Spiritual Warfare; a battle that starts from the mind.
If there is something that the devil can use against us, it is our disenchantment that we have not yet been fully victorious through Jesus Christ.
If there is something that the devil can use to lie to us, it is how our sinful mind perceives the struggles and circumstances of our lives.
The more we live and breathe like servants, like sons, like heirs, like friends, and like lovers of God, the greater the revelation in the heart that the battle has already been won. There is no stronghold for the devil to lay hands on.
Think of it like a trust fall. Looking down from high up a platform, looking at the people who are promising to catch me when I lie backwards, is God, my Father, my King, my Friend, my Lover, all 4 of them fully faithful to catch me.
The devil is hoping that I would have a small fraction of distrust for any of the 4, and hence be hesitant to fall backwards. I could see how this plays out in my personal life. It’s like the devil sees that as I’m standing on the platform, and that I’m leaning more towards the left, because God my Father is on my right, and I don’t think he would keep to His promise. The devil notices that, and he says, “Aha! Here’s where I’ll attack you!”.
So the devil found out that I had some issues with my earthly father. It shaped the lens that I used to see my Heavenly father. The devil is all ready to speak lies that will ride upon this world view of mine, in hopes of permanently shattering my relationship with God my father. The devil wants to poison my belief system!
My worldview was largely shaped by my growing up years. All I knew about the word “father” was fear, pain, dismissal, abuse, rejection. I knew that from young, I have tried to run to him for protection and approval, but instead I was pushed aside.
The beliefs that I hence developed about God was that Him as a father, is unreliable, and unapproachable. As a result, I saw authority figures as unreliable and unapproachable. The values that I bring before my leaders were one of isolation and of distancing. I stand far away from them, both emotionally and relationally. I also struggled to develop trust with authority figures. These formed the values that I inevitably developed to guard myself as I face the world.
The principles that resulted from the values that I developed were: “Trust is dangerous, and is to be withheld until proven worthy” and “Dealing with leaders requires me to be at a distance emotionally and relationally”. The fruits of the principle is that my relationship with leaders are affected. I cannot see myself having a decent conversation with a person of authority figure. I have an irrational fear of them, and I refuse to come close to them, and I reject their advances to build trust and care for me.
The devil is very happy to see this happening to me. He lies to me to reinforce my fears. He would tell me that “I don’t deserve love and appreciation from leaders”, and “I will be hurt by leaders if I trust and get close”, and “I am not fit to be a leader”. These lies dance with the beliefs that I have in my heart like a perfect tango routine. They function with perfect moves, both lashing out perfect moves of deceit to utterly convince me that Father God is inherently not good.
As a result, my joy working in teams is affected. My submission to my leaders is affected. My relationship with my boss and my colleagues are affected. My relationship with my parents at home are affected. My receiving of God’s father love is affected. The devil smirks at his apparent victory in destroying me, thinking that he has deprived me of the very basic need in my soul; God’s perfect love. This is spiritual warfare. The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He is cunning and deceitful, attacking us at places that hurts the most.
So, God set me up for war. He wants me to put on the whole armour of God, which we learnt from our classes that it also means for us to hide in Jesus, for He is our protector. He wants us to fight not with weapons of this world, but to demolish all pretension, all arguments in our minds, that sets itself up against the knowledge of Christ. God wants us to wage war with these lies, and cut it off from our minds. We fight to remove and replace these lies with the truth of God’s nature and character. These lies have to be removed from it’s roots thoroughly, if not it will grow back again. As long as we are in Him, we are sure to be victorious in this war.
Of course, this process of spiritual warfare, and rejection of the lies in our mind, can be quite a long process. There are hurts in our heart that guard our minds from being changed. We need to nurse those hurts and replace it with God’s assurance and tender love, and these take time. Sometimes, we are not even aware of these hurts and lies that might lay deep in our hearts, and we require the Holy Spirit’s revelation for us to be aware of it.
In my own journey of healing and warfare, God had His own timing to reveal His father heart to me. Through various incidents and experiences with people that He placed in my life, God showed me the blueprint of His father heart. My heart was unlocked to this love that He wants to extend to me. Slowly but surely, my beliefs were challenged and replaced.
Well, even back then when deep in my heart I believed that God is unreliable and approachable, I could say with my mouth that God the Father loves us and calls us His children. Full of head knowledge, but no heart transformation. Now, I’m sure to testify that God has started this heart surgery in me, to reach down to the depths of this lie, and exterminate it from my heart. God is also replacing my faulty beliefs of Him with God’s truth. I am growing in my heart conviction that God IS a loving father, and that in His authority, I receive His love, and His acceptance. Hence, I stop rejecting people of authority, because the association between authority and hurt has been broken off. I experience freedom in my relationships with leaders, as well as many other areas of my life that were previously affected by a faulty view of Father God’s love.
Now, standing on the elevated platform, when I turn backwards and see the 4 of them, I notice how faithful and perfect they all are. As I put my hands across my chest, holding onto my shoulders, I close my eyes and enjoy the excitement of falling into the hands of my faithful God. I didn’t hesitate to lie backwards, and soon enough I feel the sense of weightlessness, but this time with no fear, but full of anticipation. Before I knew it, I’m in the safe hands of my loving God. He is good, His promises is sure, and His love endures forever. Amen.