You've heard it said the enemy doesn't fight fair. Well, that's a spiritual-warfare understatement if I've ever heard one. The devil is a dirty fighter—and he's just as subtle as he is dirty. He never sleeps or slumbers, but he works to put us to sleep through apathy, complacency and waves of weariness.
Indeed, Satan has been working since the Second Great Awakening to put the church back into a deep sleep. He had some stops and starts. The Asuza Street Revival, the birthplace of the modern Pentecostal Movement, revived the saints at the beginning of the 20th Century. But that slumbering spirit crept back in unawares.
Although Pentecostals and charismatics are the fastest-growing segment of the church in the 21st century, the enemy effectively lulled much of the church to sleep a long time ago—even Pentecostals and charismatics. We were sleeping when prayer was taken out of schools and we were sleeping when abortion was legalized. Some segments of the church are waking up and fighting in the culture wars but the majority is still like listening to the enemy's lullabies (see Judges 16:19).
I was at the Florida Supreme Court recently praying before I got on the air with Pastor Greg Young of Chosen Generation Radio. We talked about the state of the nation but quickly moved into spiritual warfare principles. What's the difference between power and authority? Why do we have to fight if Jesus already won the victory? Click the headline to listen in to this week's broadcast.
When we're in the midst of a spiritual battle—whether over our personal lives, our families or even contending for revival in our cities and awakening in our nation—many sincere believers tend to petition God to rise up and take action against the enemy.
The problem is: When it comes to matters of spiritual warfare, it's not God who needs to wake up and rise up. It's us.
Jesus defeated the enemy on the cross (see Col. 2:15). Now, that doesn't mean that the enemy can't wreak havoc in our lives, in our cities or in our nations. Look at what's happening in Iraq, China and the United States of America. Persecution is rising in the Middle East and Asia, while much of the church is sound asleep on prophetic pillows of prosperity in the Western world.
Clearly, there's a devil on the loose. A literal onslaught of principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places is working hard to fulfill Satan's mission (see Eph. 6:12). Our job is to get instructions from the Holy Spirit in a place of worship and waiting on the Lord, run to the battle line with eyes wide open, fully awake to what's happening in the spiritual realm, and enforce Christ's victory over the devil He defeated. Victory belongs to us if we follow the Holy Spirit's battle plan.
First an artistic, devil-inspired barista took demonic to a whole new level with one lady's latte—crafting a satanic symbol in a Catholic woman's Starbucks drink. That's only somewhat surprising, given Christian complaints over Starbucks' so-called Jezebelic logo over the years.
Now, a burger chain symbolized by its golden arches is making headlines for something nearly as sinister: a golden swastika depicted in butter on a chicken sandwich bun she bought from a McDonald's drive-thru in Morehead City, North Carolina. Swastikas are anti-Semitic symbols made famous by Germany's Nazi Party during the Holocaust that killed millions of Jews.
"Is this a joke? Does somebody really think they're funny?" Charleigh Matice, the customer who discovered the swastika when she set out to put mayo on her sandwich, told WCTI12.com. "Many people died because of that symbol, and it's not something that should be taken lightly. It's not something that should be thrown around. I really didn't have an appetite at that point, so I said I'd rather have my money back."
Not a single woman was listed among David's mighty men but that doesn't mean God doesn't use women mightily in warfare. Of course, in modern times we aren't wrestling against flesh and blood like the Joshua generation, Israel's many judges or David's mighty men. But the battle is just as real in the spirit realm.
Deborah the judge and prophetess offers a strong example spiritual warriors can draw from in modern battle—and so do Jael and Rahab. Whether you are spiritually mature enough to lead the spiritual warfare campaign or are just entering into the truth of spiritual warfare, you can glean lessons from the brave actions of women in the Old Testament.
First let me stress this point: As a believer in Christ, you have spiritual authority. If you are a disciple of Christ, Jesus promises you this: "I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you" (Luke 10:19). Jesus also said, "In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover" (Mark 16:17).
The devil always overplays his hand and, ultimately, the devil always exposes himself in the end. Although there's no Scripture and Verse in the Bible that says that, there are plenty of examples in the Word that prove the point.
When I listened to my voicemail I was absolutely shocked. An angry young man on the other end line spewed, "How dare you, Jennifer LeClaire, tell Michael you don't believe me. Don't you know that I get every message you send and receive on your phone? How dare you!"
Yes, apparently someone I know found a way to hack into my smartphone's messaging system and intercept every text message I sent or received. This person was reading personal details about my life, as well as the lives of those I was ministering to, for months. It was beyond creepy.
Of course, when I realized this I immediately signed out of my messaging account and changed all my passwords. But when the dust settled I was reminded of a lesson: the devil always overplays his hand and, ultimately, the devil always exposes himself in the end. Although there's no scripture and verse in the Bible that says that, there are plenty of examples in the Word that prove the point.
Religious spirits are nefariously nasty. The spirit of religion works to murder reputations, pervert the revelation of who we are in Christ, put us in bondage to legalism and much more. But I've discovered in recent years that all religious spirits aren't created equal. Yet the do have one thing in common. Click the headline to get to the next page and watch the video.
Religious spirits are nefariously nasty. The spirit of religion works to murder reputations, pervert the revelation of who we are in Christ, put us in bondage to legalism and much more. But I've discovered in recent years that all religious spirits aren't created equal.
Actually, a more accurate way to state it may be that all religious spirits don't manifest in the same way. Or, put yet another way, religious mindsets express themselves through manifold methods. I've often said you can't put a prophet in a box. Well, it turns out you can't put a religious mindset in a box either.
What do I mean?
Well, practically speaking, "religion" doesn't like a woman to preach. A man may support his wife completely in ministry, defying the spirit of religion that would keep her in bondage, yet offer prophetic words of judgment and cursing that stem from a Sons of Thunder mindset.
By the same token, a woman may not think of speaking an ill word against anyone—even if she doesn't agree with them—but nevertheless hold them to a set of rules and regulations to which she cannot even live up. That's called legalism.
The point, again, is that the religious spirits—or religious mindsets—manifest in different ways. We need to discern the operations of this wicked spirit in whatever form it reveals itself and resist it. Make no mistake, the religious spirit wants to keep you from entering into the fullness of the kingdom of God, which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17).
You’ve probably read the story of Willie Myrick, the 10-year-old boy who didn’t have a lot of discernment but packed a powerful punch with praise.
As the story goes, a kidnapper in Atlanta wooed little Willie with cash until he walked close enough to the car for the criminal to abduct him. Like I said, the little boy may not have discerned the kidnapper’s evil motives, but he certainly knew where to turn when he realized he’d been taken captive in a criminal’s car.
Willie starting singing Grammy Award-winning gospel singer Hezekiah Walker’s song “Every Praise.” Some of the lyrics go like this: “Every praise is to our God/Every word of worship with one accord/Every praise, every praise is to our God/Sing hallelujah to our God/Glory hallelujah is due our God/Every praise, every praise is to our God.”
Willie didn’t just sing high praise to God once. No, the little boy did it over and over and over and over again—for three hours. He later told news reporters that the kidnapper went into a cursing fit and eventually stopped the car and tossed him out (thankfully, no worse for the wear).
"He opened the door and threw me out," Willie told Atlanta television station WXIA-TV. "He told me not to tell anyone."