Ever seen a wrestling match? My high school had a wrestling team, and though it was never one of my favorite sports, I attended a few matches. I didn't completely understand the rules, yet it was clear that most of the opponents efforts were consumed with pinning each other down so that they could no longer move. Apostle Paul compared our spiritual warfare to times that we actually wrestled with the enemy:
" Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." ((Eph 4:11-12 with emphasis).
Yes, we are in a wrestling match with the devil! And he is attempting to pin us down and render us helpless. The battle Apostle Paul was describing was actually a brutal one which involved face-to-face combat. In those days, the loser in these matches had their eyes gouged out and that 's why Apostle Paul was basically encouraging the Ephesians to understand what they were up against.
Know How the Enemy Operates
We must know how our opponent operates and also know what we need to do in order to win our spiritual battles. Precious saint, we are fighting a spiritual battle with a crafty opponent In the garden, Satan is described as both subtle and crafty. (See Genesis 3:1) (AMP). This means that the devils is extremely cunning and sly with his many tricks and seductions. Wrestling with an opponent as this means he will cheat, trick us, and catch us off guard to win! We must remain diligent and on guard whenever we are in a spiritual battle.
John 10:10 describes our enemy as one who seeks to steal, kill and destroy! Our enemy develops strategies with moves and counter moves, plans and numerous schemes with a focus to completely destroy us!
Remember, he's a snake and he will wait patiently until just the right moment to strike out. He mostly attacks when we're down, discouraged and/or exhausted. Yes, it is true that we have been given all power over the devil and his demonic cohorts through the name of Jesus. But we must also understand his methods of warfare. We cannot underestimate his craftiness, trickery, lies and deceptions. And, dear one, this is the reason why we must put on our full armour! Whenever we do that, we are putting on the strength of the Lord! We cannot fight this battle in our own strength- we need His strength! And, we also must have the mind of Christ!
Take Every Thought Captive
2 Corinthians 10:3-8 gives us incredible insight into victorious spiritual warfare:
"For though we walk int he flesh, we do not war after the flesh. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds,) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
The enemy targets our thoughts. Remember, he is sly, crafty and seductive! He is known as the "Accuser of the Brethren " who speaks lies to God's people. The devil will always speak opposite of what God says about each of us. We must take responsibility and cast those evil, negative thoughts down and replace those thoughts with the Word of God. Whenever we do this, we are also renewing our minds and developing the mind of Christ. Any thoughts we think that are contrary to what God says in His Word ...we must cast it down!
Our fight is not in the natural real,, but in the supernatural realm. I do a lot of spiritual counseling when and in the sessions I realize that many believer's thoughts are targeted by the enemy! And, they don't need counseling- they need to cast negative, demonically inspired, thoughts down! It's true, really! A whole lot of counseling time is unnecessary...believers can do much of their spiritual homework at home by taking control of their thoughts. Now, I'm not at all implying saints don't need counselors. Not at all! What I am saying is that a counselor cannot cast down your thoughts...only you can.
Let me encourage you to put on the full armour of God and be determined that you are not going to quit! The enemy may have worn you down, but you have not lost the battle. Jesus has already won the battle, but we must take our rightful authority and defeat the devil's lies concerning us.