24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. Mark 3:24
The United States is one of the strongest nations the world has ever seen. While we have always had our enemies outside the country, in recent years, we have been attacked and undermined from within the nation. It’s not shocking to see people in foreign nations shouting “Death to America” but to see people born and raised in this country shouting that phrase is unthinkable, unless you understand something about spiritual warfare.
Jesus was teaching about spiritual warfare in Mark chapter 3. The strong man of this earth is Satan. Jesus defeated (or bound) the strong man when He went to the cross and was resurrected. Before the resurrection He descended into hell and took the keys of hell and death before being raised to the right hand of God (1 Peter 3:18-22 and Ephesians 4:8-9).
Keys are the symbol of authority and power to open and shut, to permit or forbid, or to bind and loose. All authority and power has been given to Jesus. He gave His followers authority over all the power of Satan. Jesus has already bound the strong man of this earth. We simply walk in the authority He gives us to bring about His will.
Satan is still seeking to be the ruler of this world. We do not war against flesh and blood (other human beings) but against powers, principalities and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus never taught His followers to “pray against” humans. He taught us to pray for those who wound or harm us, bless those who curse us and do good to those who do evil to us. However, spiritual warfare is a different matter.
The armor Ephesians 6 speaks about is powerful in keeping us safe and allowing us to wage war against our true enemy – Satan and his crew. Since we cannot do anything without the Lord (John 15:5) we must be in daily relationship with Him so we can gain wisdom and His directions in how to wage war against our enemy. James 1:5 says we are to submit unto God. Resist the devil and he will flee. When we submit to God, we are choosing to align ourselves under His authority and power, denying our own will and choosing to bring about God’s will. In submitting to God, I discover His will and how to bring it about. I get His plan and He gives me understanding of my part to play. He also provides heavenly empowerment (grace) to bring His plan to pass.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. Without grace, it is impossible to have faith. Without God’s love, faith cannot work.
The shield of faith is part of my spiritual armor. Faith comes from hearing the rhema-voice of God. The rhema words God speaks to us personally produce faith. This is why we must submit to God to find out what He has to say about any situation we face.
The sword of the Spirit is the rhema-words of God. Rhema words have a double purpose. They produce faith in us, making the shield of faith powerful. And they are an offensive weapon to wield against the enemy. Speaking out what God has said to you is how you use the sword of the Spirit. When you stand firm with your shield of faith up and confidently wield the sword of the Spirit, the enemy will flee from you. Guaranteed.
Fear not little flock. It is your Father’s pleasure to give you the Kingdom.