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This book is a companion book to "Stopping the Mouths of Lions" and will be released at the same time.

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JESUS IN WARFARE

 

For years, I have traveled to some of the darkest places on Earth, yet I have never spent a minute praying against the devil beforehand. Neither have I felt led to learn the names of the demons over the cities where I have worked. I have never felt it was necessary to learn the history of all the evil that has taken place in an area as requisite for a move of God to occur. I have never laid hands on the walls of our meeting places in order to prevent the devil from disturbing our meetings. Neither have I ever waved a certain colored banner to stop the devil or to invite the Holy Spirit to begin to work. I don’t believe in this kind of spiritual warfare, as it is so often called. Instead, I believe in walking in warfare.

 

    What is walking in warfare? By this I mean that, if we walk in the name of Jesus, darkness cannot stop us any more than it could stop Him. To me, the name of Jesus means walking in His character and His authority, doing what He would do, the way He would do it, for the reasons He did it.

 

    The apostle Paul told the first-century Christians to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. He also told them to put on the armor of God, which is essentially the same thing. This involves walking in righteousness, faith, and integrity; allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us and through us; and understanding the legal limits of what the enemy can and cannot do and what we can and cannot do. It also involves leaving reconciliation in our wake, everywhere we go, between God and man, and man and man. If we can get people to love each other, it doesn’t give the enemy much to work with as he tries to bring about division and discord.

 

    There have been times when I have needed to address the devil directly in prayer, and I do this knowing that nothing less will do. In 1 Peter 5:9, we are told to resist the devil, which means using our God-given authority to stop him from dominating people. However, the work of demons has never been my main focus. I am not interested in any spiritual warfare teaching that makes the enemy appear to be all-knowing and all-powerful. I resist and resent any teaching that gives the enemy more influence than God Himself.

While I have experienced much spiritual warfare, I see it differently than what is commonly taught today. My hope is that this study will provide you with another perspective on the subject and help you win the war the way Jesus did.

 

I wish for you, dear disciple, the peace that comes from following Jesus in warfare.

With every blessing, Penn

 

During a time when I felt particularly embattled in my ministry, I decided to study what Jesus taught and demonstrated in terms of personal spiritual warfare. I took a paperback edition of the Bible and, with an orange highlighter, began to mark the occasions when Jesus was in some form of spiritual conflict.

 

     My criteria for defining warfare was simply marking out every time the enemy tried to hurt or hinder Jesus from fulfilling His purpose. I marked out every time His life was threatened or He was assaulted with physical violence, false accusation, slander, betrayal, plotting, traps and trickery, deceit, gossip, condemnation, intimidation, name-calling, and other forms of rejection. He also experienced what is now called “spiritual abuse” by the hands of those who were in authority. These are all the same tools the enemy uses against us today.

 

    Once I completed the mark-up, I fanned through the four gospels with my thumb and was amazed to see how orange it was. Jesus was in constant conflict from conception to the cross.

 

    I began to see a pattern of how the devil preferred to use those who were closest to Jesus in an effort to hurt and hinder Him. For example, he used Judas Iscariot because of his proximity to Jesus. Then, there was Peter. One minute he was speaking revelation by the Spirit and the next minute he was being used by the enemy to prevent Jesus from fulfilling His purpose.

None of us like the idea that the enemy can momentarily use those who are closest to us in order to speak aloud those things that he wants spoken, often hurting and hindering us. The fact is, the enemy wants to use the closest warm body to us to keep us from doing the will of God. He could use a family member, a friend, a pastor, or a board member, anyone who is supportive one minute and then can be pitted against us the next. He knows that this can blow us away more than if he used someone we don’t know. If it happened to Jesus, why should we be surprised when it happens to us?

 

 

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