Spiritual warfare isn't just a metaphorical concept believers pretend to imagine. It's a very real war raging in the unseen spirit realm. "Turning Point" radio host David Jeremiah spoke openly with Charisma about spiritual warfare and his new book, Overcomer.
Charisma: Why is the armor of God more than a metaphor?
David Jeremiah: The armor of God is essentially eight strategies for being prepared in the fight against the evil one and for overcoming in His name. In the armor illustration, we're actually given practical instructions on how to protect our mind and our heart, reminders to stand firm on the truth and never compromise, reminders to be aware of the deception and lies of the devil and a reminder to turn to God's Word in times of doubt and uncertainty.
Charisma: Why does spiritual warfare matter in today's tension-filled climate?
David Jeremiah: Many Christians are living in the midst of a raging spiritual battle they may or may not know is taking place around them. We're told very clearly in Ephesians that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but rather against spiritual forces. I think sometimes Christians forget this. We get caught up in the physical and ignore the underlying spiritual battle that needs to be fought first and foremost.
As children of God though, I don't believe these spiritual attacks need to leave Christians defeated, discouraged or disillusioned. Instead, followers of Christ need to seek out greater connection to the Holy Spirit living inside of them, to tap into God's strength and power to overcome life's many obstacles.
Charisma: What do we not realize about the spiritual battles raging today?
David Jeremiah: From a spiritual perspective, an important distinction is that as Christians we are not fighting for victory, but from victory. How comforting is that? This is an important paradigm shift that will change everything if followers of Christ will grab ahold of this truth. Throughout Scripture, we're called to be strong, and that means standing in the victory that's already been won. As we look back, we rest in Christ's victory over sin, Satan and death. As we look forward, we face the future, knowing God will always lead us in victory.
Charisma: How can we prepare ourselves for spiritual battle?
David Jeremiah: I've noticed something interesting, looking back on the story of David and Goliath. Notice the terms in the Bible describing Goliath are all physical: his massive size, the sight of him twice a day for weeks on end taunting the Israelites and the shout of his booming voice. But the terms used to describe David are all spiritual: his conviction, his courage and his confidence in the Lord. Going further, we read that David never asks about the weight of Goliath's spear or the size of his shield. But he does reference the Lord's strength nine times throughout the story.
David never lets himself get consumed with the physical aspect of the task at hand. He's laser-focused on the supernatural power God has promised. So we need to take a page from David's playbook. When we're overburdened, oftentimes, the solution is to get our eyes off of the physical and readjust to the spiritual.
Charisma: How can we press in to victory when it seems like all hope is lost?
David Jeremiah: It's all right to talk to God about your problems, but sometimes you need to talk to your problems about God. Preach the goodness of God to them. Prophesy the promises of God to them. Proclaim the victory of the cross to them.
Charisma: How is God moving today?
David Jeremiah: An important fact I constantly remind believers of is that the miracle-working God of the Bible is the same God who has empowered you today. I don't say that to be cute. I mean it! Grab ahold of the authority you've been given and pray over every crisis in your life in Jesus' name.