Why Spiritual Warfare Doesn’t Work & What to Do Instead

 

You want to win the battle over the enemy and the forces of darkness, but let me tell you why spiritual warfare, as some know, doesn't work. And let me show you a better way. This is the way Paul and the disciples battled the enemy that cleared the air and made things happen in the spirit realm. And it will work for you too.

First, let me start with this little story that connects to how most people do spiritual warfare. I was watching the Dr. Oz show a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Oz had his dentist on as a guest. Yes, his own personal dentist! This expert on oral care proceeded to tell the audience and viewers we need to brush for 2 minutes at least twice a day. If you brush less than 2 minutes you will be creating movement but not removing all of the plaque and bacteria.

2 Minutes! Yes, 2 LONG minutes. I don't know about you, but I don't have the time nor the patience to stand there brushing my teeth for 2 minutes. But this was what he recommended. Why? Because it worked.

So, the next day, I stood at the sink for 2, count em 2, agonizing minutes. It was the most time-consuming tooth brushing I had ever experienced. I kept wondering, "How much longer can I hold out here?"

I turned on the TV. I whipped out my iPod. I tried all kinds of ways to pass the time. Time doing something I thought I was doing the right way all along. But now I had been educated. Now I knew the truth and I had no excuse.

And guess what? Now I have better results. After a 2-minute brushing my teeth really did feel cleaner. It was more effective. Thank goodness I listened to the expert.

How often do we do the same thing with spiritual warfare? Yeah, stick with me here. A lot of us have been falsely taught to go about it the wrong way. Thinking all along we are making a big dent in the spirit realm by praying up a storm.

Brushing the enemy away doesn't happen by speaking to the powers of darkness and demanding they move out of our town, out of our church, or out of the way of revival in people's lives.

Doing this is like trying to forcefully clean your teeth in 30 seconds expecting to brush away all the grime. You can't brush away spiritual powers by binding a spiritual power or by spending an enormous amount of time in prayer. Skeptical? Let's dig deeper.

Take a look at all of the New Testament scriptures. You will find:

  1. Jesus never sent his disciples out to do spiritual warfare.
  2. Paul never suggested his readers do spiritual warfare.

Yes, there are satanic and demonic powers in the air. The Bible clearly states this. But it doesn't say that the way to fight them is to pray up a storm.

Want to know what kind of Spiritual Warfare works?

The Bible says the way to fight is to take every thought captive with the Word of God.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. NLT

The weapons that 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5 talk about are the weapons in our mind. That's where the spiritual war is located. The wrestling is in our thoughts and the thoughts that other's have. The battleground is where the thoughts are that keep people from knowing the truth of God’s Word.

Ephesians 6:11-17: Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. NLT

Since the fight is against thoughts, then the weapon has to correct thoughts. The only weapons that can correct wrong thoughts are right thoughts. And right thoughts come from God's Word.

The weapon is the Word. Bringing truth to people's minds is spiritual warfare that makes impact. It's helping them to exchange the evil thoughts Satan injects into their minds with God's thoughts.

The war is won when a person takes the right thought captive. Winning is determined by which thought - Satan's or God's – will be believed and acted upon.

Which thoughts do you and others have more faith in - God or Satan's? The answer will determine which spiritual force wins.

Binding a specific demonic power seems like it would work, but that's not the model scripture gives us. The way to win the spiritual war is to teach people the truth. You can pray all you want that this force will move or that force will move. But a better prayer would be to ask God to send someone to show them the truth and that their heart be opened to it. Better yet, you step out and share the truth with those who you're trying to do battle for.

As they begin to believe the truth and live by that truth, they will be set free and the battle in the spirit realm will be won. Demons bow to the Word of God, that’s powerful!

So then, the next time you want to engage in spiritual warfare, here's what will brush the devil away:

1. If it's spiritual warfare targeted toward you: Trade the enemy's thoughts in your mind for God's thoughts. Take every thought captive and you will break free and win the spiritual war. The truth will set you free.

2. If it's spiritual warfare targeted toward others: Introduce them to the truth of God's word. Tell people the story of Jesus and what he did for them on the cross. Show them what scripture says about their situation so they can think God's thoughts not what the enemy feeds them.

When this happens you and others will be set free. Yes, this takes longer than just praying. And yes, it means more work. But, you'll have a lot more impact in the spiritual realm if you do it right.

Fighting thoughts with the Word is spiritual warfare that stops the enemy dead in his tracks and it will work - that's what you do instead!