Spiritual Warfare in the Church

Argentinean leader Ed Silvoso said, “The Church in the West today presents too easy a target for Satan. We do not believe we are at war. We do not know  where the battleground is located, and, in spite of our weapons, they  are neither loaded nor aimed at the right target. We are unaware of how  vulnerable we are. We are better fitted for a parade that for an  amphibious landing.”

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth, “…in order that Satan  might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes” (II  Corinthians 2:11).

Paul, as a spiritual leader, acknowledges to this  troubled church that he knows the plans, thoughts and cunning of the  evil one. In the context of this verse he reveals that one of the  tactics of the enemy is an unforgiving spirit which provides an entry  point for the enemy’s influence in the church’s life. I also would  suggest that in this statement he is presuming that we can know them  (the enemy’s tactics) and not be outwitted by them for they are well  documented throughout the pages of Scripture.  Scripture reveals to us the reasons for Satan’s fall (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19); the tactics he used in his temptation of Adam & Eve (Genesis 3:1-10) and his devices to tempted our Savior (Matthew 4).  We see throughout the pages of Scripture Satan’s defeat (Hebrews 2:12-14)  and his ultimate demise (Revelation 20:10). Serious spiritual leaders  should be fully aware of these counter-attacks on His leaders and His  church. Ignorance of the enemy’s tactics is one of the downfalls that  many leaders face and ultimately leads to ones disengagement in God’s  redemptive work in the world.

In Robert Clinton’s Commentary on 1 & 2 Corinthians: Problematic Apostolic Leadership, he writes several excellent articles on spiritual warfare.   In one article entitled, “Spiritual Warfare—Satan’s Tactics” he offers a simple listing of times when Paul refers to Satan or the  Devil and or demonic work. I have found these references very  instructive and illuminating and they serve as the foundation of 14  devotional thoughts I am writing for spiritual leaders to increase our  awareness of spiritual warfare.  Clinton states that, “There are over 89 passages in scripture that deal with or mention the Devil or Satan, along with others that discuss demonic  influence.”  Through these simple lessons our focus will be on the 14 Pauline passages, but they all must be taken in context of the whole of Scripture.

Here are the 14 passages and issues we will be examining:

  1. Romans 16:17-20 – Relational Viruses
  2. I Corinthians 5:5; I Corinthians 6:12-20 – Sexual Temptation & Substance Abuse
  3. I Corinthians 7:3-5 – Unmet Sexual Needs in a Marriage Relationship
  4. II Corinthians 2:7-11 – An Unforgiving Spirit
  5. II Corinthians 11:14-15 – Deceptive Leaders with Slick Teaching
  6. Ephesians 4:25-27 – Unchecked Anger
  7. II Corinthians 12:7 – Sickness & Disabilities
  8. Ephesians 6:10-20 – Lies, Half Truths & Unreliable Perspectives
  9. I Thessalonians 2:17-19 – Closed Doors
  10. II Thessalonians 2:9-12 – False Signs and Wonders
  11. I Timothy 1:18-20 – Severed Conscience
  12. I Timothy 3:6 – Immaturity and Pride
  13. I Timothy 4:1-4 – False Teachers
  14. II Timothy 2:24-26 – Blinding People

My prayer is that we as a missional leaders will start will use these lessons in building up our spiritual muscles; refocusing our spiritual  dependence and receiving God’s spiritual discernment.

Remember all missional  advancement always engages missional resistance (Matthew 16:18-19).

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About Gary Rohrmayer

Gary has a unique focus in mobilizing and mentoring leaders into the harvest field. He specializes in equipping leaders in areas of spiritual formation, church multiplication and church health. Gary’s vision is to see that no leader travel their ministry journey alone. He desires to emulate the ministry of Barnabas by becoming a son of encouragement to the next generation of leaders.
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