SPIRITUAL WARFARE is what we call the battle in the unseen world, including for our own hearts and minds. Spiritual warfare is one of the most important skills a Christian can learn. The concept arises from Ephesians 6, which tells us that our real enemies are not those of flesh and blood, but the unseen powers of spiritual evil.
When we are afraid, face persecution, or are simply battered by the storms and waves of life, we have negative and discouraging thoughts. We get depressed. Sometimes we get angry or have doubts. The frustration can cycle round and round in our heads and nearly drive us crazy. In order to recover, we need to fight against these thoughts. We need to wash them out – or change the channel of our thinking like we would change a TV channel or YouTube video. It can literally feel like a battle in the mind and spirit pushing them aside. But defeating these negative and evil thoughts is what lifts our spirits.
This video opens with Mark, a Bible teacher, explaining to us the battle that we face in our minds. He finds James 4:7 helpful in this situation in several ways. It tells us to submit to God, to resist Satan and he will flee us. Mark finds it encouraging to picture Satan fleeing from him. He is also blessed by the end of this verse which tells us, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” What a comfort to have God near us! Mark especially needed to battle negative thoughts and rely on God’s presence, for during this filming this he was battling cancer. He remained faithful to God and serving him until his death months later.
Then, Dr. Cynthia shares with us how thankfulness can be used as a weapon (Philippians 4:6). When times are bad, we should be even more alert to our blessings. I Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to give thanks in everything. Once we get into the habit of this, it is not so difficult. Dr. C recommends:
“When the big things go wrong, give thanks for the small things.
When the small things go wrong, give thanks for the big things.”
Psalm 50:23 tells us that thanksgiving is a kind of sacrifice that pleases God. It makes a way for us to see the Lord’s deliverance.
Life is hard, unfair, and full of wrongdoing. When attacked, it is natural to lash back. But for the best outcome, we must resist the temptation to fight evil with evil. Dr. C strongly suggests that we recite this verse every day as an antidote: “Do not to be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
Narrator Magdy reads us from James 1:2,4,5 & 12. These verses tell us to expect trials, but that God will give us wisdom if we ask him, and if we persevere, we will receive a crown of life.
Magdy then reads the references of many other verses that equip and encourage us during our times of trial. We don’t take the time to read and discuss them here; but we strongly encourage you to make note of them and look them up when you have time.
- Psalm 27:14 & 35:1 & 68:19
- Proverbs 3:5,6
- Lamentations 3:21
- Romans 8:28 & 15:4
- Galatians 6:2
- Ephesians 5:19 & 6:10-18
- Philippians 4:6, 13
- I Thessalonians 5:17,18
- I Peter 5:7
Hebrews 12:2 concludes this series of verses, and Magdy reads for to us. It encourages us to keep our eyes on Jesus. This helps us through trials by not only seeing him as our example, but remembering that he has gone ahead to prepare a place for us with him. You can grow spiritually stronger by meditating on these verses in your personal devotions, praying them, and putting them into practice.
Other spiritual warfare weapons are available: Exercise, singing worship songs, serving others, working, and taking time think about or do something we like, can also help break depression and the destructive cycle of negative thoughts.