Enforcing the Victory of Calvary
I’m not sure why some Christians become uneasy with the concept of dealing with the unseen forces of darkness. The entirety of Scripture is regarding our unseen God and His invisible angels, dealing with an unseen foe and his invisible demons. The Bible is not a fable or fairy tale. Its stories are true, and its characters are, as well. There is a real satan, who rules real demons, and this dark kingdom opposes the rule of God over the earth. Much of what we can see around us in the natural world is caused or influenced by the spiritual, invisible world. Spiritual warfare is simply using God’s authority and power to “resist” the works of darkness (James 4:7).
My friend Tom Schlueter, shares great insights from 2 Chronicles 20 regarding spiritual warfare:
“There are certain passages of Scripture the Lord has been highlighting over the last several years. I believe He is helping us, the Ekklesia, focus on truths needing to be heard and obeyed in this hour, truths that will enable us to bring His kingdom and will to earth, and to our nation.
“One of the passages is the story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles, chapter 20. I've read, meditated on, and preached these words to my congregation, Prince of Peace House of Prayer in Arlington, Texas, as well as to the Texas Apostolic Prayer Network. I believe they are important words for this hour. There are obviously many important aspects of this story, but the Lord has specifically shown me four clear commands for Jehoshaphat and the nation of Judah. They are recorded in verse 17: ‘. . .Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.’
“Holy Spirit first tells Judah to ‘position yourselves.’ The Hebrew word is yatsav, which means to place, station oneself, take one’s stand, or stand with someone. This describes what an army called and gathered on a drill field or the field of battle might do. They are at the ready, having heard the sound of the bugle, and are gathered before their commander.
“Secondly, God tells them to ‘stand still’ (the Hebrew word is amad). This word means to stand, but it also takes on a stronger meaning. It infers the troops are standing still, ready to receive their battle assignment. The word describes what occurs when a commander or general has given the order: ‘Attention.’ No moving; no distractions. Nothing but eyes straight ahead and ears ready to hear orders for the day.
“God then tells Judah to see the ‘salvation of the Lord’ (the Hebrew word for salvation here is yeshua). The word not only means salvation, but also means deliverance and victory - and it obviously points to Messiah, Jesus! Set your eyes on your salvation: Jesus. He is the Lord of Angel Armies, King of kings, the Commander-in-Chief. Await His orders!
“Then finally, Holy Spirit tells them, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed’ (yare and kathath). These words mean terror, fear; to be shattered, dismayed, or broken; to be abolished. You are endued with the power, presence, and glory of God. He will be involved in the battle, therefore, cast off fear! Yes, you will face the enemy, but you will behold the victory of the Lord.
“We must position ourselves, stand at attention, focus on Him, and cast off our fear and dismay. Then we move ahead as He instructs us – as He reveals His plans through His Word, prophetic revelation, dreams, and visions. ‘...and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper,’ (2 Chronicles 20:20).
“Today, our nation needs the Ekklesia of God to rise up as never before. As I have prayed, the Lord has shown me a clear vision of an army standing on the field and ready for battle. I can hear horses snorting. I can see flags representing the different tribes, flapping in the wind. I can see the Commander on His horse, riding before the troops and calling them to attention, battle-ready, against all the forces of darkness in our nation and the world. As Paul declares in Ephesians 6:12, ‘...we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.’”
Some believers possess a passive and deadly theology that says Jesus did all of the spiritual warfare; we don’t have to engage in any. They go so far as to say that “Yes, satan is ‘a roaring lion’ (1 Peter 5:8), but Jesus pulled his teeth - just ignore him.” If this is true, I’m not sure why we need our spiritual armor, nor what the fiery darts mentioned in Ephesians 6:16 might be.
The King James version of scripture creates some of this confusion by translating both Greek words, dunamis and exousia, as “power.” More accurate translations would be dunamis as “power,” and exousia as “authority.” Power is the strength or force needed to accomplish a task; authority is the legal right to do so. In the war over earth and the control of humans, power has NEVER been the deciding factor. The issue is authority. Satan didn’t gain any power at Adam’s fall; he gained authority. When tempting Christ, “the devil said to Him, ‘I will give You all of this domain (exousia - authority) and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish...if you worship before me...’” (Luke 4:6-7, emphasis mine).
Jesus came as a human (Hebrew: adam), to re-take Adam’s lost authority and, of course, succeeded. He announced in Matthew 28:18, “All authority (exousia) has been given to Me in heaven and on earth,” (emphasis mine). Colossians 1:13 says, “He delivered us from the domain (exousia - authority) of darkness...” Again, satan didn’t accrue any new power at the Fall and he didn’t lose any at the Cross. He lost authority - the right to use his power, curses, demons, etc., on those who come out of his kingdom and into Christ’s. He will try to do so, however, and when he does, we must enforce the victory of Calvary, resisting him and binding his actions in Jesus’ name or authority.
As Tom points out, spiritual warfare will be necessary for us. The very Hebrew word for intercession (paga) actually means “to fall on, attack, or impale” an enemy. Holy Spirit, through Paul, used words such as “fight,” “warfare,” and “wrestle” to describe our activities when dealing with the powers of darkness (1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 6:12).
The good news, of course, is since Christ has already defeated satan, stripping him of his right to rule us, our “warfare” is simply to enforce - in Christ’s name - the victory of Calvary, NOT re-defeat him! We war from Christ’s victory, and do so with His authority.
“But we thank God for giving us the victory as conquerors through our Lord Jesus.”
(1 Corinthians 15:57 TPT)
Pray with me:
Lord, just as your servant, the Apostle Paul, declared that he had finished the race and fought the good fight, carrying out the commands of his Savior and Lord, we also stand before You today, awaiting Your instructions. It is all for Your glory and Your Kingdom and for the fulfillment of Your will. We set our eyes on You, Jesus, and await Your commands.
We stand ready to enforce Your victory. We will do so for ourselves, our families, and all to whom You assign us. To You belong the spoils of victory. The earth is Yours; the nations are Yours. Everywhere You send us, You have all authority there. So we stand ready to go as Your ambassadors, speaking in Your name and releasing Your life.
Today, we release Your life to our homes and families. We release it to our cities and nations. We release it to the bound, the hurting, and the lost. We stand ready to release Your very life and anointing, Jesus, in every place and to everyone. In Your name, we pray, Amen.
We set our eyes on Jesus. We confess and decree that He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith, and we will run with endurance the race He has set before us.
Portions of today’s post were contributed by Tom Schlueter and taken from his book Wielding the Axe. You can find out more about him here.