The 101 best ways to fight the dark enemy – listen to me, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen – and then 95 times more – listen to me. It’s the only way to win.
God you want to talk more about spiritual warfare don’t you?
Are you sure? It’s a bit of a morbid conversation God. Won’t people just get sick of this topic?
No they won’t. People are sick of the problems that this conversation will solve.
What do you mean God?
I mean that everyone is dogged by the negative. Everyone wishes things were better. Everyone is either unhappy with their lot, or worried that their lot won’t stay as good as it is right now.
What’s that got to do with spiritual warfare God?
EVERYTHING MARK!! It’s got everything to do with spiritual warfare. It’s what spiritual warfare is all about. It’s the central focus of your enemy. His entire strategy is to bring you down, to make you think you’re not as good as you actually are. That’s what he’s up to.
He does it by showing you all the things that COULD go wrong in your life and then painting them as a reality. He tells you that your business won’t succeed, your job won’t last, your career is going nowhere, what you do each day doesn’t amount to anything, your kids won’t achieve, your finances won’t prosper, your marriage is not as good as others – on and on he goes. There is no end to the rubbish he spews at you in order to bring you down.
And that’s what warfare is all about Mark. That’s the long and the short of it. It’s not about tempting you to do naughty things. That a lie that he spreads so that you busy yourself trying to earn your way into my good books by being good. And while you’re focused on that he’s actually busy marching right into your mind and telling you the lies that make you think less of yourself. That’s the real war. Every demon, every principality and power, every strongman, dark angel and deity - that’s their entire purpose. That’s their war plan. It’s a beautiful plan from their perspective because it’s the very simplest way to destroy a human being.
What do you mean God?
Mark if you make a human think they’re less than they really are, you begin to crush their very soul. The dark ones have told you they are mighty and majestic and terrifying. They’ve convinced you that their warfare is fought far above you, out of your league. They’d love it to be, they’d love to fight gloriously dastardly battles of dark beauty, but actually they don’t. For the most part their battles are fought against you puny humans, they seldom get to fight angels because it’s not often you humans give the angels instructions to fight for you.
Even though you don’t know you’re in a battle the dark ones still find it exceedingly hard to win. You humans are immeasurably powerful.
But God we’ve been taught the opposite?!?
Exactly Mark. Of course you have. Where do you think the teaching comes from – from light or darkness? Mark right there in your mess and problems and mistakes and faults – even in all your problems you’re incredibly and massively powerful. They have told you that you are weak and getting weaker and completely unable to fight them unless you tidy up your life, but they lie. It’s a lie that gives them more power and you less. But actually you can and do beat them and they are forced to fight down in your league, right where you are, for the simple reason that they CANNOT fight you somewhere that you’re not.
When you understand it like that, their war plan is actually a beautiful thing from your perspective too. Because they’re forced to fight you down at your level it means they’re down where you can grab and destroy them. They make you think you cannot fight them unless you are holy and free of all wrong. They love that lie because they know that you can never attain to that level of perfection. But it’s just a lie Mark. You can fight them just as you are. Messy old you, get out your sword and give ‘em heaps Mark there’s war to be done.
They are terrified that you will find this out because they know that if you do you can destroy them. For that reason their whole strategy is to terrify you. They work all day to make you think you are too sinful, too hapless and weak to fight them. But you’re not. You are made far more powerful than they have ever been. Just as you are, just as messed up as you are, you are far more powerful than they. And yet so much of Christianity has bought into their lie that you have to be cleaner person to fight them. It’s a lie designed to scare you. You know you can never attain to that level of perfection and so you become less inclined to fight.
Their focus is to make you think less of yourself than is the truth. Their job is to make you think things are worse than they are, and getting worse. Demons and principalities and powers are mighty powers weakened and corrupted by selfishness, greed and fear. They are afraid, afraid of you. Their decision to consciously oppose and destroy all that is good has seriously weakened them. The difference in what they were like to what they are like now, is the difference between Queens and Princesses and a bunch of catty teenage girls. They can still scratch and spit and bite but their whole focus now is to terrify you and immobilise you with the fear of all that might go wrong.
They make you afraid of the dark. They grip you with the fear that something is about to happen of momentously bad proportions. They fill you with the fear that things are going to get worse – job, kids, finances, marriage and so on. They make you afraid that circumstances will work against you. They make you afraid that you are not good enough – that you are not intelligent enough, not good looking enough, not smart enough, not holy enough, not likeable enough and so on.
Why God? It sounds a bit petty, a bit beneath them somehow. I imagined them as mighty dark powers skilled in warfare. Powerfully strong in the dark arts.
Yes of course it is beneath them Mark but they have no choice – along with their dark king they have been cast down and given authority to war and fight in this realm. An authority which you can easily wrest from them. And yes they are mighty powers, they are powerfully strong in the dark arts. But those arts are not as terrifying as you might think. Let’s clarify what this unruly, undisciplined bunch of catty teenage girls is up to.
Mark as you might expect they hate you, make no mistake about that. They are no ordinary bunch of venomous teenagers, they have murder on their minds these girls. If they had their way you would all be dead. If they could they would have torn the entire human race limb from limb. They would have killed and tortured you a hundred different ways. But they haven’t had their way, can’t do to you what they would like. The dark arts they have mastered are nothing more than all the myriad of ways to make a person think less of themselves than is actually true. For the most part all they can do is make you think of all the things that could go wrong for you.
Ok God. I’m not really convinced. You’re making them sound like nothing, not dangerous, just a walkover.
God don’t!! We’ve always been taught not to unwisely provoke them.
That’s good teaching Mark. You shouldn’t unwisely provoke or anger them. We have already discussed the example of Michael carefully disputing with Satan, handing him over to me for discipline.
So what are you saying then God? In one breath you say not to provoke them and in the next you say they a walkover, not dangerous, that they amount to nothing.
What have I been telling you Mark about how to fight them?
Well God you’ve said to listen to you. You said to stop using techniques and methods and just to listen to you. To hear from you exactly what each demon is up to and how to counteract its efforts.
Yes and tell me what I’ve told you about the one you’re up against at the moment?
Well you’ve amazed me God because when I realised I was fighting a spiritual power rather than just my own negative thinking I assumed you’d want me to do all kinds of praying and fasting and rebuking and quoting verses etc. But that’s not what you wanted at all.
Tell me what I told you about that approach Mark.
You said it’s just methods, our equivalent of the other side’s incantations, spells and curses.
But those things are pretty powerful God.
Yes they are but they’re just tools and only powerful when they are the tools I tell you to use. Often times, if those involved in spiritual warfare would just listen to me they’d hear me say to drop those approaches and go for other weapons. No weapon, no method, no verse or prayer or fasting technique is as powerful as my voice spoken direct to you. So listen Mark, listen for each step of the battle - EVERY BLOW AND STRIKE AND DUCK AND DIVE OF THE FIGHT. I might tell you to use one of those prescribed Christian methods, but I might not too.
Ok alright God and I’ll admit it is working amazingly well. Just listening to you has driven back and wounded the enemy that accosts me.
Good what did I tell you to do to him? What simple instruction did I give you that has him so overwhelmed?
God you said to ignore him, just to ignore his lies. Not to rant and rave or throw verses at him. Just to ignore him, shut him out like I might shut out the noise of a noisy neighbour when trying to sleep.
Well God I’ve found that over the years the normal low level anxiety that most of us suffer from time to time has developed into chest gripping fear. And for no reason that I can put my finger on. The sort of fear that one gets when you’ve had terrible news – but I haven’t had any such news. In fact things are looking great. When I asked you why I felt like that you told me it wasn’t me at all, but rather it was the enemy tormenting and punching me.
It was so distracting, so overpowering that I asked if I should rebuke it, or go on a fast, or maybe get prayer or quote verses. But you said no, you said that all that is just ‘incantations and spells and methods’. Instead you said to shut out his rubbish like you might tell me to shut out the tantrum of a naughty child so that I can get on with the job at hand.
And it’s working God. He still comes back for another kick and punch at me but I have found to my amazement that all his negative thinking, all his rubbish about ‘that won’t work, this will go wrong, you’ll never succeed at that’ can be silenced relatively easily by ignoring his voice. Poor thinking and emotional insecurity cannot tell poor thinking and emotional unbalance to go like that. Madness cannot tell madness to be silent. But I can tell him to be silent and the most effective way is to ignore him.
Exactly Mark! And then there’s another step – what did I tell you it was?
Well God you reckoned that once I’d ignored him and shut out his rubbish, the next step is to ask you a new set of thoughts to put in my mind to replace his. That once my mind is at rest and uncluttered with his torment and rubbish I need to fill it with the specific thoughts you give me. You’ve told me that this is NOT about positive thinking, not about dreaming up some pre-prescribed or approved Christian list of things to think, but to ask you for the specific good things to put in my mind. You told me that approach will change everything!
And Mark does the chest gripping fear return?
Occasionally yes. And when it does it comes with a vengeance, but a little less strong, and a LOT less powerful than it did before. Listening to you has made an enormous difference.
So what have you learned?
Listen to you for the right approach with each of his attacks.
Exactly Mark! As I said the negative isn’t you, it’s him, them, the dark one. But the method for overcoming them is always the same. Listen to me. This particular dark filth that you have encountered can be removed, in your situation by ignoring him. It’s not the same for everyone. I will tell them how to remove him if they ask me. Any other approach is less effective if not downright dangerous! There’s only one rule reliable for everyone – LISTEN TO ME. If you want to grab and destroy the enemy who attempts to destroy you, you must listen to me for every step of the battle. It’s the only way.
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