By Francis Frangipane
If we will succeed in these difficult days, it will be, in part, because we have renounced the seductive limitations that accompany a peace-time mentality. Indeed, we must embrace an aspect of spirituality that is unfamiliar to many Christians - one that is both militant and vigilant toward evil. We must appropriate "the war mode" aspect of the mind of Christ.
Over the last few months the Holy Spirit has been calling the church to rise in intercessory prayer and in the exercise of spiritual authority. With holy urgency in my heart, I say we do not have time to languish in self-pity about life's injustices. In a time of war, we must not be distracted by little inconveniences. We must possess a war mentality.
The good news is that hell would not be in such a frenzy if heaven was not advancing. God is working to bring revival and spiritual awakening to our nations. Thus, while I am concerned about the advance of evil, I am encouraged that evil is being met with resistance by many among the people of God. The enemies' multifaceted attack will be repulsed, and even reversed, provided we stand and fight.
My immediate appeal is for us to war in prayer with passion and confidence. Remember, as the church of Jesus Christ, we are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and the world rulers of darkness (see Eph. 6). These ruling spirits hold influence over every nation and culture on earth; on a worldwide scale, we must all be involved. Yet, whatever efforts we make in the natural realm, our focus and victory originate from the spiritual realm: things visible come from things invisible (see Heb 11:3). So we must war in prayer using the word of God as our primary weapon and the blood of Christ as our primary defense.
A True Peacemaker
The argument arises, "I am a peacemaker like Jesus. The Lord hasn't called me to war." I, too, am a peacemaker. At the core of my quest for Christlikeness is the ministry of reconciliation and peacemaking. Indeed, "the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace" (Jam 3:18). Thus, toward people, we must never forget that our message is the Gospel of Peace. At the same time, it is the "God of peace" who has chosen to crush Satan beneath our feet (Rom. 16:20). There is a militant side of true peace, where our peace comes because we have confronted, battled and overcome our spiritual enemies.
The problem is too many Christians have confused peace with passivity. They have a hollow "peace," for their lives are prayerless and they live in perpetual compromise with heaven's enemies. This is not peace; it is bondage. Jesus was the quintessential peacemaker, yet He boldly confronted the advance of evil, and He did so with unbending righteousness and unsheathed spiritual authority. Christ terrified the demonic realm. At His approach, evil spirits howled in trembling dread: "Have You come to torment us before the time?" Jesus was operating in the war mode and they knew it.
The Lord confronted the demonic realm and commissioned His disciples to do the same (see Matt 10:1; Mk 3:14-15; 6:13; Mk 16:17;Lk 9:1; 10:17-19). The disciples were trained to function in the war mode: they learned discernment, understood authority and usually engaged in the fight of deliverance with perseverance. Not only did Jesus exercise authority over every demonic hierarchal strata up to Satan himself, but He told the disciples that the works He did, including those of spiritual warfare, they would also do (Jn 14:12). He specifically gave His disciples authority "over all the power of the enemy." He then assured them that "nothing [would] injure" them (see Luke 10:19). Of course, He trained them to walk in purity and built into their souls certain fundamental safeguards. Yet, after preparing and commissioning them with His authority, He ministered faith, not fear to His disciples.
When I read the scriptures, it is plain to me that Jesus was always operating in a mode of spiritual aggression toward the powers of hell. He was perfectly God-focused, but His radar was continually sensing the enemies advance into His world. When Peter sought to dissuade Jesus from accepting the cross, Jesus discerned in Peter's words the voice of Satan. Speaking directly to the spirit manipulating Peter, Jesus rebuked the prince of devils, driving him from the thought-life of the apostle. When Jesus sent out the seventy disciples, they went forth in a war mode. When they returned from their mission, they marveled that even demons were subject to them in Christ's name (Lk 10:17-20). Jesus commanded His disciples follow Him into heaven's battles.
I know we picture Jesus eternally kind and unfathomably gentle, and such He was with the victims of life's injustices. (His compassion was also an act of war against evil). Yet, the one who wrote that God is love and whose ear listened to Christ's very heartbeat, also said the Son of God came "that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 Jn 3:8).
Do we see this about Christ? Jesus not only came to restore and redeem, He also came to "destroy the works of the devil." As a follower of Christ, have you destroyed anything evil lately? Have you toppled any demonic strongholds this week? Have you rescued anyone imprisoned in sin or fear or demonic captivity recently? Evil can be destroyed in a hundred different ways, not merely in a "deliverance" session. The sad truth is, historically, too many of us have neither a plan nor a prayer to truly see evil destroyed.
You see, we need an "attitude" toward evil. Imagine if, in addition to fulfilling our other spiritual disciplines and virtues, every Christian began to truly pray with the authority of Jesus Christ. Without exaggerating the role of the devil, consider the heavenly impact praying Christians would have if we all renounced passivity, unbelief and fear. Remember, Paul said the weapons of our warfare were mighty. Imagine if we actually used them!
Love Motivated Warfare
Jesus knew this world was a realm under satanic siege. Planet Earth was not a place of peace, but a realm at war. From the casting out of Lucifer and his angels from heaven, to the temptation in the Garden of Eden, to Babylon and the multiplication of nations under satanic influence, planet Earth has been an embattled world. The idea that somehow our era is less threatened by evil is the height of deception. We must fight if we will follow Christ into victory.
No matter how beautiful the world around us seems, remember there was a serpent lurking in Paradise itself. If Adam and Eve had possessed a war mode mentality, they never would have casually accepted the lies of Lucifer. Likewise today, we need to be wise and walk carefully for "the days are evil" (Eph 5:16). You see, Jesus was always aware that He lived in a war zone. No matter what He was doing - whether He was laughing with sinners or driving out demons, whether He was healing the sick or training followers - beneath the surface of His outer activities, the "war mode switch" in Jesus" mind was always "on."
Perhaps a few women among us might argue, "This warfare stuff is a macho thing. I'm just a housewife, a mom. I don't have a war mode." If your child was seriously sick, wouldn't you fight that illness with everything at your disposal? You would fast and pray, and do so from your war mode. If your marriage was under spiritual attack, wouldn't you get before God and war with fervency? The fact is, you know how to fight. Ask your husband if he thinks you have a war mode. You just need something to wake it up, because once you begin to shift into the war gear, in the Holy Spirit you are dangerous!
You see, the war mode is in us all. It may be attached to our instinct for survival, but it is more directly connected with our love for people. I love my nation so I am warring in prayer on its behalf. Because of love for my family, I war in prayer on their behalf. I love my church, my city and, yes, even my own soul, so I war to protect what I love.
If there is a natural fight instinct, there is a spiritual fight mode as well. It just needs to be awakened, submitted to Christ, and then unleashed against the enemy. If you have a love mode, you also have a war mode. God has created the war mode so we can protect the people we love.