Want to Start Winning Your Spiritual Battles? Start Slaying These Dragons

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Shawn Akers

As a missionary evangelist to the nations, Daniel Kolenda frequently encounters levels of spiritual warfare that most people don’t see in their day-to-day lives.

He casts out devils. He deals with witchdoctors in Africa.

“The kinds of things we deal with on a daily basis are quite extraordinary,” says Kolenda, the president and CEO of Christ for All Nations, a ministry that has conducted some of the largest evangelistic events in history.

But Kolenda says that the same principles that allow his ministry to have victory over the enemy are the same principles that allow any believer to defeat the enemy in “very mundane, ordinary parts of their lives.”

Kolenda believes spiritual warfare is not just something for crusade evangelists who preach in Africa, Asia, the Middle East or other areas of the globe unreached with the gospel.

“It’s a biblical description of the life of a believer in Jesus,” Kolenda told Charisma News’ John Matarazzo in a recent interview. “The apostle Paul says that ‘we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, and against spiritual wickedness in high places.’

“So what Paul is trying to communicate to us is that we are in a war whether we understand that or not. There’s a lot of Christians that say, ‘Well, I don’t want to get involved in spiritual warfare.’ But the moment you put our faith in Christ, and you put on the uniform of a Christian, you are drafted into the army of God. It’s not some weird thing; it’s not some spooky thing. It just means you have set yourself up as the antithesis of all that is the enemy.”

When you accept Christ as your Savior, Kolenda says, you represent the goodness of God—the light of the life of the kingdom of heaven.

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And as a result, you become a target in this spiritual war. Whether some Christians want to acknowledge it or not, they will encounter spiritual warfare from time to time during their lives. In essence, if the enemy is attacking you, you must be doing something right for the kingdom.

But Kolenda says if, as a believer, you don’t know that you are involved in the spiritual war, you may be falling into the traps of the enemy and succumbing to the enemy without realizing it.

“That’s why the apostle Paul says that we are not ignorant of the enemy’s devices,” Kolenda says. “It’s very important for us, as soldiers in this battle, to understand that we’re in the battle, to understand how it’s being fought and to understand how the enemy is trying to trap us and trick us. If we understand what’s going on, it allows us to be better equipped to fight back and to do what is necessary to be victorious.”

Kolenda explained that believers don’t literally pick up weapons and try to attack an entity. We’re not actually exerting physical energy to overcome an opponent.

Oftentimes, he says, believers are actually fighting with themselves internally.

“There are principalities and powers and rules of the darkness of this world, but they are often influencing us through our own minds,” Kolenda says. “The battle, very often for a believer, rages first and primarily between the ears. That is really where the battlefield is. If you find that if you can win the battle here, the enemy can do all kinds of things externally and have very little power over you.”

The book of Job tells the story of how the enemy was able to inflict many hardships on Job on the outside. But Kolenda says that Job was in charge of the way he handled the situation internally.

“This is the way it is for believers,” Kolenda says. “Very often to me, what spiritual warfare looks like is discipline, integrity. … It is a way of thinking, it is a way of living, it is a way of believing that is contrary to everything that is natural in some ways.

“It’s difficult to be able to walk in the Spirit in this way and to maintain that way of thinking, it’s actually kind of like a war, like a battle. It’s a battle with our flesh. The apostle Paul talks about how he beats his body every day to keep it into subjection. That’s an analogy. He’s talking about an internal struggle to keep the heart and the mind aligned. He uses imagery like how we cast down imaginations and everything thought, every argument that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, these are the images that evoke an idea of violence. … It’s the internal battle to keep one’s heart and mind aligned with the things of God.”

Kolenda expounds upon that very principle in his book, “Slaying Dragons: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Warfare.” For more on that and of his interview with Charisma News, click here. {eoa}

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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

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