As soon as we become blood-bought believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we’re thrust behind enemy lines, though assured of God’s protection. However, we’re also reminded that we operate in an environment of spiritual terrorism: “… We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Thus, we must recognize and commit ourselves to train and be ready for battle, and even more so, in these last days, for unconventional spiritual warfare. Whether you are a marine fighting in the streets of Baghdad, a parent living in a sleepy suburb, or even the President of the United States, you must assume your position as a mighty spiritual warrior similar to that of an ancient soldier defending an empire (see Ephesians 6:10–18). …
THE WAR ANOINTING:
Spiritual Victory behind Enemy Lines
by Revivalist Todd Bentley
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” —Ephesians 6:12
While the world is at odds and leaders busy themselves with strategies to fight physical wars, it should come as no surprise to God’s people that we are engaged in a great spiritual battle. From the early chapters of the Old Testament in the Garden of Eden, to the very last chapter of the New Testament, it is apparent that Satan is the enemy of God, and that he actively seeks to oppose God, His purposes, and His people. Satan has ravaged the world for many centuries, and his appetite for power is growing steadily, as he seeks to deploy indirect methods to attack and destroy God’s people. Alarmingly, countless believers today are easy prey. Many are apathetic. Some do not understand the devil’s schemes, his weapons, or his tactics, nor do they know of the weapons, plans, and blueprints God has provided for their defense.
Nevertheless, reality is that we’re in battle. We’re being prevailed against. Some of us are “losing” in the fight against sin and sickness, disease and death. Some of us are losing the battle for our kids to know Jesus. Some of us are battling for our marriages. Some of us are battling against poverty, and the very things that hinder the fulfillment of the prophetic word in our lives. War wages for the fulfillment of our very divine destinies. The “one” we battle against is the very one that can keep a believer from achieving this goal.
As soon as we become blood-bought believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we’re thrust behind enemy lines, though assured of God’s protection. However, we’re also reminded that we operate in an environment of spiritual terrorism: “… We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Thus, we must recognize and commit ourselves to train and be ready for battle, and even more so, in these last days, for unconventional spiritual warfare. Whether you are a marine fighting in the streets of Baghdad, a parent living in a sleepy suburb, or even the President of the United States, you must assume your position as a mighty spiritual warrior similar to that of an ancient soldier defending an empire (see Ephesians 6:10–18).
We are at war. The closer we are to God, the more the enemy (Satan) wants to separate and weaken us. This war has raged for centuries. The prophet Daniel saw the war we would face today: “I was watching, and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them” (Daniel 7:21). This war is with the anti-Christ, or the anti-anointing spirit. We’re reminded in Daniel 10 about the Prince of Persia opposing Michael the archangel for twenty-one days. As the enemy opposed him, so the anti-anointing and anti-Christ spirits oppose our very destiny and inheritance in God.
A Vision of God’s Army
The Lord gave me a vision of His army—the army of the Lord, mighty warriors glowing with His radiance. I believe this army represented the body of Christ today, particularly in North America. It’s an army, yes, an army that God has called. However, I don’t believe the army of the Lord that He showed me, was as He had called it to be.
I knew this battlefield spoke of the spiritual battle we wage with demonic powers and principalities. I saw some mighty warriors wandering around in a daze, not knowing where they were. They groped about in the darkness as though unaware of their surroundings. The Holy Spirit revealed that many of the warriors didn’t even realize they were in battle or treading in a combat zone. Some believed there was no battle, and others did not believe they wrestled “not against flesh and blood, but against demonic powers and principalities.”
They were blind to spiritual warfare and to their adversary, the devil—oblivious to the enemy’s assignment on their lives. They were unaware that they’d even been drafted into God’s army! However, whether they liked it (or believed it), or not, there was a battle and they were engaged in it.
In a second vision, I saw mighty warriors once again in the army of the Lord. They were children of light, girded in His armor. They shone with the light of God’s glory and seemed completely at ease. Some casually ate sandwiches while resting against logs and others just lazed on the grass and stared at the sky. Others fellowshipped with each other, yet all around them, an intense battle raged. Weapons were within reach all over the place, I even saw weapons on the ground close to the warrior’s feet, but they ignored them. The Holy Spirit revealed that this was the apathy of the army of the Lord. Then birds flew out of the heavens, and they relentlessly assaulted and pecked at these casually laid-back and indifferent warriors. The Bible says that the birds of the air come to snatch away the Word of God (see Luke 8:5–15). The birds of the air are the demons that snatch away the Word from a man’s heart, but only because a man leaves it out there, unprotected. The devil cannot take away the word from our hearts if we hold it close and protect it. Only if we care nothing about it, then indeed the enemy can snatch it from our hearts.
It seemed though, that these soldiers considered the birds to be more of a nuisance than a threat. They complained and murmured, but not one on the battlefield reached for the Sword of the Spirit to battle or protect themselves. The Lord spoke of the apathy of the army of the Lord (given the weapons of our warfare, given the reality of the armor of God, and given the victory through the shed blood of Jesus). Apathy kept them from using the weapons provided by the Holy Spirit.
We must be aware that we are on the front lines, because there is a battle. Whether or not we believe in hell, there is one. Whether or not we believe in demons, the reality is that the enemy is real, as is spiritual warfare. We must wrestle against the demonic powers and principalities and take authority to bring them under our feet. Now is not the time for complacency. We must motivate ourselves to use and wield the weapons at our disposal, and shed indifference or apathy. We must open our eyes to the seriousness of the threat of the enemy. In truth, many automatically assume they’ve won, when in reality they are defeated.
God is saying:
“Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD.” —Joel 3:9-11
Arise, take your plowshares, and wield them as swords. It is time to anoint the shield for the spiritual battle that is reality every day, for every day is a combat zone. Our warfare is against real demonic powers and principalities, and a devil seeking to devour, kill, steal, and destroy. The Word of the Lord is to “be sober and alert.”
These soldiers in my vision were mighty men and yet they were unmindful of the war that raged around them. The Bible says it was “time to awaken them for they slept.” Even those warriors in the vision who couldn’t see the battle were mighty men.
God wants to awaken you for battle. It’s time to declare war, in Jesus’ name. Are you ready to join the ranks of God’s army? Wake up—arise! God looks for mighty warriors as described in Joel 2:7–9:
“They run like mighty men, they climb the wall like men of war; every one marches in formation, and they do not break ranks. They do not push one another; every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, they are not cut down. They run to and fro in the city, they run on the wall; they climb into the houses, they enter at the windows like a thief.”
Will you enlist, run, and climb the wall? The wall is intercession and God speaks to the wall’s watchmen: “Take up My prophetic arrows.” All of God’s army, His saints, shall run and climb the wall. I believe God is releasing us into fervent prayer and intercession.
Wield your Weapons
Are you victorious in some areas, but not in others? Do you shrink back or lunge between the weapons? There are reasons why we aren’t overcoming certain battles—victories we should experience because of Jesus. We’re to be mighty men and women who lunge between weapons. We are to engage in warfare and position ourselves in the front lines of the enemy’s camp, even though we know it’s going to cost us, and the battle will be fierce. There is a particular mindset in the Body of Christ today that reasons, “If I don’t touch, chase, or confront the devil or demon, I won’t have to worry.” Saints are afraid to become involved in spiritual warfare or take on a demon or the devil.
We must take up the Sword of the Lord and fight the good fight of faith through the deployment of the weapons of our warfare that are readily available. We can’t lunge between weapons if we don’t pick them up. We can’t win the battles with weapons just laying there. When was the last time you used the weapon of the power of the blood of Jesus, or wielded the power of Jesus’ name, employed fasting, and prayer, or lifted your shield of faith? Do you truly believe in them—in their power to overcome the enemy? If you’re not using them because you don’t understand them, then it’s important to learn what they’re for, and how to use them. Seek a revelation of the power that is in the name of Jesus— the power of the Blood, the power of prayer and fasting, the power of the shield of faith, and then deploy them. Often we forget what is available—but making these weapons a part of our lifestyle ensures that won’t happen. Fast and pray, wield the name of Jesus and lift high your shield of faith in every circumstance.
The shield of faith is our truth and our buckler. It’s the truth of the Word of God, and it’s given to every believer to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one (see Ephesians 6:16). But it has to be used. We are to be doers of God’s Word. When we act, the shield moves when we do, even if we don’t feel it. Is your shield moving or is it stationary? What if you don’t have any words to act on? The enemy gets us in the back. Ingest the Word—feed on it regularly.
There are other pieces of armor that the Holy Ghost has given us that we forget to use, like the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, and the Sword of the Lord. Sure, we put them on every morning but do we use them? We don’t have the Sword of the Spirit until we preach and proclaim what the Word of God says. We don’t have the shield of faith until we walk in that faith. It’s time to take up the armor of God. After all, we are mighty warriors! Our job is to lunge between the weapons. We are to not only climb the wall and intercede, but we are to run along it and become fervent in our intercessory warfare. When we proclaim God’s Word instead of our feelings, circumstances, and symptoms, we are wielding the sword of the Spirit. Make this the year, the time, the moment that you take up the armor of God, wield the sword of the Lord, and fight to win.
O Lord. Train our hands for war! Give us the anointing of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Let the Lion roar into the heavenlies and into our spirits. Thank you Lord for the war anointing. Thank you for drafting us into Your army. Thank you for the fresh revelation of the weapons of our warfare. Thank you Lord, O Spirit of God, for training and equipping our hands not just for war, but also for the victory that we have in Jesus! Thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in the name of Jesus.
God is sounding the alarm and calling the army of God to stand at attention. It is a critical hour for the body of Christ to rise and lay hold of its inheritances. While very real wars rage on the earth, real war is raging in the heavens. Make 2007 the year that you plead for spiritual victory in your households. Prepare for victory in your finances, in your health, in your ministry. Ask for a harvest of souls and salvation, healing and deliverance. Look to Him for victory in your churches and your city. Thank Him for causing you to triumph. Thank Him for releasing victory and war inside your spirit, that you and your loved ones might be forever transformed through war, victory, and prophetic intercession. The battle is yours to win.[/color]