Business as (spiritual) warfare

The Lord has used our business to teach us much about the Christian life, especially spiritual warfare.

We began The Karis Group (Karis is Greek for “grace”) in 1996, and God wonderfully blessed–for about four years. We moved from the tiny spare room to our garage. When we were obviously violating the zoning laws because of the number of employees in our home, we bought a larger house a few miles away that could legally accomodate the business. Finally, as it continued to expand, we moved the business into a small office building just down the road.

At that stage, we had one major client who had asked us for an exclusive relationship–ie they would be the only client of that kind that we helped. Foolishly we agreed. When, after four years, they decided to take the work we were doing for them in house, we had nowhere else to turn. We had a building with a lease, several employees and virtually no work. Eventually we encouraged most of the employees to find other jobs.

After two or three months as we continued to run down our reserves, the light suddenly dawned. We had lost our client at the very time we started House2House, a magazine that spoke into the simple/organic/house church movement (originally a paper magazine and now a website). Was this coincidence? Of course not. If Satan could wipe our business out, he would damage far more than just us and our business.

From that point onwards, we set ourselves to spiritual warfare. We had no work to do, so apart from the marketing for new clients we did, for hours every day we paced up and down that little office, praying and interceding. We quoted Scripture, we sang, we shouted, we praised. We did everything we had ever heard of in terms of spiritual warfare. At home we did the same. We would have looked totally crazy to an outsider, but gradually we were gaining spiritual ground. We took every spare moment we had to engage in the battle. If we were traveling, for example, we would find the chapel in any major airport so we could continue to pray between flights. (These rooms are usually empty.) We had a picture in our mind of a wire-mesh tray that sat on one of the desks filled with contracts from many different companies. The Lord was training us in battle and gradually our faith grew.

A correlation soon appeared. After several days of intense warfare, we would see a bit of a breakthrough. Maybe a new company would show an interest in our business. Assuming this was God’s answer, we relaxed the prayer and it would come to nothing. We learned that we had to keep the pressure up if we were to see results.

God provided finances to us seemingly out of nowhere. For example, one evening there was a wreck outside our house. A car ran into a tree in our yard. No one was hurt but the tree trunk was cracked. When the insurance company came to appraise the damage, they decided that a tree of that size was worth several thousand dollars. It kept us afloat for another few weeks.

Finally after a year with no work, we found our first client, and our next… We hired on employees again. The business continues to grow today.

It was a tough year, but the lessons we learned are invaluable. Psalm 18:34 says this: He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. The more we practice a Kingdom skill, the stronger our spiritual muscles become.

Have you experienced times of intense spiritual warfare? I’d love to hear your stories. What did you learn?

 

 

  • Jeremy Culverhouse

    Wow that’s a great encouragement and makes me conscious that I need to battle with the promises of God for us. I seem to take ground and then quickly the enemy seems to snatch it back. 3 years of being on benefits has been hugely testing , but I’m determined that with heavens favour , we will see a breakthrough. So thanks for your testimony! Jeremy

    • Felicity Dale

      I believe the Lord has something unexpected in store for you, Jeremy. These days of wilderness are training for something very specific.

  • June Brown

    Tks for the encouragement here. yes when Jim was about to be made redundant almost 2 years ago now, many people had so many answers for us, do this,, join that, see a solicitor or whatever, even apply for disability living allowance, God told us to STAND and see the deliverance of the Lord, that we did not have to fight this battle. 2 Cron 20, Though it was difficult to not listen or act on their advice, we stood and the transition was easy in the end though not painless. We still trusting Him for our finances as Jim continues to seek work, 2 years on, and its been amazing how we have been provided for.

    • Felicity Dale

      Praise God for his work in your lives. When I hear stories like yours and Jeremy’s, I think to myself, “Here’s another set of people that God is preparing for his kind of leadership.

  • John

    In order for the Church to expand exponentially it will need to come into a fuller understanding of the spiritual nature of Her warfare. 

    As She learns to release the full  resources of God on Her arch enemy, his forces will not only be rocked backwards but will experience the full weight, pain, and impact of those heavenly weapons. His minions will be forced to relent and retreat (cf Ps 18). David’s advancement in battle (over the walls and through the troops ) was directly related to a severe, devastating assault from heaven on the forces of spiritual darkness seen in the previous verses. Read those verses and you will see an overwhelming force coming from heaven!  
    In Psalm 45:5 we are given insight into something David discovered about God’s forces or “arsenals” if you will. He points out that “the arrows of God are strong in the heart of the King’s enemy.” 

    My take away from both of these passages at a time when I was going through some very difficult things was first, that God has heavenly, spiritual arsenals. Further, I saw that those arsenals are devastatingly painful to the enemy. They impact the “heart” of the enemy’s forces ( the seat of volition, will, emotion etc.).

    We have been given the “stealthiness” of a prayer language combined with the overwhelming forces of heavenly arsenals that when released through prayer upon our enemy inflicts immediate, serious and devastating pain (“strong in the heart of the king’s enemy”) that forces him to relent and allows personal and kingdom advance.

    • Felicity Dale

      John, Amen and Amen. I totally agree with you. Most believers have no idea of the power they have available to them when it comes to spiritual warfare. What victories they might have won if they had only battled in the heavenly realms.

  • Dori

    I’ve learned to seek God for his perspective about what the enemy is truely after to destroy vs. what God is truely after building, and keep a servant focus for his agenda, not just focusing on how the battle effects me suffering. It’s hard, but when I keep focused that the enemy is really against God and his kingdom, then god always gives me strategy, words of knowledge of what the enemy is secretly doing, a perseverance out of Gods desire, and personal growth. It’s got to boil down to being a servant to the king whether in a battle or victory of passing out the spoils. Too often Christians focus on themselves and what they want, loosing site of the kingdom purpose and thus unknowingly helping the enemy take more ground. I’d rather deal with a Saul who recognizes I’m a threat because I’m on gods side than deal with my selfishness hurting others that the battle is more about. It’s always a battle of kingdoms, and there is always a Jezebel, a Saul , a sanballat, or Hamon, but there is only one Lord.

    • Felicity Dale

      Dori, some deep thoughts here. I agree with you that we have to listen to God in all these situations. Sometimes in spiritual warfare, he leads us to do things that from the outside might appear crazy. I remember one time in the UK, when we lived in a very socially deprived area of London, there were several people in our fellowship out of work. We had them stand in the middle of the room while the rest of us marched round them seven times like Joshua in the battle of Jericho. The final time we praised God at the tops of our voices. Over the next several weeks, all but one found employment. But that doesn’t make this a pattern that will always work. Like you say, we have to follow the Lord. And that leads to personal growth and the growth of the Kingdom.

  • Maurice Smith

    Felicity, thanks for this letter. When I read the letter it literally changed the focus of my day. Gale and I have been under some pretty intense pressure as of late. Since taking the step to obey God and shut down The Parousia Network a year ago we have experienced numerous attacks. It has intensified as we have committed ourselves to write a book on “Radical Faith”. I had decided to spend today (Thursday) fasting and praying over the promises God has given us over the past several months. When I read your letter it was a powerful reminder that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood”, although the spiritual battle often takes “practical” forms. As a result of your letter I altered my prayer focus for the day and spent much of it in intercessory warfare over God’s promises and our situation. Thanks for the reminder.

    Blessings, Maurice & Gale