When You Should Be Talking to God

Talking to the Devil When You Should Be Talking to God

This Is Not Spiritual Warfare – Part 2

This is not spiritual warfare. At least it’s not spiritual warfare the way we normally think of spiritual warfare. When we hear those words, we’ve been conditioned to think, do battle with the devil. We use words like “bind the devil in Jesus’ name, the devil can’t…, Satan you have no…, bind the enemy,” etc. In fact, I’ve heard people pray in such a way that I’ve been very impressed at how well they do it. But how much do we really know about this concept of spiritual warfare? If I were to ask, is spiritual warfare in the Bible, what would you say? Sure? Most people, which means the average, normal person, stops there. Since this is next level prayer, that means we must ask next level questions.

The Popular Spiritual Warfare Phrases
If spiritual warfare is in the Bible, then 1) what does the Bible have to say about, and 2) are we following what it says? When people mention spiritual warfare, a person usually references one of a few popular verses from the Bible. Let me share the most popular ones with you.

  1. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. [1]
    While this statement is true, what is not so clear is the fact that prayer isn’t the central focus, but rather what it takes to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.[3] The scripture doesn’t refer to this as spiritual warfare specifically. It doesn’t use such language and I’d rather not use such language. The words, spiritual warfare, makes it feel like we’re turning our attention to the devil, rather than turning our attention towards God and what He’s given us to stand against the powers working against us.

  2. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal… [2]
    With this saying, we are getting closer to the words, spiritual warfare. This would be a great argument in favor of spiritual warfare and I relent. However, this passage doesn’t discuss prayer. You see, we speak of spiritual warfare as if it is prayer. That’s where we need to go to the next level. Prayer is not spiritual warfare, it is a tool like other tools used to battle spiritual things. Recall in our previous message, Distinguishing Spirits, we must first be able to understand what spiritual things are.

  3. Put on the whole armor of God.[3]
    You have to love this one. Do you know what armor is needed in order to do battle spiritually? Most people don’t, yet try to do spiritual warfare. How’s that? While I would love to go down that path, it’s not my intent to speak of what we do, but how we can take what we do to the next level. Here’s a thought. In the famous passage on putting on the whole armor of God, it’s not until you’re suited up that it speaks about prayer. Could it be that you need to put on your armor before you attempt this type of prayer? It reads, “put on every piece of the armor, so that one might be able to resist the enemy, then pray.” [3] This is “next level.”

Confronting the Devil
How many times can you recall someone confronting the devil in scripture? And how did it turn out? This question is important.
I met a so-called prayer warrior who claimed to do spiritual warfare, but had no references of anyone confronting the devil. That led me to this thought or question. If I were to confront the devil, wouldn’t I need to know how someone else has done it successfully? Wouldn’t I want to see what that type of confrontation looked like in the Bible?

As I searched, there are two examples that standout in my mind and both times prayer was not used to confront the devil.

  1. Jesus Fasting in the Desert [4]
    Jesus came face to face with the devil while fasting in the desert. When the devil tempted Him, it was not prayer that He used to do “spiritual warfare” with the devil. He gave the devil commands using God’s words. Could it be that we’re praying when we should be using the power of God’s words? That’s spiritual warfare. That’s “next level.” That’s what Jesus did.

  2. Jesus Rebukes Peter [5]
    Once, the Master teacher turned to Peter and used these famous words, “get behind Me, Satan!” Following a comment Peter made Jesus recognized it was Satan. I noticed that Jesus didn’t stop to pray. He didn’t bind and “buke “the devil. He gave the devil a command and that was all it took. Could it be we’re giving the devil too much credit, too much time, and too much attention? This is next level. This is what Jesus did. If you want to go to the next level in how you fight spiritually, I suggest you follow the example of the Son of God.

Shifting to the Devil when Talking to God
It’s tempting in spiritual warfare to talk to the Devil instead of talking to God. Here is the most important point I wish to make in this lesson on “this is not spiritual warfare [the way you know it]” and why I’m not a fan of this term as we know it. We all know that God is a jealous God. One of the things I hate the most in prayer (normal, average prayer) is how a person who should be talking to Jesus, stops in the middle and begins talking to the devil. That would be like my daughter asking me to do something and while in mid-sentence begins holding a conversation with someone else. Can you imagine how disrespectful that would be? Every time she speaks to me, she begins a conversation with someone else? Have you ever considered what God thinks when you were talking to Him and all of a sudden began talking to the devil? As if the devil is on the same level as God. I would suggest we never insult God by turning our conversation to the devil when we’re talking to Him. Prayer is where we discuss with God how we plan on dealing with the devil. It’s not a conversation we have with the devil. You see, I was to say it plainly you’d take offense. Anyone who does that is no longer praying to God, but is one who prays to the devil. Are you praying to the devil? I’ve not seen that occur in the Bible so there’s no way I can see that happening when I pray. This is next level prayer.

Question: do you really know what it means to do spiritual warfare?

[1] ‭‭Ephesians 6:12 NLT, Bible.com, accessed February 1, 2023, https://bible.com/bible/114/mat.25.20-28.NKJV
[2] II Corinthians 10:3-6 NKJV, Bible.com, accessed February 1, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/114/2CO.10.3-6.NKJV
[3] Ephesians 6:10-20 NLT, Bible.com, accessed February 1, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/EPH.6.10-20.NLT
[4] Matthew 4:1-11 NKJV, Bible.com, accessed February 1, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/114/MAT.4.1-11.NKJV
[5] Matthew 16:21-23 NKJV, Bible.com, accessed February 1, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/114/MAT.16.21-23.NKJV

All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.

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