(A chapter from the free e-book Battle plan to victory available at www.firesidegrace.com/shop ).
Now that we have established that the name of Jesus is enough to drive away demons, let’s talk about some other key aspects of spiritual warfare that every believer should know. I’m not going to cover the elementary foundations of Christianity. If you are reading a manual about spiritual warfare you already know the very basics which the author of Hebrews says is repentance from acts that lead unto death. Chances are good that you are here because you want to operate in spiritual maturity.
In order to be effective in the spirit realm you have to understand a couple things. We already established the first, you must recognize that Jesus is the name above all names and his name is the most powerful tool in your arsenal of spiritual weapons. The next thing you need to know is that Heaven and the spirit realms are more real than what you see in the natural. You have to have it completely settled in your heart that God’s word is the absolute truth.
By establishing in your heart that God’s word is the truth you will solidify your faith. You may say with your mouth, “Of course I believe that God’s word is true. I am a Christian after all.” That’s all well and good, but do you really believe it? The reality of believing God’s word is typically manifested through various different signs. You will see people healed when you pray; you will cast out devils. You will speak in new tongues. You will evangelize and see people being saved and you won’t be doing it as an obligation but simply because you love God and you want people to get saved.
I was asking God once, “Why is it that these other people are praying and seeing 95% healing rates and I pray and see like 70%? Why is some people have more encounters with angels and Heavenly visitation and I get a visit like once a year?” He responded and said, ‘They’re sold out to me. They live righteous and pursue my heart.”
I thought to myself, how am I not being righteous? I asked God to please show me and he revealed this scripture to me, “Do not let any unwholesome word go forth out of your mouth, but only good, for edification of the need, so that it may give grace to those hearing.”
At first glance I always read it and thought it was just saying be careful what you say. This is the verse that I always referred to as the ‘don’t cuss’ verse. I wasn’t convicted enough by this verse to apply is to my life. Cussing was a part of my life. It was how I was raised in NY. To hear the F word, or an occasional cuss word in NY is very commonplace. There is actually doctrine out there that declares that swearing is fine with God. When I read this verse, I realized that there was no grace in cuss words. Cuss words do not edify anyone. Since Jesus Is the Grace of God, we learn in Titus 2:11, then cussing and improper use of your words means there is no Jesus in those words. What’s more is that in Matthew 12: 35 Jesus says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” That realization hit me like a ton of Bricks... Grace was missing from hearts, there was sin and rebellion in my heart and I was blind because I didn’t accept God’s word as completely true in that area of my life. My God, what have I been doing? I am so sorry. I asked God to help me quit and, in a few weeks, I was free from cussing.
Not only does not cussing help increase the effectiveness of prayer in your life, but not speaking unwholesome or useless words. Jesus says, “And I say to you that every careless word that they will speak, men will give an account of it in the day of judgment.” -Matthew 12:36. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be standing in front of God at the great white throne of judgment and have to explain to God why I called someone a piece of human anatomy or why I made jokes that were unclean in order to make someone laugh. How do you tell God, “Yeah, I read that in the bible, but I didn’t believe because I didn’t accept it.”
Look at James 3; 2-6, “We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
The words that come from your mouth direct the entire course of your life and the direction that your life is heading. As we learn previously, what you are speaking is coming from what is overflowing from your heart. Next time you want to complain, cuss, say something rude or mean towards someone, or are just talking in general, listen to your words. Are they edifying and exhorting?
What direction are your words leading you to? Is it the direction that you want your life to head? From this moment forward start speaking out your destiny. Where do you want your life to go? Speak that out in your life and into other’s lives. Don't give way to the enemy anymore. Let your words be full of grace.
Another way to make sure that your prayers are being answered is to settle it in your heart that you are praying according to God’s will. Many people will pray and say, “God if it be your will, please let such and such happen.” This is an ineffective prayer.
You need to train your mind to submit to the spirit of God, and you have to submit your flesh to the Spirit of God. Paul teaches in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, the order in which Christians are supposed to subject themselves to God is spirit, soul, and body. Many people will say mind soul and body, that’s not correct; or they will say spirit, body and soul or any combination thereof which are not correct. The reason that Paul put everything in this order is because if you put the spirit man and the spirit man’s needs. When you cause the spirit to take precedent then in your life then your soul (your thoughts, your will and desire, and your emotions) will submit to your spirit (perhaps with a little resistance because the flesh wars against the spirit) and that will cause your flesh to submit since you are now thinking about Godly things. Essentially, this is an Indepth explanation that Paul gives us to explain what Jesus said so simply by stating, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” -Matthew 6:33.
Now we know that submitting your life to God and seeking his righteousness and his kingdom will cause God to give you your needs, after all Paul did say “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19, then all that is left is what you desire.
You may argue that Paul was only speaking to the Philippians when he said that, but I would refute that by pointing out to you that God is no respecter of men. Just because God was speaking to Israel in one verse, or Paul was speaking to the Philippians, or Jesus was talking to the Jews doesn’t mean that what he is saying is strictly for them. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17. All, in Greek, is Pasa and it means all, every part in totality. There is not one part of the scripture that God spoke that wasn’t intended to teach you, or was simply for the Jews, the Corinthians, the Ephesians or anyone else. God is not a respecter of persons.
Since we now know that what Paul said to the Philippians, and what Jesus said to the Jews in Israel, or what David said in a psalm applies to anyone and everyone, then I will give you one last verse that will help you to know that anything you desire and ask God for will be given to you. “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” -Psalm 37:4. The Hebrew word for heart is libekah which means your inner man, mind, will, heart.