Destroying marriage is a demonic activity, therefore we should not be surprised by elements of spiritual warfare. The destruction of man and woman within marriage began in the Garden and continues to this day.
How do we identify spiritual battle? Jesus said, “The one who is not with Me is against Me; and the one who does not gather with Me scatters” (Matthew 12:30). If it doesn’t look like Jesus, sound like Jesus, act like Jesus, it’s not Jesus. When we see selfish ambition and envy, we know we are dealing with satanic drivers–the same motivations that drove Lucifer to sin against God.
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. (James 3:14-16)
How do we fight an adversary so bent on our destruction? The Apostle Paul, who suffered much at the hands of sinful men wrote:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage battle according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)
What are our weapons? How do we use them? How can we begin to survive?
- It begins in your mind: We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
We must begin by examining every thought that comes through our minds–whether it is true or false; whether it is from God, self, an abuser, or the world. This is where the battle begins. Those that are good and true, we keep. We feed, nurture and grow. Those thoughts that are false, evil, and destructive, we take captive–take them down, lock them up and throw away the key.
- Your goal is not to destroy your abuser, to gain ground, or defeat the enemy. Your goal is to stand firm:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil…. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore… (Ephesians 6:10-11, 13-14)
- Do not give in to fear. You have supernatural protection (Ephesians 6:10-17):
- You have the protection of truth (your most private areas–your loins–by what really happened/reality, not a skewed version of it),
- you have the protection of righteousness (Jesus has you covered–your heart, your vital organs),
- you have the protection of peace (the gospel gives you peace with God, you can shuffle and move, but you are always on His side; you cannot be moved)
- you have the protection of faith (no matter what the enemy attacks you with, you belong to God; you are His personal child and possession. Cling to that. It is your defense)
- you have the protection of your salvation (your mind/head/decision making is sound; you belong to Christ and Christ alone. He is your Husband; your Shield, your very great reward)
- You are armed with the Word of God (your personal weapon of attack–it is living, powerful, active, a double-edged sword that divides between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, the thoughts and intentions of the heart–Hebrews 4:12).
- You are armed with prayer. You have direct access to God the Father, the Ruler and Jesus, His Son, the Creator, Sustainer, Savior is praying on your behalf. When you do not have word, God the Spirit interceded for you in accordance with the will of God with groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26).
- You have practical protection. God intends the church to protect you. A Roman soldier fought in a unit called a contubernium, composed of 8 legionaries. This was the smallest unit. Ten contubernium formed a centuria (most of us are familiar with the term centurion because of other encounters in Scripture. A centurion was an officer of 80 soldiers—a complete formation of contubernium. As believers in Christ, we wear the same armor. We serve the same Master. We fight the same enemy. We need each other. We are called to watch each other’s back.
God has given the government as His minister. Use it. God has provided individuals who love Him; use them. God will provide individuals who know nothing about Him; use them. God provides legal counsel. Take it. Keep your eyes open and your lips asking.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)
- God is with you. If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin–and Christ only–He is in you. You are not alone. You have allies. You have a battle plan. You can fight the enemy. You can succeed. You may lose a battle, but you will win the war.
Read it one more time:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having belted your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be alert with all perseverance and every request for all the saints.. (Ephesians 6)