If Satan Is Defeated, Why Do We Still Have to Do Spiritual Warfare?

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Jennifer LeClaire

sword of the spirit

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds in our minds. But the weapons of Satan are carnal, mighty in our flesh for the erecting of strongholds in our minds—and we’re the ones arming him.

Jesus “disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them” (Col. 2:15). Many who oppose spiritual warfare practices point to that Scripture and say we don’t have to fight because the devil is already defeated. Yes, the devil is already defeated, but Paul nevertheless told Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12) and told the Ephesians we “wrestle against … principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

If Jesus disarmed principalities and powers, why are we still wrestling them? We still wrestle, in part, because we are arming the enemy with the words of our mouth, handing him our God-given authority to use against us. Satan has no authority over us unless we give it to him, just like the serpent had no authority in the garden until Adam gave it to him.

Speaking Supernatural Words

As I was meditating on 2 Corinthians 10:4, I got a revelation about our words as weapons. This is not a positive confession revelation, although I believe in confessing what the Word of God says rather than confessing negative thoughts and feelings—and that’s totally scriptural. No, this is not a new twist on a good confession. This is a spiritual warfare strategy that will send the devil fleeing as we submit our words to God and resist the temptation to allow our mouths to issue weapons Satan uses against us.

When discussing the whole armor of God, Paul instructs us to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). When we speak the Word of God out of our mouths, it serves as a weapon that cuts through every evil plot of the enemy. No devil in hell can come against the Word of God because it’s not carnal but mighty—supernatural—in God.

When we find ourselves in the midst of the battle, though, we too often make one of these three common mistakes: (1) We fail to wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; (2) we speak the enemy’s fearful lies out of our mouths; or (3) we are double-minded, speaking the Word of God one moment and the enemy’s fear-laced lies the next. The only sure way enforce Jesus’ victory in our lives is to consistently wield the sword of the Spirit.

Let’s look at each option and how it works. First, when we wield the sword of the Spirit,we are packing a powerful weapon. The writer of Hebrews says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).

The sword of the Spirit is sharper than any natural sword. It has supernatural power, but we have to speak out the living power it contains with our tongues. Inspired by the life-giving Holy Spirit, the wisest man on the earth once wrote, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21).

Whose Side Are Your Words On?

Our words are weapons. When we speak God’s Word out of our mouth, it casts out death and opens the door to life in our situations. When we make the mistake of speaking the enemy’s fearful lies out of our mouth—which may sound like worry, doubt, unbelief or something other than the pure truth—we are allowing the enemy to use our own words as weapons against us.

Again, the devil’s weapons are carnal in the sense that he works through our carnal nature to oppress us by successfully tempting us to speak death with our powerful tongues. We essentially arm the enemy with weapons of death and give him some ammunition to oppress us when we speak words that are out of alignment with God’s truth.

When we are double-minded, speaking the Word of God one moment and the enemy’s fearful lies the next, we allow the enemy to take ground in our lives. Have you ever felt like you were taking one step forward and two steps back? This is often the result of double-mindedness. We speak life out of our mouths, penetrating the enemy’s plans with the sword of the Spirit in the morning, but as soon as we see a circumstance that doesn’t go our way, we once again arm the enemy with carnal weapons through our words.

The Bible says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). If you are feeling unstable, like the enemy is tossing you around a wrestling ring and about to capture you in a figure 4, it may be because you are not speaking words of faith and life—you may be arming the enemy with words of fear, doubt, unbelief and death.

Here’s the revelation in summary: Your words are weapons in spiritual warfare. When you speak the Word of God, you are wielding a sword that will cut the enemy’s evil plans to bits. It may take more than one swing, but if you keep swinging your supernatural sword, you will see natural results. When you speak out words based on thoughts and fears the enemy sows in your soul, you are essentially arming the enemy with carnal words that breed death. You give life to what you speak. Will you give life to God’s plan or to the enemy’s plan? It’s up to you.

You can download a sample chapter of Jennifer’s new book, The Making of a Prophet, by clicking here.

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel and The Making of a ProphetYou can email Jennifer at [email protected] or visit her website at www.jenniferleclaire.org.

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