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                                                                       The Battle

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I am a Spiritual Warrior.  I have the ability to look upon a field of battle not yet engaged and discern the coming battle.  I can sense the fight in the air around me as the battle lines draw near.  I can easily look upon the ruins of a battlefield and tell of its many facets of destruction and the weapons employed thereon.  The ebb and flow of Murderous Might is common to my eyes.  Often on my mission I am alone in body, seemingly always outnumbered, surrounded and besieged by a hideous foe and yet . . . I Stand.  My Lord has equipped me with His blessed Armor for my protection in my hour of need.  His orders will I fulfill to the utmost of my ability.  I have been blessed with the gift to heal, so that should I come across a comrade fallen or in need . . . with but a touch, a word, he may rise up and continue on his way, and always forward, forward to the fray.  I have my orders.  I will withstand the worst the enemy may throw my way, and yet Stand!  I shall not give in!  I shall not fail!  The enemy fires arrows of death from shadows and yet I am protected from their peril.

I move with the preparedness to spread the gospel of peace and am furthered in my quest, my way made straight and clear before me.  My actions come from the purest of direction and intent and my faith protects me from flaming words and deceit.  I have secured all my defenses and made fast my wards with honesty and justice.  While I am not to be trifled with or taken lightly by the enemy, I play in the streets and gardens with the children around me.  No doubt or fear pervades my mind, as I am filled with direction and instruction from a higher order.  My faith in an unfathomable redemption covers my approach upon my enemies.  No keener weapon has ever been fashioned than the one I wield.

These are but some of my skills and attitudes as a true Warrior; attitudes and skills gained by seasons of hardness endured in combat, as well as the rigors of discipline and training, in preparation for the shock of war.  As a true Warrior, I am prepared to give all, selflessly, to fulfill my orders.

The battlefields of days gone by looked quite different from the fields of war today.  As I look at our society and the world today, I am aware of a battle being waged around us.  I also recognize the remnant, shattered remains of many other battles fought in our very midst.  The signs of this ongoing war are not seen by the severed limbs of the fallen and the fetid and bloated remains of the vanquished as in the wars of the past.  I do not have to see the charred remains of cities besieged and sacked as in the days of old, nor the litter of discarded weapons strewn on the field by the faint of heart.  I do not have to hear the cries of loss of those families left leaderless with a husband or father taken or slain by the enemy.  Nor do I have to hear the soulful weeping of a wife or daughter subjected to rape or enslavement by the enemy as in the wars of the past.

I recognize a different type of war being waged today.  I see a different type of refuse and shattered remains as a result of it.  Do you see it?  Can you recognize the destruction of homes from the doomsday weapon called divorce?  Can you recognize the broken bodies of battle in the battered remains of abused children or wives?  I see it in every single-parent family struggling to make ends meet with a spouse missing, not due to brutal invasion of an enemy occupation, but rather by abandonment!  Husbands are leaving the responsibility of their families behind to pursue, not the lofty goals of truth, but their own personal pleasure.  I see the effects of this war in the record number of child molestations each year, as well as spousal abuse and battering in all of its many diverse guises, i.e. spiritual, physical, sexual, and emotional.  Like dysentery in the foul, unsanitary camps of campaigns fought too long in the open, moral corruption fills the hearts of men in positions of authority over others.  I see the effects of poisoned water supplies in the rampant alcoholism and drug abuse by the adults and youth of our society.  These are but the symptoms of a reality for the individuals who, for whatever reason, have turned to these measures as a means of escape, or to help them forget the trauma of their lives.

Where was compassion and love for these wounded people in their time of need?  It has been supplanted by further persecution for their infirmity.  Should they be the subjects of further discrimination and ridicule for displaying a symptom of a disease due to a society gone astray, at war with itself, or subjected to the wiles of an insidious and unseen, unchallenged foe?  Do we tend to the root causes of the spiritual or character illnesses of these unfortunate masses?  In short, we do not.  This merely complicates and deepens the problems we all have to deal with.  Had these individuals learned to develop the Warrior within them, many of these situations would not exist today.

Where are the Warriors of our Age?  Where are the Warriors we expect to find defending the bastions of our society?  Gone . . . NO-- just not developed.  They are all around us; consequently, not in the form we had hoped to find them.  Rather they are hostage in the undeveloped character of many of those around us today.

Do you have the courage to embark on the most difficult journey we face as individuals today?  This journey will take you within yourself to discover what truly lies there.  Will you find a person of character?  Will you develop those parts of your character you find absent?  Will you face your fears and take a stand, to develop into the full mature being you are meant to be?  Will you free one of the Warriors so desperately needed by society today?

Are you willing to admit that maybe, just maybe, you are not perfect, that none of us are?  Can you come to that realization and do nothing?  Are you willing to attempt to resurrect a part of your being that perhaps has been dormant for far too long? Humankind as a whole depends on you to develop this aspect of yourself at this most crucial time in humankind’s history.  The world is dependent upon us each to individually develop to our fullest capacity.

The material covered in this book concerns itself with real issues, real dilemmas we face in our daily lives and how we choose to deal with them.  Will we make a positive choice to heed the call to action and meet our challenge’s head on?  Or will we avoid our responsibility to deal with the matter at hand?  These are the two extremes we face, they ultimately define what we, in fact, do, and become.  Character is a real issue.  The Armor of God is a real issue.  Without one, the other suffers, and we are vulnerable.  “To what?” you may ask, and I shall answer, “The ravages of war.”  Today, we face a Spiritual War.  If you are unaware of it, I challenge you to read the first few pages of this book and be accountable to yourself.  You may realize that maybe, just maybe, you have blinders on your eyes.  Maybe you have elected them by past inaction.  Perhaps they are the result of an oppressor.  It could be that some part of you realized what you may have heard about spiritual warfare was true and this may have scared you to paralysis.  You may have come to this realization some time ago.  Perhaps you did not see your place in the fight or know how to take a stand.  It could be that you have been just plain afraid to admit these facts to yourself.  The Warrior within you will recognize the reality of this war.  I submit to you that if you have not taken a stand by now, it may be that you have not developed your Warrior within.  Maybe you tried at some time in the past and did not continue the training of your spirit.  It is time you tried again.  It is time to awaken. For those that recognize the reality of Spiritual War and are willing to find their post and take a stand-- welcome to the fray and I hope this training manual assists you in polishing your armor and vanquishing the enemy.

Often the term “spiritual warfare” is mentioned with no further comment as to what the term entails, or how to engage in it victoriously.  It is assumed the reader knows all about it and whom it concerns, typically leaving the reader to their own definition, limited understanding, and misperceptions.  This myopic approach to such a crucial topic is unsuitable.  In light of the vague or nondescript manner in which this topic is commonly presented, it is no surprise many people are not convinced of the reality of spiritual warfare.  Many cannot discern it around them.  Without proper definition, we have at best cloudy vision with which to view it.  This is much like looking for a black cat on a moonless night with sunglasses on.  That we as Warriors in the army of God may emerge victorious from this battle, the definition of what spiritual warfare embraces, who the combatants are, and what its effects are, must be clearly understood.

In the most simplistic terms, we define spiritual warfare as the battle between good and evil.  While this sums it up, I find this definition wholly impersonal.  A better way of defining spiritual warfare may be to think of it in these terms: spiritual warfare includes the activities of those forces aligned against the will of God and opposed to those who choose and try to do His will.

Spiritual warfare is unique in its scope and effects.  It is far more insidious and dangerous than the typical physically waged war.  While physical warfare may result in bloodshed and death, spiritual warfare goes far beyond this in its scope.  The stake for its combatants is not mere mortality, but rather eternal life itself.  Jesus’ own words from the book of Matthew point this out clearly.  28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Matt. 10:28.

To recognize the reality of spiritual warfare it is essential that we first recognize and understand that we are dealing with forces of a non-physical reality.  The book of 2 Kings contains a revealing story that shows the reality and manifestation of other worldly powers involved in spiritual warfare.  During a war with Israel, the efforts of the king of Aram were being frustrated by the prophet Elisha who was being continually alerted to the troop movements and threats of the Aramaeans.  The heavenly host supporting Elisha, as well as the spiritual blight upon the aggressors, is clearly presented . . . The king of Aram grew very much disturbed over this.  He summoned his officers, and said, ‘Tell me which of you is betraying us to the king of Israel.’  ‘No one, my lord king,’ one of his officers replied.  ‘It is Elisha, the prophet in Israel.  The words you utter in your bedchamber, he reveals to the king of Israel.’  ‘Go and find out where he is,’ the king said, ‘so that I can send people to capture him.’  Word was brought to him, ‘He is now in Dothan.’  So he sent horses and chariots there, and a large force; and these, arriving during the night, surrounded the town.

Next day, Elisha got up early and went out; and there surrounding the town was an armed force with horses and chariots.  ‘Oh, my lord,’ his servant said, ‘what are we to do?’  Do not be afraid,’ he replied, ‘for there are more on our side than on theirs.’  And Elisha prayed.  ‘Yahweh,’ he said, ‘open his eyes and make him see.’  Yahweh opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw the mountain covered in fiery horses and chariots surrounding Elisha.

As the Aramaeans came down towards him, Elisha prayed to Yahweh, ‘I beg you to strike these people sun-blind.’  And, at Elisha’s word, He struck them sun-blind.  2 Kings 6:11-18.

As we are dealing with matters of a different nature, understanding certain prerequisites enables us to recognize spiritual warfare for what it is. First, it is imperative that we as individuals understand that we are primarily “spirit” in nature, represented with a physical form.  When we hold this to be true, we must then answer the question: “From where did our spirit originate?”  This leads us to recognize and acknowledge our divine creator, God, and the truths revealed to us by His holy Word.  The scriptures testify to our spiritual nature: 8But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.  Job 32:8.  5Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee . . . Jer. 1:5.

Next, we must identify the agendas and strategies of this war and recognize they may be played out in the physical realm, while the objectives reside in the spiritual.  The weapons with which we do battle are not those of human nature, but they have the power, in God’s cause, to demolish fortresses.  It is ideas that we demolish, every presumptuous notion that is set up against the knowledge of God, and we bring every thought into captivity and obedience to Christ; once you have given your complete obedience, we are prepared to punish any disobedience.  2 Cor. 10:3-6.

As we cannot expect to avoid spiritual warfare, we must learn to fight and be victorious.  We must recognize failure is a matter of opinion.  Only if we accept defeat in our mind are we then defeated.  As long as we struggle, we claim victory.  Failure and defeat only come with our admission.  The nature of spiritual war is quite different from what we are exposed to in our every day news.  Spiritual war cannot be won with the same type of logic and logistics of a conventional war.  Rather, it is waged with faith, love, and patience.  We must assume that our spiritual enemies are everywhere, and we must be ready at a moments notice to face them down.  Paul, in writing to the Ephesians, not only points out our equipment for this battle, he further identifies the enemy we face.  10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against Principalities, against Powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Eph. 6:10-12.

Continuing in Eph. 6, we find explicit direction as to how to equip ourselves to wage spiritual war.  The above scripture tells us we are to equip ourselves with spiritual armor.  We are encouraged to learn exactly what that armor is, and how to use it.  13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God . . .. Eph. 6:13-18.

The war is real.  The enemy is dangerous.  The stakes are high.  Our societal problems are going to worsen, and worsen far quicker around you unless you learn to take a stand and become empowered to do battle as you were equipped and blessed to do.

Being able to identify the enemy is crucial to effectively defeat them.  God has proclaimed in various names, who the enemy is.  Satan is perhaps the most well known.  It is the influence of Satan and his minions that we are pitted against.  While it is unlikely most of us will confront Satan or one of his fallen angels directly, it is possible.  What is most likely to face us is a confrontation with an individual who has been influenced by the forces of Satan.  38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one . . .. Matt. 13:38.  The scriptures contain many incidents in which an evildoer is said to be possessed or under the control of an evil spirit.  The story of Jesus’ encounter with the unclean spirits known as Legion in Mark 5 or Luke 8 is representative.  Jesus instructs his disciples they (we) are to cast out these unclean spirits as well as perform other miraculous acts.

Bear in mind that one of the first goals of Satan and his minions is to remove our attention from doing that which God would have us do.  This accomplished, Satan would love nothing more than to pervert our understanding to the point of our denial of God in any context.  Ultimately, Satan wants us to recognize him as god.  He wants us to accept his gifts of death, damnation, and destruction, rather than God’s gifts of grace, love, and eternal life.  Satan showed his hand quite clearly in his temptation of Christ.  Then leading him to a height, the devil showed him in a moment of time all the kingdoms of the world and said to him, ‘I will give you all this power and their splendor, for it has been handed over to me, for me to give it to anyone I choose.  Do homage, then, to me, and it shall all be yours.’  Lk. 4:5-7.

Satan’s greatest desire is to destroy our faith.  To accomplish his goal, Satan has deception and lies at his disposal to bring us into a condition of doubt, fear, worry, or frustration.  Satan also has the ability to use physical dangers to bring this frame of mind about.  While the inception of a spiritual attack may be from the non-physical realm, the actual attack is not confined to the non-physical.  We, or those we love, may be physically threatened in such a fashion that fear, doubt, worry, and frustration are created in our mind.  The story of Job is very clear on all of these points.  7So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.  Job 2:7.*  When we allow ourselves to be distracted in this manner, our attention is not on God.  Rather than singing praise and giving thanks to His holy name, we focus on worldly concerns.  The fields of defeat and failure are then created in our minds.  When Satan succeeds in removing our attention from God, he has effectively “cut our lines of communication.”  This is an objective of any wise and schooled warrior, even in a conventional war.

As his vanguard, Satan will often use deception and lies.  He can use any weakness in our character to assail us.  While Satan may never have been a Boy Scout, he is nevertheless a master of tying us up in knots.  His knots are unique and function exceptionally well at binding us.  He and his servants may literally immobilize us: 4And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage . . ..  Gal. 2:4.  His bonds are capable of restricting our will to act.  The immobilization of the enemy is a primary goal in any war.  Once the individual soldiers are neutralized, or immobilized, there is no army.  This is a very effective means of dealing with an army which otherwise cannot be defeated.  An army of soldiers acting as if and believing they are defeated, is defeated!  When his deception and lies have beset our minds, we admit defeat and often think, “I cannot,” “I am not,” and “I will not.”  We must “Untie the Not’s” by giving thanks and singing praise to God’s holy name.  It is amazing how this simple act will loosen Satan’s knots.  When an enemy is immobilized and has its lines of communication cut, it is doomed.  This is the simple, ultimate goal of Satan--to steal, kill and destroy. 10The thief (Satan) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy . . .. John 10:10.  In general, the enemy’s primary focus is to take our attention away from God and turn it towards worldly concerns.  We may then be disposed of in leisure.

By consistently turning our worries, fears, doubts, and anxieties over to God, we display our faith and trust in His promises.  Ezekiel gives us an admonition from God on this point: 31Shake off all the crimes you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!  Why die, House of Israel?  32I take no pleasure in the death of anyone-declares the Lord Yahweh-so repent and live!  Ezk. 18:31-32.  Being a loving and responsible Lord, He will always safeguard us, and show us the way to victory.

Having a better understanding of the generalities of spiritual warfare, we should become aware of where and how this war is waged, and have a clear picture of the enemy himself in his many guises.  As with any war, there must be battlefronts.  One front in which we have little involvement is the theater in which spiritual warfare is waged by God and His angels, and the forces of Satan; however, there are two realms of spiritual warfare that may directly involve us.  They are the following: 

1.  Direct or Internal--This battlefront effects our lives directly and those of our loved ones, and

2.  Indirect or External--This battlefront includes those influences that effect our society. 

While these prospects may seem daunting, we must know that we have already been given the victory in this war, and the enemy knows it.  The enemy will do everything in their power to test your resolve to hold onto that victory and claim it.

Our internal battlefields are often heralded by our daily concerns, worries, anxiety, fear, and doubt.  These may be piqued by such things as the actions of co-workers, criminal acts, or the immature acting out of family members.  Bad habits, addictions, personal illness, and concerns for financial security or job security are also typical daily battles for many people.  For these reasons the scriptures instruct us not to give in to any of these.  They are the tools and devices of the enemy to preoccupy us and divert our attention.  This tactic is common in combat.  It is essential to divert your enemy’s attention.  Diversion accomplished, it is much easier for the real threat to go unnoticed until it is to late.  Has any amount of worry or fretting ever amounted to anything fruitful in you life?  How often do you worry about things that never happen?  If you are anything like me, our track record on productive worry amounts to a perfect “0.”  The internal battlefield is the area in which Satan loves to immobilize us with his “knots.”  We combat the “I cannot,” “I will not,” and “I am not” with “I can,” “I will,” and “I am!”

The external battlefield can include situations around us in the environment, and society in general.  Often the enemy can place us in situations in which we question our beliefs and values.  Alcohol and drug abuse, family violence, and crime have touched all our lives.  You may be forced to take a position on abortion, capitol punishment, and corruption of public officials, or other societal issues.  Our country’s foreign policies are another arena to consider.  After all, that which represents us internationally represents us individually in the eyes of the world.  Compromise, or lack of proper discernment in dealing with any of these issues, can lead to an erosion of our values, and ultimately society teaches these values through our media and schools.

The effects of enemy action on both of these battlefronts can be seen in broken homes, irresponsible adults, and abusive or destructive conduct.  Spiritual warfare is also manifested in infirmities, spiritual bondage, spiritual oppression, and in the worst cases- spiritual or demonic possession.

None of us are assured a life of leisure and contentment:  Quite to the contrary.  We are told that God chastises only those He loves, and that our life will be filled with trials and tribulations: 33These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33.  Not only that; let us exult, too, in our hardships, understanding that hardship develop perseverance, and perseverance develops a tested character, something that gives us hope, and a hope which will not let us down . . ..  Rom. 5:3-5.  We show our true mettle in how we choose to cope with trying situations.  Even when under severe attack by the enemy, we may take heart by contemplating one of many scriptures of power, reassurance, and strength.  Remember this simple admonition: 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Eph. 6:13.  You see, when properly equipped, we can take anything the enemy throws at us.

While victory is not always quick, clean or neat, it is assured us by God through His Son.  Here is an example to show you what I mean: 57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Cor. 15:57.  15 . . . Thus saith the LORD unto you, ‘Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’  2 Chron. 20:15.  So long as we maintain our lines of communication and persevere in the face of opposition, we are guaranteed to meet victory.

Perception and discernment are important keys to properly identifying true spiritual attacks.  Some people consider certain vices such as smoking tobacco, or listening to certain music as spiritual warfare.  It is important to use wisdom and discernment when considering whether one is dealing with a spiritual attack.  Whenever a situation arises in which the enemy may have a hand, it is extremely important to turn your situation over to God with prayer and ask for His guidance, wisdom, and knowledge.  This is one way we keep our lines of communication open, and is essential as appearances can be deceiving. We typically classify something ugly or not to our liking as evil; while those things we see represented as beautiful, we attribute to good.  Unlike the caricature of the devil so often represented with a pitchfork and a long forked tail, Satan’s appearance is actually quite different. 14 . . . Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  2 Cor. 11:14.  We should be prepared for the image of the enemy to present him as one of beauty, guile, and seduction.  Furthermore, Satan has some identified personality traits, such as pride: 4the Enemy, who raises himself above every so-called god or object of worship to enthrone himself in God’s sanctuary and flaunts the claim that he is God.  2 Thess. 2:4.  Another trait is his subtlety 3 . . . as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  2 Cor. 11:3.  Among other things, he is also known to be the father of lies . . . He was a murderer from the start; he was never grounded in the truth; there is no truth in him at all.  When he lies he is speaking true to his nature, because he is a liar, and the father of lies.  John 8:44.

With all of this clearly understood, the question must be asked, “Who does God use to wage His war on Earth?”  The answer is “His Warriors.”  Accepting a commission to fight in the army of the Lord endows one with a new personal commitment and attitude.  The attitude is one of victory and not defeatism.  God Himself tells us where He will be when we encounter the enemy in His name.  2I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron.  Isa. 45:2.  Rather than choosing to play it safe and not rock the boat, we choose to engage the enemy on the front lines, and with this accept and cherish the excitement of trials and challenges.  This brings home to us that the enemy we engage is real.  All warriors need provisions and supplies, and as God’s Warriors, we are to turn every day to the Word of God for our supplies and provisions.  These come in the form of inspiration, wisdom, guidance, strength, discernment, and continued focus.

If we are to be God’s Warriors, then we need to hold dear His instruction and develop those characteristics essential to being a steadfast, effective, and victorious warrior.

God has given His word.  God has given His warnings.  God has given you a place in it all.  God is calling you to come to awareness.  Will you answer the summons?  Will you do your part?  Or will you have to be accountable before God’s throne for being caught asleep-- taken unarmed and quaking by the enemy?

This book is about hearing that call, and having recognized that, TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!  This is a training manual for character development, spiritual awareness, and combat.  It is long overdue; but then again, some of us have been asleep and not heeding the call. It is time to awaken the warrior within yourself.

I have awakened.  I have answered that call within myself. I beseech you to do the same!

For your sake!

For My Sake!

For the sake of us all!

For God’s Sake!

*Satan beset Job with many trials to make him curse God.

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