“I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Acts 19:15 (NLT)
You may preach every week before hundreds or even thousands, and you very well may be popular among man, but the question that remains is, “does hell even know your name?” So much of the church is operating without the power that is at our disposal, engaging in an epic spiritual battle with our eyes closed. You see, unless the church is equipped and mobilized to actively engage in spiritual warfare, they will be walking around as civilians in the day of battle, not even realizing the wounds they are being inflicted with can be prevented. Sadly, the idea there is a real spiritual realm that is constantly battling against us, is almost ignored in the church. How can we fight if we have not been trained, or worse, not even told there is a battle going on that we can do something about?! And to make matters worse, even to address the spiritual battle, engaging in it without being empowered by the Holy Spirit with discernment and all that He brings, is truly like a boxing match blindfolded! As such, much of the church is unnecessarily getting pulverized!
Spiritual warfare is not about being defensive against the attacks of the devil. It is not merely about putting on the armor of God so we won’t get hurt by demons! Nope! It is all about storming the very gates of hell and setting the captives free. Hell should know your name! As a Spirit filled, empowered lover of Jesus who obeys and follows Him wherever He leads, the very gates of hell will tremble at your name, because the name of Jesus is backing it!
Though spiritual warfare includes casting out demons (and when was the last time you did that?), every act of obedience to Jesus is an assault against Satan’s kingdom. Every prayer and moment of worship, every act of kindness, every time you forgive, or you put others before your needs, and of course, every time you testify about the wonderful name of Jesus you are engaging in warfare. Every time to take off the negative critical accusing thought and/or words and instead speak life and blessing, you are engaging in spiritual warfare. Every time stand for things like life (as opposed to abortion), Israel, truth, marriage between a man and a woman, family, holiness, and purity, you are standing firm in the day of battle. The key is understanding that every moment and breath is an act of war against a foe who wants to deceive, ensnare, kill, steal and destroy you and everything you love! Unless you understand all this and are ready to engage the enemy in hand to hand combat, you are not equipped, you’re getting beat up and most likely, not even known by hell!
Cry out to God grant you a grace to be equipped to fight the good fight of the faith! Ask Him to fill and saturate you in the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to give you eyes to fight this battle. Ask Him to show you any and every place the enemy may be camping out in your mind, heart and/or home. Ask Him to stir your pastor and church leadership to take this spiritual battle seriously, and to equip your church to fight in this epic battle. Ask Him to rise up an army across our city, of wholehearted lovers of Jesus ready to storm the very gates of hell. Ask Him to raise up a people that hell trembles before!