We know that we do not war against flesh and blood, but against spiritual adversaries in high places. We should also realize that the battles we fight are very specific, and only as the Lord directs. Though we all engage at some level in our collective war against the unseen enemy, not everyone is called to fight the same way – or in the same battle. The truth is, not every battle is ours to fight.
Given the many battles currently raging, I recently asked the Lord how He wanted me to engage. As a watchman on the wall, I see a national war playing out with ongoing conflicts and skirmishes. I also see the warfare in the Church as leaders are falling and the Body is divided. Then there are the battles closer to home regarding my community and family. How do I determine which ones the Lord has called me to? Am I to assume He wants me to “fight” in whatever battle I see, or simply choose what I deem to be priority? Or, is there something else that determines how I specifically engage in this warfare?
As I was praying on this, I pictured the battlefield in front of me. I was immediately drawn to the sword of the warrior. In Scripture, we know this represents God’s Word. It is His truth that He gives as a weapon against the enemy (Ephesians 6:17, Hebrews 4:12). His truth is a weapon of righteousness for which we demolish strongholds and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 6:7; 10:4-5).
As soon as I saw this, I heard:
The battles you engage in will be determined by the specific truths I give you about those battles. It is not the desperation of need or even your own good ideas that determine which battle to enter. Pay attention to what I put in your hand. Only enter the battlefield when you are wielding a sword that is hewn by My Spirit, engraved with My Words, and exhibits fresh fire from the throne. Therein lies your confidence and your victory.
As this revelation hit me, I immediately thought of the many truths the Lord gave me concerning this nation several years ago through some prophetic dreams. Armed with fresh intel from the throne, I knew I was called to that specific battle with His sword of truth. As long as He gave me fresh manna concerning that battle, I continued to lift up His Word. But then, my assignment seemed to change as the prophetic intel concerning that specific battle shifted. There seemed to be a lull in fresh information and then He started giving me prophetic dreams about the Church (specifically IHOPKC). Again, armed with those specific nuggets of truth, I engaged in that battle to cut down the lies and deceptions of the enemy. I engaged in that battle due to the specific sword He put in my hand. The same thing has happened when the Lord has given me fresh information regarding my church or my family. Instead of presuming to take on every battle in sight, I’ve learned to wait and look for His direction before walking onto any battleground.
DOES GOD WANT US TO FIGHT?
There are several Old Testament examples where leaders asked before even considering going into battle. Knowing that victory would only be assured if God was backing their warfare, wise kings always inquired of the Lord first.
Kings knew that they had to heed the word of the Lord when dealing with their enemies. To not do so would mean sure defeat. This is one reason why they would inquire of prophets before considering war. They never entered a battle unless they knew they would win (1 Kings 22:6).
How often do we inquire of the Lord concerning a particular battle? Do we automatically assume we are to “wage war” against any enemy we see? Do we presume upon the sword in our hands without first examining it’s veracity or blessing?
Throughout the Old Testament, the record shows that God’s first priority was not for His people to engage in warfare, but to obey His commands. As a matter of fact, it was when they rebelled against the Lord that any warfare was sure to go very badly.
Even though the Old Testament is filled with ground level warfare, it was never God’s intention for His people to fight. It was His intention to fight FOR them – if they would simply trust Him and obey.
An overriding lesson here is that God desires for us to trust Him in fighting the unseen battles raging against us. He has given us armor to protect us, and our faith in Him is of utmost importance. He will continually test us to see how much we really trust His ability over our own. Secondly, we cannot presume that every battle we see is ours to fight. When we take the time to ask, He will indicate our level of engagement by the truths He reveals.
According to Ephesians 6:10-18, we are given four directives when facing a battle. 1) Put on His armor for protection, 2) use the sword of His Word as directed, 3) pray at all times, and 4) after everything else has been done – stand firm. Thus, our level of engagement may be to intercede for everyone else on the battlefield. And after praying, simply stand fast and hold your position. All of these are powerful tools in spiritual warfare.
The next time you are experiencing spiritual warfare, take the time to ask the Lord how He wants you to engage. Ask Him for a fresh revelation of His truth regarding the battle and consider the role you play. Are you called to be on the frontlines of that battle through your proclamations of truth, or on the perimeter interceding for others? If you have been faithful in following His directives, and have yet to see the fruit, simply stand and hold fast.
Ultimately, it is not those with the largest swords or loudest protests that will win. It is those who listen for His voice, follow His commands, and trust in HIS battle plans, that will defeat the enemy and come out as victors.