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Spiritual Warfare and 3 Accountability Questions

by George Hartwell M.Sc. - a Christian counselor with a masters degree from the University of Calgary, 40 years experience and who integrates prayer therapy into his professional counseling practice.  To learn all About George or his professional practice see: George's Professional web site, Christian marriage counselling, Christian phone therapy, and Christian Marriage Retreats.  To e-mail George click on:

Spiritual Warfare and Three Accountability Questions

 The three accountability questions for those involved in Spiritual Warfare are:

1.  Who are you?

2.  Where are you going?

3.  What is your mission?

When Spiritual Warfare Heads in the Wrong Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Warfare heads in the wrong spiritual direction when:

1.  The main emphasis is on your Christian identity as a spiritual warrior.

2.  Your main direction is against Satan, therefore toward Satan.

3.  Your main mission is to attack Satan and, therefore, to engage Satan.

Not "Spiritual Warrior" -  Your Main Christian Identities are: 

A.  Child of God - We are 'children of God' John 1:12

You are heading in the right spiritual direction on your spiritual warfare if your main identity is not being a spiritual warrior.  Instead your main identity is a reflection of who God is.  Your identity is God focused.  In relation to the Father God you are his child, a "son of God."

B.  Bride of Christ 

"Spiritual Warrior" is the wrong direction because the focus in on who the devil is not on who God is.  Any such identity leads us away from worship. In relationship to Jesus as the Savior you are the Saved.  In relationship to Jesus our Redeemer you are the redeemed.  In relationship Jesus as our Good Shepherd you are a sheep of His flock.  With Jesus as the soon returning Groom you are the Bride of Christ.  We manifest spiritual gifts as part of the Body of Christ.

C.  Temple of the Holy Spirit

If spiritual warfare gets our focus on Satan then Satan wins.  He wants the attention (the glory).  He wants to get the attention off God and onto him.  He wants worship and to undermine true worship of God in spirit and in truth.  In relationship to the Holy Spirit we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.  Temples are about worship and the most important issue in spiritual warfare is who we worship.

Our Main Direction: following Jesus and a being available to the Holy Spirit.

Remember, then, to focus on God, follow Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Your identity is based on who we are in relation to God.  Remember scripture that says: 'resist the enemy and draw near to God.'  Resist the enemy by drawing near to God in worship.  God inhabits the praises of his people.  He 'draws near' as we worship him.

Your Main Mission is Building the Kingdom of God, Glorifying Jesus

Your main mission is to seek the Kingdom of God and build up the Body of Christ.  Remember that Jesus destroyed the works of the enemy by "doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil." Acts 11:38.

An Example: the Temptations of Jesus

There are various ways the devil would tempt us and draw us in the wrong direction in spiritual warfare.  To prepare ourselves let us study the temptations of Jesus in Luke Chapter 4.

First Temptation: To take authority and command.

The first temptation is based on a misunderstanding of the identity of God and of his Messiah.  God's man was not to be a king who used his authority to make commands.  The devil started right in on distorting Jesus identity as the Son of God.

The devil tempted Jesus: "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."  The devil tempts Jesus to command and so misunderstand his identity (and the identity and nature of God.)  Jesus refuses to distort His identity by "commanding."  We should also refuse to distort our identity by "commanding" the devil or the princes of darkness.

Jesus resisted this temptation and so should we.  Jesus did not grasp unto power of his identity to command.  Jesus: "made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant."  He "humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."  Philippians 2:7,8.

The wrong identity of the Christian as a Spiritual Warrior suggests that we are to command.  If we are God's ambassadors then shouldn't we be commanding Satan, attacking the princess of darkness and winning the war for God, suggest this wrong headed line of teaching.

We should not fall for this temptation.  We should not accept the identity of the warrior.  Following Jesus leads us in the direction of a humble servant.

We should not command Satan and bind his princes when Jesus would not even command a stone to turn to bread.  Please note that there is no example of Jesus 'binding Satan,' of Peter or John 'binding princes of darkness' or of Paul commanding principalities and powers.  (Paul said to stand not to command in Ephesians 6:12 and following.  Study the actual verbs and actions that Paul teaches here.  He never says to "command.")  Resist the temptation to power - the temptation to command the devil.  For mare about this passage in Paul see Spiritual Warfare in Everyday Life.

Why not study the other two temptations of Jesus and see how they relate to the three accountability questions?

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