For the past two months Tony and I have been engaged in some of the most intense spiritual warfare of our lives.
We were in Taiwan when we received a phone call detailing a situation very close to the heart of our family. God challenged us to be willing to pray and intercede over it, and especially that one of the people concerned would surrender their life to the Lord–something we had been praying about for years. We knew from previous experience what this could mean–every spare minute engaged in intercession and warfare. It would mean that some nights we would be up half the night in prayer–not because we had chosen to but because the Lord would wake us. No more lazy evenings watching TV. Up early in the mornings so we could fit in extra prayer time.
The verses that we sensed we were to pray over particularly come in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
A book by Paul Billheimer, which I highly recommend, called Destined for the Throne: How Spiritual Warfare Prepares the Bride of Christ for Her Eternal Destiny first alerted me many years ago to the fact that these verses apply primarily to non-believers. We are to destroy every proud obstacle that keeps them from knowing God. And the way we do this isn’t through human logic or argument and discussion, but through the spiritual tools Jesus has given us–praise and thanksgiving (Psalm 149:6-9), the Word (Ephesians 6:17), claiming his promises (Romans 3:4; 2 Corinthians 1:20), binding and loosing (Matthew 16:18-19; 18:18), the blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony and the fact that are willing to lay down our lives (Revelation 12:11).
Within two days, we saw our first, very small breakthrough.
Shortly after this at one of our home church gatherings, everyone broke into small groups to pray about the “impossible situations” they were facing in their lives–for example, two families wanted to pray for people with serious drug and alcohol problems. Maybe 5 or 6 people were prayed for.
Within a month, the person Tony and I were praying for had found the Lord due to a remarkable series of circumstances–thank you Jesus, we are so very grateful–and had led someone else to Christ. Another one of the other “impossible situations” had become a Christian too And it is very clear that God is working in two more.
Yes, the timing was right in our particular battle, but spiritual warfare will result in people finding Christ.
The end of this story has not been written yet–it is still an ongoing journey. We have won the first battle and that gives us confidence that we can press through to see the war won. We know that Jesus has won the overall victory.
If anyone would like a list of the verses we use in spiritual warfare, let me know.
I’d love to hear any stories where you have seen something similar.
Photo Credit: One lucky guy (Creative Commons)