no principality, power or human who can stand against you!

  2. Kevin,

    Thanks for this post. I have been praying/mulling over/seeking the Lord on this for a while. Just this week I quit praying as I had prayed for years (all those years in the prophetic movement) over my son before bed. The Lord nudged me and said, “You can quit praying the blood of Jesus over him, that was done once, do you think it wasn’t enough?” What was I thinking all those years???? We spent all those years doing all this spiritual warfare, and our lives were in shambles. There was nothing obedient, separate, called out among any of us. (my group, anyway)

    Thanks for this site….

    Blessings,
    Linda

    1. This is so true Linda! A man once said “You cannot hope to defeat Jezebel if you have set up idols to her in your heart”… this can carry over into any “spiritual warfare” area. It’s amazing what simple obedience can do!

  3. This was a great post, I cant wait to see more! as many on your site I to came out of the lies that have been foisted on the church.

    Look at Michael when he was on a mission to retrieve Moses’ bones: He said “the Lord rebuke you” not that He rebuked Satan. I was at a church a month ago for work and one of the office staff I was in conversation with said “I rebuke that!!” when we were talking about Bedbugs (I’m an exterminator) I just smiled but inside my heart sank because first she thought she had some kind of power and second as Christians even if we did it would only be from Jesus and through His name.

    It all seems so Pagan! like we can conjure some kind of favor from someone or something in the spirit world. My heart breaks for those in the emergent/prophetic movement (not sure what to call it).

    It can be painful to share a different belief of scripture to them or reprove them because they don’t want to see that iron sharpens iron but that you are ether legalistic, a hieratic, or “spiritually dead” with God’s grace I will press on seeking him first in the Bible and second on my knees. Lord come quickly.

    1. Hey Bob! Thank you so much for the comments! Please be encouraged that, although there are many people out there who fake the influence of the Holy Spirit, Jesus did promise His disciples in Luke 10:19 power over the things of this earth. The key word being … “Disciples”. They are those who follow Him, crucify their flesh and separate themselves from this world. We here in the Western Church are taught (somewhat “subliminally”) that we can have our cake and eat it too…. this is a wrong mindset. That’s why you see so many people flippantly binding/loosing/rebuking with little, or no results. Hope this helps?

  4. Thank you for this post. It is confirmation of what God spoke to me a few months ago concerning two people that called me for prayer. The answer God had for both of them was “this is because of disobedience that has brought forth warfare and what was needed was repentance and obedience.”

  5. 15 “And I put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He shall crush your head, and you shall crush His heel.” The Jewish sages have an interesting interpretation of this passage that to me bears truth. They say that he ‘seed’ or offspring of Eve (and Adam) who are obedient to Yah’s commandments will crush the head of the enemy, but those who are disobedient will be struck in the heel by the enemy. Of course we see this as a messianic prophecy, but the scriptural truth is that there is promise of great blessing and protection to those who walk in obedience, and the rabbis saw that in this passage.

  6. The most significant NT verse on warfare is, I think, from James, *Submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you* Pretty simple. BUT I do know of very fine people who are attacked viciously by fear and panic and despair, black things trying to strangle them in the night etc…and it correlates to time spent in prayer. The more they try to press in, the more they are attacked… it can be pretty intense!

    Jesus spent that time in the wilderness to deal with the devil (be tempted) and He came out in *the power of the Spirit*… there is much we can learn in the place of struggle with all that comes against us, and God knows that.

    Holiness is absolutely vital however!

  7. Too many Christians want to blame the devil for their troubles. I have experienced true spiritual warfare because of a prior battle with fear mainly. However most troubles that Christians have is because of wrong decisions. If you look at how much is stated in the word for Christians about being transformed by the renewing of your mind and compare it to verses about spiritual warfare you will see way more in the area of being transformed. You also see way more about how to make right choices.

    A prime example of this is the debt breaking anointing madness. There are cases where people end up in debt because of unforeseen circumstances, such as a job loss, unexpected medical expenses and may property damage by fire, tornado, earthquakes, etc. However the vast majority of people got into debt because of poor money management, in most cases fueled by greed and/or prestige. The only way out of that is to stop spending what you do not have, try your best to sell things you do not really need, try somehow to earn extra income and BE PATIENT. Afterwards change how you make your purchases in such a way that you do not get back in debt.

    Another issue that I have grown weary hearing about is how the devil is breaking up homes. The Bible says in several places that we have authority over ALL the power of the enemy. Either Christians are allowing the enemy to break up their homes or they made poor choices in a spouse. In many cases you could see the train wreck coming before the wedding ceremony but they will reply ‘Da Lord said this is my spouse’. As a friend loves to say, ‘Did God lie before or after?’ Neither you just messed up because of your soul. This is one teaching I believe is done to bring families into churches aka more money frankly.

    I put this in here because too many do not want to take a hard look at how they got into the mess they are in. This one gets to me because I have heard too many Christians say the devil got them into the mess when I can clearly see that he had nothing to do with it. With just about all of them after they kept talking they stated something about a decision made that clearly directed them into the mess. When I would bring this up to them they would talk around it or make it something else causing the problem. When they are like that I leave them alone because they do not want to take responsibility for their own actions like grown folk should.

  8. Some great thoughts to ponder have been expressed here. Through the grace of Our Father I walk this earth as a conqueror. Not like a conqueror, as a conqueror. I find Our Father’s will for me not a burden at all, I find it to be delightful. Who wouldn’t find walking day after day in victory delightful? Only those who walk in perverse soul sickness.

    I have a brother that teaches that our first job each day upon awakening, should be to humble ourselves before Our Heavenly Father. It is then Our Father’s job to exalt us. If we do his job and exalt ourselves, then he will do our job and humble us. My personal preference of these two alternatives is for Our Father to exalt me. It just seems to me that it is so much more fun to be exalted by Our Father. In Fact, I have discovered that since I have become a Lord Lover, I have never had so much fun in my entire life. I hear some so called ‘leaders’ saying to their ‘flocks’ that it is a hard and heavy burden to be a Christian in today’s world. That is in direct contradiction to what Christ taught, he taught that the gospel yoke was easy and the burden of truth lite. It will be as one believes. Believe Christ or a lie and reap what you believe.

    Lots of folks want to resist the devil and have him flee but sort of skip over the submitting to Our Father. They have been so blinded that they can’t see that submitting, obeying and trusting Our Father IS THE FUN PART. Anyway I guess I’m rambling. Sorry to hear about those walking in defeat and being bothered so by satan and his gang. I think perhaps there is something wrong with their thinking or they read a different bible than I.

  9. This is a good post. Obedience to the Word, God, Christ Fear is so important. We do emphasize so much on the enemy spiritual ware fare but never ourselves we are responsible when we disobey God to allow the enemy to rule and take over our lives just like when we allow the enemy to deceive us. I am understanding that now. Shame on the churches who have over emphasized spiritual warfare because they didn’t want to loose their popularity on speaking out against disobedience. May God’s grace reach them quickly and help them to repent!!

  10. You are spot on there, Kevin – much verbiage but little Scripture. You will find the same imbalance on the subject “the anointing”; all hype and no substance.
    For most of us the biggest enemy is the flesh. Because we do not subdue it the devil does not even have to bother with us. He only fights the victorious.

  11. I have to look at James Chapter one about temptation.Too often we are claiming like Flip Wilson “The devil made me do it.” I heard a wonderful old preacher says years ago that, every time we attribute something we do to the devil, we are giving him praise for doing a good job at what he does.Made sense to me.

  12. I agree, it is more likely our own doing by disobedience. The spiritual warfare is mainly resisting the temptations. Do we resist enough? Do we resist a little then give into the temptation and throw our hands up and proclaim “The devil made me do it!”. All Satan and his bunch can do to me is entice me to disobey. He can not physically make me do anything I don’t want to do, but he does use my inclination to allow my flesh to dominate against me. Just depends on how bad I want to resist the temptation vs how bad I want to obey YHWH. Hebrews 12:4 says it all: “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Who of us have carried our resistance to sin, any particular sin, to the point of sweating blood? No very many, too easy for our flesh to just give in. So, yes, do not call it demon possession, oppression, call it what it is, lack of discipline, lack of beating our bodies unto subjection, lack of walking in the spirit.

  13. I have come to the conclusion that my close relationship with the Lord, humility, repentance, and living in alignment and obedience to the Word of God is the whole definition of spiritual warfare. I had to make the decision to trust & believe Him to be at peace. One battle is our daughter who struggled with drug addiction living on the streets is now home “clean”. God has performed one miracle after another without us “arranging” things. If I fear & don’t use a soft word to turn away wrath I’m disobeying God’s Word & get full-on war! If I stay close to Him & His Word He goes before me to prepare me for the next issue. “In Jesus’ name” is not a phrase to cast out demons. I live, work, play, & exist “in the name of Jesus” so I serve Him…not the news, church, family, job, pastor…in spite of what I feel or see. The Bible has daily directions to fight the battle by renewing my mind, being conformed to His image, prayer in faith, discernment, knowledge, wisdom, discipline, obedience.. šŸ™‚

  14. Boy, I know some people who are inspired by IHOP. They accept every manifestation (without testing it). They have some weird beliefs in which they teach others. They are always blaming “witchcraft” and “spiritual warfare” for all there problems.

    Yet if I try to give them sound counsel or challenge one of their “spiritual” manifestations- I am all of sudden accused of having a religious spirit or being legalistic. They won’t test the spirits (they will say: “We don’t know what the Spirit of God is doing these days”). They seem to live in 1 Cor 2:9, but forget verse 10. They think they know Torah, but don’t practice it.

    When it comes to spiritual warfare, we have no example of railing against “principalities and powers” in the heavenly places. We have Yeshua and the apostles practice of: preaching the kingdom, cast out demons and laying hands on the sick– this is how we know the Kingdom of God is among us!

  15. Well said Kevin. I have seen people running around seeming to find demons under every rock. Every time something negative happens in their lives they immediately start proclaiming they are being attacked by the enemy. They give credit to the devil for the things that happen to them when it’s their own disobedience that causes the problems. Give praise and glory to God for who He is and learn to walk in obedience to the Word and watch things change for good in your life.

  16. I cannot tell you how many times folks have come out blasting demons around every corner, behind every bush, and underneath every bed… even since understanding Torah! It would seem many folks are more focused on “spirituality” and the “revelation God has given ***them***” instead of the actual Word and establishing a relationship with YHWH through an understanding of the Scriptures.

    May I never allow my pride to swell up within me and declare an unwarranted victory for darkness when my own error is to blame. You are spot on in this latest piece and I definitely enjoyed being able to just click play (audio) and keep on working while I listened! <<< Score!!

  17. So true Kevin,

    James 4:6, NKJV . . . 6) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

    “God resists the proud,
    But gives grace to the humble.” [Prov 3:34]

    7) Therefore SUBMIT to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

    Too often, the above Scripture has been taught incorrectly in the church, by leaving out the integral phrase: “Therefore SUBMIT to God” . . .
    If we are in disobedience, we are not in submission to God, and have thus, given the enemy rights into our life . . . he doesn’t have to flee, no matter how hard one resists.

  18. Yes, we can/do rashly jump into spiritual warfare. i remember doing this one day, years ago in my enthusiasm, and the Lord clearly said to me, “Did you ask Me, what to do?” Sad to say, i had to say, “No Lord, and added, i thought . . . ” and the rest is history.
    The Lord Jesus, explained, how do you know, whether that person(s) had to walk through what is being prayed against, because it was allowed by Me, and was not the enemy . . . Unless you inquire, you might not be praying in My will . . . a very brief summation.

    Since then, much has been learned, i.e. that walking humbly in His love, obedience, holiness, worship of Him, praise, [God inhabits the praises of His people] are all ‘weapons of warfare’. In other words, living a godly, obedient, humble, repentant lifestyle in the Lord God Almighty, hid in Him . . .

    As said, more often than not we get into trouble because of our old carnal nature/flesh being given precedence over our spirit, resulting in disobedience, etc.

  19. I fully agree.

    It is much easier to cut the air with The Sword than to tear apart my heart.

    Even warfare as told in 2.Cor.10: 4-6 begins within me,
    the strongholds in my mind, my false imaginations (of God His Word and others)
    demand me to come into His obedience first
    otherwise no trial of revenge will work.

    So before warfare starts sanctification and repentance are needed as told
    in 2.Cor.6 and 7.

    My experience over the last 25 years is
    my warfare prayers became less and my asking for real change prayers became more.

    Concerning spiritual warfare
    Entering the headquarter of Lord of Hosts means first to have a look and then
    get an understanding of His plans and strategies and coming in Line with Him …

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