Life is hard and Jesus warned us we would all go through difficult times. If you’re at all like me, when bad things happen, I jump into problem solving mode and “do more.” But sometimes God calls us to do something entirely different. We need a step-by-step battle plan. Keep reading as Dr. Mel Tavares shares 7 crucial steps to spiritual warfare.
I recently had the opportunity to talk to Mel about overcoming adversity and rising from the ashes on an episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast. If you missed that episode, you can listen here [How To Overcome Adversity – Episode 172].
7 Crucial Steps to Spiritual Warfare
Dr. Mel Tavares
Sometimes our circumstances result from the work of the enemy of our souls, the devil, who is alive and roaming this earth, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). That’s right! The devil is trying to steal from you, kill all things good in your life, and destroy all he can. John 10:10 (NIV) says, “The thief comes only to kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the fullest.”
There is a real battle for your soul and mine. The thief aims to kill and destroy us, yet God has the plan to give us life to the fullest (some translations use the word abundantly). The two plans are diametrically opposed. If you want to live the life God has planned for you, you must learn to stand against the tactics Satan uses.
Do you remember the story of Paul? In 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (NLT), Paul talks of his ‘thorn in the flesh.’ To understand Bible passages, it is crucial to study the original language in which it was written. In this case, the Greek word for thorn is ‘skolops.’ One of the meanings is ‘something extremely painful,’ as an actual thorn would be. The secondary meaning is the stake on which the enemy’s head was put after being decapitated. The assault Paul experienced was in the spiritual realm for sure, and possibly the physical. What was true for Paul is a Biblical principle of truth. The higher the calling in the purposes of God, the bigger the threat.
Do you have a big dream? Do you know that you are gifted and capable of doing something much bigger than your current life displays? Maybe you dream of owning your own business or finding a way to help those less fortunate in the community you live in.
I’m just going to play it straight and tell you why there is a bullseye on your back, why you feel like every time you take two steps forward, you take two steps back, and why you end up feeling like the effort isn’t worth it. It is a tactic of the enemy of your soul! I, like Paul, have faced many mountains and afflictions over the past 30 years. The root of each of them has been an enemy (the devil) who wanted my head on a stake.
You don’t need more faith. You have the full measure of faith given to you at salvation. You need to believe what the Lord says. Believe in God the Father, in his son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Believe in the crucifixion and Christ’s resurrection. The Bible says you have been raised from the dead with Christ and are seated with him at the right hand of the Father, once you trusted Christ as Savior.
7 crucial steps to spiritual warfare
What is needed is a battle plan, just as the military strategizes before the battle. Ephesians 6:10-18 (ESV) gives the battle plan, step by step:
- Finally, be strong in the Lord and the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
- Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
- Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
- In all circumstances, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.
- Take the helmet of salvation.
- Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
- Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
I cannot do justice to the topic here, but there are many books and resources that teach Christians how to effectively engage in spiritual warfare. I can say assuredly that I have waged war against the enemy of my soul time and time again and have learned how to win the battles. Don’t lose hope!
The devil may have a plan to steal, kill and destroy, but the Lord has a plan to give you abundant life. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
The enemy is a defeated foe, and when you learn to fight from the place of victory, you will take back land the enemy has stolen. Hope always prevails!
We’d love to hear in the comments below how you have learned to battle against the enemy.
About Dr. Mel Tavares
Dr. Mel Tavares has a unique 35-year concurrent background in church ministry, writing, publishing, counseling, and education. She holds a Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Care and Counseling and is on-staff in her local church, wearing multiple hats as the Pastoral Assistant. She is an award-winning author who has written four books penned under her name, is a contributing writer to several books including the (August 2021) DaySpring release “Sweet Tea for the Grieving Soul”, contributes to several online magazines including CBN and Inspiration Ministries, has served as a ghostwriter for ministry leaders, and coached dozens of published authors. Mel’s passion for equipping and teaching has led her to found a local ACW Chapter, teach at Writers Conferences, as well as Bible courses.
In her latest release, Dr. Mel Tavares shares the lessons we can draw from the river in both the natural and the spiritual realm in Lessons From the River: A 30-Day Devotional by Dr. Mel Tavares by Dr. Mel Tavares
Connect with Mel: Website / Instagram / Facebook / Pinterest
I recently had a spiritual battle with a man I was dating. I’d prayed that God would send me a nice Christian man. Instead, Satan sent me Michael, not his real name. He groomed me from the beginning of our relationship & started asking me for money. He monopolized my time, called me 4-5 times each day. After 2 months, I told him I couldn’t do this anymore. The breakup was difficult for me as I’ve never had a man lavish attention on me, albeit negative attention. I’m sure someone was had been praying for me as I felt empowered when I ended the relationship.
Thank you Michelle and Mel for sharing. This>” The devil may have a plan to steal, kill and destroy, but the Lord has a plan to give you abundant life.” Amen is so true.
Pressing on by dawning my armour everyday-excellent reminder, thx!