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What is fighting in the Spirit? Some believers assume that as long as they pray about a problem, they can handle their battles in any manner they desire. They think that so long as they are not swearing or yelling at people, they can tackle the problem their way and consider it fighting in the spirit.
Peter and Paul, at first, used their natural strength to fight their battles, and they thought they were being spiritual. You really can’t blame them for their lack of understanding. That was the method that the Israelites had used to fight their enemies for centuries. Their forefathers were warriors. Culturally, it would have been a badge of honor for people to be courageous and to fight opposition. However, Jesus had a different view on this issue.
But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Matthew 26:52
Jesus shifted His disciples’ views about fighting. In the heat of the moment, when Jesus was being arrested, Jesus discouraged His disciples to use their sword to protect Him. Those with fiery personalities, like Peter, are ready to go to battle in a moment’s notice. Whenever something looks like an opposition, they are ready with their swords. Their weapon of choice might not be an actual sword, but they fight using arguments, debates, bullying, gossip, and name-calling. Jesus, on the other hand, told His disciples that the consequence of fighting in a carnal manner is that they will be perished through similar means. Fighting by a carnal sword is an open invitation for the demonic and the rejection of God’s ways. If we want for God to be on our side, we cannot fight like the world fights!
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 2 Corinthians 10:3
Our natural senses will continue to see, hear, and feel the enemy around us. However, the paradigm shift is that we need to deny our natural senses and not go into fight or flight mode. In the moment that our flesh wants to react, we are called to lean into the Lord, get the mind of Christ, and understand how the battle should be fought.
How do you handle the opposition? Do you get frustrated or offended? Do you fight back verbally? Do you have a tendency to be argumentative? Do you use gossip or backbiting to get back at those who have offended or hurt you? The truth is that if we are fighting the battles in the flesh, we are actually trapping ourselves by opening the door to the enemy.
Some people want to do both. They want to fight in the spirit and fight in the flesh. That is double-mindedness, and it will only bear little fruit if any. So how do we fight? I will share about this in the next devotional.