Spiritual warfare is not something we automatically know how to do when we are born again. We grow into it, learning and perfecting skills to walk in the victory that Christ has already won.
We should be learning more every day about God’s ways, the enemy’s strategies, and our role as soldiers in the army of God. Humility helps us better navigate these truths.
Spiritual warfare is not easy, yet we must embrace it as a lifestyle. Humility is the foundation on which all spiritual warriors must stand. Faithful obedience is the strategy by which we enforce the victory granted by inheritance. Humility will always lead us to obedience, and faithful obedience will always lead us to victory. Even a baby Christian can fight like the most skilled warrior if humble and obedient.
When King David was just a boy, his humble obedience and zeal for God led him to slay a fully armored, fully equipped giant who was a skilled warrior from his youth. Humility, acquired through his relationship with God, gave David the proper perspective to see the victory in this situation, and he was able to slay this mighty warrior with a slingshot! (1 Samuel 17) His humility caused him to have a perspective that led him to a great victory for the entire nation of Israel and elevated him to a position of honor.
David loved God, feared God, and understood that God loved him.
“I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” (Acts 13:22)
God is looking for people with humble hearts that dare to believe all things are possible. Faith like that can never be attained apart from humility.
Humility comes from loving and fearing God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and humility is an expression of wisdom and understanding. When we understand who God is, humility is the natural response.
Micah 6:8 (ESV) He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Notice that justice, kindness, and walking humbly before God is required. It is not a suggestion. If we lose sight of this, the enemy already has a grip on our hearts and minds. Living in the chaos that is ever-increasing in this world, it is easy to let these things slip and fall out of step with the truth. Moral decay is increasing rapidly across the globe. Humility is essential to guard our hearts against its influence.
Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV) Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
If we are not selective about what we expose ourselves to, our hearts and minds are filled with things that weaken us and cause us to stray from the truth. Words, thoughts, and emotions are spiritual. We will enable the enemy to shape us into his image when we allow ungodly things in our eyes and ears. We are all clay, and we are constantly being shaped by something. We must be diligent in keeping our hearts pure to ensure that God is the one doing the shaping. When our heart is compromised, humility is one of the first things we sacrifice.
James 4:7 (NKJV) Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Submitting to God requires humility, and humble submission is simultaneously the act of resisting the enemy. Submitting and resisting is a one-step process. Not a two-step religious effort. Without humility, there is no resisting, just cooperation with the adversary.
James 4:6 (NKJV) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
Any act of disobedience is an act of pride. It places us in a terrifying position that no Christian in their right mind would want to be in. A place where God is resisting us. Pride brings us into partnership with the enemy. We can’t fight the enemy if we partner with him, nor can we follow Christ.
Satan represents the opposite of humility. He is the father of selfish pride. The last thing he wants us to do is to submit entirely to God. Our surrendered life is the most frightening and destructive thing to the kingdom of darkness. When we are humble and wholly submitted to God, the devil and all his demons know who we are and tremble. We become a champion for the kingdom of God, vessels fit for the Master’s use, destroying the works of darkness.
Revelation 12:10-12 (NKJV) Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
The enemy knows his time is short. He uses all the deception in his arsenal to keep us from humbling and submitting ourselves entirely to God. We must come to a point in our lives where we “love not our own lives even unto death.” When we do, we begin to walk in proper kingdom authority and true ambassadors for Christ.
Being effective at spiritual warfare begins and ends with humility. Satan will continue to have his way with us if we don’t settle this in our hearts. Without humility, we will be deceived into doing his bidding, hurting others, and bearing fruit for his kingdom instead of the kingdom of God. It is a tragic reality that we all face.
2 Corinthians makes it clear that our war is not against people
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (NKJV) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
A view of the Church these days looks very much like the world in this respect:
Because of pride and selfishness, we engage in heated political arguments, fuel racial tension, and despise authority. We give ourselves to watching ungodly shows and news networks that spew forth lies, stirring up anger and hate in our hearts. We use social media platforms to voice ungodly opinions and think we have a right to “straighten people out.” Doing this fuels emotional fires that cause us to look and act just like the world. It has destroyed our witness and hindered us from being fruitful. The 2020 presidential election exposed the Church’s weaknesses in these areas.
We don’t know God like we think we do. The truth is, we are far too familiar with a God we barely know. If one person could acquire all the knowledge in the world, that individual would still be an infant in their understanding compared to our eternal God.
Humility is expressed verbally, spiritually, and naturally. We can do practical things to maintain and guard a humble perspective.
Submitting to authorities, deferring to an elder, how we refer to others in our conversations, and how we prefer others over ourselves are all actions of faith concerning humility. Our conduct will express our humility or the lack of it.
How we approach God with our words and body language also speaks volumes. Kneeling to pray or laying face down on the floor in worship when no one else is looking is a physical expression of humility and an acknowledgment of His greatness. Not multi-tasking when we are in communion with Him. These are all expressions of humility and a living faith when done honestly.
Humility has a divine strength attached to it. It is time we gain some understanding, expose the enemy’s strategies, and push back the darkness encroaching on the Church. Then we will be able to help the world. It all starts with humility. Without humility, we will never become the “bride without spot or wrinkle.”
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