The Power of Words and Warfare

Did you know that our words can be fodder for the enemy to act on us? The enemy can’t read our minds or see into our hearts, but he can definitely hear the words that we speak out loud and can predict human behavior based on them.

We’ve spent a few weeks looking at the power of the tongue to call down blessings (life) and curses (death), but let’s think this week about how our words are used in spiritual warfare. As in blessing and curses generally, our words can help or hurt us in the war; through the right words, we can resist satan, knowing he has already lost and will leave us alone, but through the wrong words, satan can discern our hearts, fears, and insecurities and then go to work on us. Indeed, broken down, words are just soundwaves traveling through air or marks on a page, but the substance of those words can mean the difference between a life with or without struggle.

Ephesians 6 is the quintessential spiritual warfare passage in the Bible. Chapter 6, verse 12 states: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This is what is really going on, and so things that seem to be our worldly (flesh and blood) struggles or grievances are really just a part of this larger, more consequential fight. In the natural world, we may think that we’ve merely uttered some clever slight to someone on Facebook, perhaps even brushing off any cares of worldly effects, but the enemy uses these words to give him authority over us, and that authority is all he needs to bring demonic torment to us or our families. Jesus called satan the prince of this world, but his actual affecting power comes first not from his own abilities, but from ours – through our actions and, most importantly, our words.

In my opinion, when people behave unlovely to you it is likely for one of two reasons.

1. They’re being used by satan to cause you to respond in the flesh in an equally unlovely manner to open the door for the enemy to then come after you. James writes, however, that if we resist the devil, he will flee. (James 4:7) Accordingly, by resisting the urge to respond to people in the natural, you’re resisting the devil himself. That, in turn, continues the supernatural block on any demonic attack. When you see people acting unlovely in the natural world, do not be angry at them – it’s likely not even their fault!

2. They are hurting in their own right. Hurting people hurt people, even without the help of any demons.

Either way, people who act unlovely to you need help, kind words, and prayer. Accordingly, even when we think it’s warranted, we should put aside our offense and try to meet the needs of the person before us. Offense is not from God. Offense is from satan, and it can be a mighty tool in his arsenal to get us to move toward hate.

Saints, always remember that as followers of Jesus, the enemy has NO AUTHORITY over us. None. Nada. Zilch. No authority to bug us, torment us, cause sickness, bring sadness, or anything else in this world — unless (and this is a big unless) we open the door for him. If we sin, then the door is open and that’s on us. Fortunately, we have the Holy Spirit to remind us of our sins, and so when we feel you’ve done wrong, we must immediately recognize it, repent, and pray for ourselves and others in the moment. If we sin through our words, we must STOP IMMEDIATELY and ask the Lord for forgiveness and to take back anything we’ve said that is not in alignment with who our God is and wants to see from us. Then we must announce – out loud – that we’re forgiven by the blood of Jesus at the cross.

The door may have opened, but that doesn’t mean we can’t slam that sucker shut before any real harm is done. Our ultimate authority over the demonic comes directly from Jesus, who died and defeated sin once and for all. That authority – and the perspective that comes from it – can and should lead to a life in the natural world with virtually no struggle, no despair, and no fear.

ACTION: Ask for forgiveness of any unconfessed sin and the closure of any door you may have inadvertently opened for the enemy to act. Ask for an extra measure of discernment to immediately identify when a door has been opened, especially through your words.

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