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-- © GodSpeak International 2003 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.net> --

Author: Teresa Seputis ts@godspeak.net http://www.godspeak.net
Editor: Elvi Glass

Spiritual Warfare And The Prophetic

Lesson 1
There Is A War -- And You Are In It

By Teresa Seputis

Are you one of these people who experiences a "low" following a spiritual "high?" (I am one of those people.) There might be times when God releases an incredibly powerful word through me that sets captives free and brings life to the one(s) it was for. Or maybe He releases a corporate word that mobilizes the body of Christ to work with God and experience His power and anointing. Then shortly after that powerful prophecy, I end up having one of those really awful days when I wish I had already finished all that God has for me to do so that God would "just take me home." Do you know what I mean? Have you experienced this? It might be the next day or it might be a week later, but it frequently happens when God uses me in an unusually powerful way or when I have an unusually powerful experience with God. There is often (but not always) the valley that comes after the mountain top, the desert that comes after the spring or the emotional/spiritual low that comes after the spiritual high.

I used to think that there was something seriously wrong with me because I experienced this. I would assume that God was exposing emotional problems that He wanted to heal, and I would cry out to God to fix me (There could be an element of that still in my life -- after all, we are all "in process." God uses imperfect vessels rather than waiting for us to be perfected before He starts using us. And just because He starts using us, that does not mean that He stops perfecting us.) But God showed me that most of what I was experiencing was actually spiritual warfare.

It works like this, when God uses you to do something powerful for His kingdom, you have just ripped down a bit of Satan's kingdom to build up God's kingdom. You have waged war on Satan's territory, claiming it for God, and you have taken ground from the enemy. And Satan fights back. He is a master strategist, a skilled general. He knows how to deploy his troops and he knows how to pick his battles. So when God is using you in a way that is strategic to God's plans and purposes, then Satan will wage an offense against you, to try and take you out -- to try and stop you from tearing down his kingdom to build up God's. Satan will try to take back the territory that you and God have taken from him.

When you move in the prophetic, you speak the words of God. You submit to God's will. It is not about you and your ideas. It is about God and His ideas. God has a strategy to take ground from Satan. That was one of Jesus' primary tasks when He ministered on the earth. 1 John 3:8 says, "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work." That means that God's primary objective is to destroy the devil's work, to take back the territory that the devil has stolen from Him, and to put all once again under His reign and control. The devil came to steal and destroy (John 10:10) that which was God's to begin with. He came to oppress God's creation and to put mankind into such a bondage that we would not be able to respond to God. But Jesus came to "preach the gospel to the poor ... to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" (Luke 4:18-19).

Are you getting the dynamic? There is an active war going on between the kingdom of God and the devil. The devil's forces are clashing against God's forces. And, whether you like it or not, you are a part of God's forces. Each time you release God's words of life through the prophetic, you engage the devil in battle. He doesn't like it. He fights back. And you will find yourself in the midst of a battle. (Now, the interesting thing about battles is that you need to fight when you are in one, or the other side wins by default. Then they take you captive and they bind you up and they do their best to torment you for as long as they can get away with it.)

Even the angels of God are engaged in a battle against the forces of the devil. The book of Daniel gives us a peek into this realm. In chapter 10, Daniel had a vision that disturbed him greatly, so he fasted and prayed and sought God for the interpretation of that vision. This went on for a full three weeks (verse 2). Finally he had a vision where an angel appeared to him and talked to him (verses 5 to 8). This angel told him something very interesting in verses 12-14. He said, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come."

In other words, there was a spiritual battle going on, and it kept the angel that God sent to Daniel from reaching him for a full three weeks. God intended to give the prophetic revelation to Daniel the day he asked for it. But the devil did his best to interfere with that -- and for a season, the devil succeeded. A demonic principality called the "prince of the kingdom of Persia" held that angel up for three weeks; and prevented him from reaching Daniel to deliver his message. (It is my personal theory that the "prince of Persia" was the territorial spirit over the region where Daniel had been taken captive, and that when he resisted the angel, he did not do it alone. Territorial spirits have a whole bunch of lower ranking demons that are at their disposal, and I am guessing he deployed a whole bunch of his forces against the angel. The forces were so great that this angel could not overcome them on his own and he had to get help from another angel, Michael (verse 13). This passage clearly shows us that the angels are actively engaged in a battle against Satan's forces.

But guess what? The angels are not the only beings engaged in the spiritual battle. As God's children and servants, we are also engaged in this battle. In fact, God always intended us to be in it, and that is why He gave us the spiritual armor of Eph 6:10-18. Here is what the Apostle Paul told us in Eph 6:12, "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age." Paul is not addressing the angels in this passage, he was addressing fellow believers. He then went on to detail what the armor of God for believers looks like: helmet, breastplate, belt, sword, shield, etc. He detailed that for a reason -- the battle is real and God wants us to be protected as we engage in this battle, that is why He gave us the armor.

The enemy counter attacks may look different on different ones of us, but they will frequently come after we take ground from Satan's kingdom. For myself, and many others, these counter attacks tend to be emotional or psychological nature -- getting discouraged and "down," causing us to question our calling and anointing. The enemy likes to tell us that we have somehow "missed it." He suggests that we have inadvertently done something wrong and made God mad at us, that maybe we have disqualified ourselves from the call and anointing of God on our life, etc.

Some of my prophet friends don't get these psychological attacks. Their attacks tend to be more physical in nature. For instance, one gets all sorts of colds and sore throats and looses his voice after God uses him powerfully in the prophetic. He has to schedule two weeks between each of his ministry trips because he knows he will probably get sick and need that time to recover before his next trip. Another prophetic person I know tends to get various health problems that take her out for weeks at a time. And these always come just after God releases an incredibly powerful word through her. And some people experience the "attacks" on their finances and ministry instead of on their health or mind/emotions. The apostle Paul seemed to get counter attacked politically, where leaders of the city would rise up against him to incite riots against him, cause him to be arrested, have assassins who wanted to take his life, etc.

The warfare may take different forms in different people's lives, but it does come. When you work with God to advance His kingdom and tear down the devil's kingdom, the devil fights back, trying to protect his territory. Therefore, battles will come when you move in the prophetic. The devil will release spiritual warfare against you when you speak God's words in power and anointing. But the good news is that we are on the winning side! The devil might send some nasty battles against you. But he can't defeat you and he can't destroy you, because you belong to God.

-- © GodSpeak International 2003 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.net> --

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