How to Stand Victorious in the Midst of Spiritual Warfare
No one prepared me for the drastic change that would occur once I got married. I was prepared for a name change, an address change, and a status change. But the one thing I was absolutely unprepared for when I crossed the “I do” threshold was the physical change that happened once my title changed from Miss to Mrs.
Friends, I’m talking about the “fat and happy” weight gain that comes with marital bliss.
Perhaps I could blame the domestic diva that took over my body—the one who suddenly felt the need to bake casseroles and cupcakes every day. Or maybe, just maybe, it was the fact that we stayed up late at night our first year of marriage watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix while munching cereal. I can’t quite blame the nuptials entirely, but I will confess that I was shocked when, after the first year of wedded bliss, I had gained a whole dress size.
One day I finally got fed up with my clothes not fitting, so I decided to do something about it. We cut out our late-night cereal indulgence (RIP Raisin Bran), and I decided to buy a workout video advertised on TV.
Here’s a little fact about me: I love infomercials. You know, those thirty-minute commercials filled with amazing before-and-after stories. I am a big fan of any transformation: dirty carpet that looks brand-new, acne-prone skin turned baby soft, or a dramatic weight-loss story. I am not safe around infomercials. I’ve pretty much purchased everything: skin creams, exercise machines, food storage containers. Buying the latest fitness video was right up my alley.
I’ll never forget the day the package arrived. I was full of hope that the extra weight I’d packed on would be gone in just twenty- one days. I opened the DVD, popped it into the player, and hit play. A few minutes in, I realized a big problem: I was sitting on my couch, in my pajamas, eating chips and salsa. Yep, you read that right. Sure, I learned the moves. Sure, I watched other people break a sweat. Sure, I felt motivated. But I didn’t do a single thing to apply what I was learning. It’s not enough to know that something is true; we must put it into action.I needed to get up, stand on my feet, and actually exercise.
I could know all day long that lunges and squats burn calories, but if I didn’t get off my tail and do the squats, I would never experience transformation.
Faith is not passive; it is active. There is a vast difference between having a knowledge of the truth and believing the truth. We can learn Scripture day in and day out, but information alone does nothing to resist the Enemy. The realities we face on a daily basis as believers require us to put feet to our faith and stand.
We might sit in church or attend Bible studies and learn amazing truths about God but remain defeated if we don’t learn to resist the Enemy and stand firm in our faith. We can hear testimony after testimony of victory and watch others live out their faith, but all our learning doesn’t help if we don’t put into action what we know. All too often we sit on our proverbial spiritual couches, eating chips and salsa while other people experience victory.
To stand firm against the Enemy, we have to engage with truth, not just know the truth. We must put into practice the power and privileges we have as children of God. Many Christians can quote Scripture but do not live it. We must do both if we are going to stand firm in victory.
How to Stand Firm Against Spiritual Warfare.
1. Remember… The Battle is the Lord’s!
"Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.
For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15
When a vast army surrounded God's people, the Lord told King Jehoshaphat, “The battle is not yours, but God’s.” Likewise, when we face spiritual warfare, we must remember that we do not engage the enemy in our strength or power, but we stand in the victory that Jesus already accomplished. Knowing that we fight from a place of victory is the first key to standing firm. This mental starting point is imperative to victory.
I’m going to shoot straight with you: we live in a war zone. This world is not neutral. We have a spiritual Enemy who seeks to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). But the good news is rooted in the gospel. Jesus triumphed over Satan at the cross. He “rescued us from the dominion of darkness” (Col. 1:13) and transferred us to the kingdom of God. We are now seated victoriously with Christ. We don’t fight for victory but rather from a place of victory. Knowing the difference is a game changer.
2. Remember… To Plant Your Feet on the Solid Rock
One of the primary ways the enemy attacks Christ followers is with shame. The enemy begins with a temptation to lead us away from Christ then turns on us with condemnation just as soon as we’ve fallen. Therefore, the surest way to overcome Satan’s fiery darts of condemnation is to actively plant our feet firmly on the Solid Rock, Jesus Christ.
But what does it mean to plant our feet on the Solid Rock? Jesus teaches us:
Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. Them the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Matt. 7:24–27)
To plant our feet on the Solid Rock means two things: First, we hope in Christ alone for salvation. We recognize that we are fully dependent upon Him for our righteousness. Therefore the enemy has no basis to accuse or condemn us. When we plant our feet firmly on Christ, then we can stand firm against these accusations.
Second of all, to plant our feet on the Solid Rock means we obey Christ’s teachings. Jesus warns us to not only “hear” His words but to also “put them into practice.Obedience to God’s commands is not only right and beneficial, but it also proves to be a supernatural shield against the enemy. Scripture teaches us that when we willfully choose to disobey God that we open ourselves up to the enemy’s attacks.” Practicing righteousness proves a powerful protection against Satan’s schemes. Likewise, in Ephesians 4:22-27, the Apostle Paul teaches us to “put off” our old sinful nature because those things create an “opportunity” for the devil.
3. Remember… To Put on the full Armor of God
In my book, Stand, I take several chapters to explain the Armor of God, which is the supernatural protection we’ve been given to resist the enemy. Each piece represents an aspect of our identity and inheritance in Christ. The armor of God is not meant to be just words we memorize, but actual truths that we clothe ourselves in that empower us to resist the schemes strategies of the evil one. The book of Ephesians teaches us that “when the day of evil comes,” we are to stand our ground and “put on the full armor of God.” Do you hear the call to action? There is an engagement that takes place when we utilize the weapons the Lord has given us for victory. We are not passive but active in standing firm!
Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. 1 Peter 5:8–9
Speaking of resisting, this may be one of the most overlooked and underutilized strategies when it comes to standing firm against spiritual warfare. Many Christ-followers live in unnecessary fear of the enemy or take a posture of defeat when the exact opposite should be true. The more we come to comprehend the victory of Jesus accomplished for us, the more we can stand boldly against the forces that oppose us. We are not victims; we are victorious in Christ. We are not defeated, we are more than conquerors in Jesus. Standing firm in this truth is what enables us to resist when the enemy hurls fiery darts of temptation, accession, or condemnation.
Friends, as one who was defeated more times that I care to admit, I am here to testify that Jesus wins! When we take God at His Word and apply it to our lives, we can experience real victory. We can stand firm against the darkness. Whether you are in a battle today with temptation, condemnation, or any form of darkness, I pray you experience the fullness of God’s power working for you and in you as you stand in Christ.
Marian Jordan Ellis