Some years ago I was driving across western Kansas, which is nearly as flat as a table top. For those outside the US or those Americans who have never traveled it, Kansas is in the middle of the USA, and many crops such as wheat are grown there. There is 1 main interstate highway, I-70, that runs the full length of the state east to west, a distance of 437 miles, or 703 kilometers. Central and eastern Kansas have hills, but western Kansas is so flat a person can see horizon to horizon without trees or buildings to interrupt the 180 degree view of the sky.
Night was falling on a cloudless evening, and as I drove I looked around at the unobstructed view horizon to horizon. As the sun set I could literally watch the darkness in the east move westward to envelope the land. It was a rare and awe-inspiring scene. I said within myself: "Father, look at how the darkness is advancing!" Immediately He replied clearly and concisely:
"It's not that the darkness is advancing; it's that the light is retreating."
That statement from the Father illustrates the two sides of spiritual warfare. One side is fearful, crying out because the darkness is to their perspective, advancing on their life, the lives of their loved ones, or society. The other perspective is that the darkness has no power in and of itself, for it advances only to the degree the light retreats.
When we are talking about 'spiritual warfare', it is important to take the perspective of the Father, to see the only reason the enemy is advancing in one's life, is because somewhere, somehow, the light retreated from them.
The mistake people make
Bible teachers and pastors are infamous for taking verses out of context, twisting them to something that sounds good and that they can market. When they do that concerning the subject of spiritual warfare, their error leads to Christians believing what they do is scriptural, when it really is not. That means God is no where near their prayers, declarations, and spiritual warfare fight.
Because these teachers don't understand the reality of Christ in us and what He did on the cross and resurrection, and how we have authority to use that most powerful name in the universe, they must rely on Old Testament verses now obsolete because we are in a new covenant established upon new and better promises (Hebrews 8:6)
They are therefore afraid the darkness is advancing and lead others in their fear, allowing the darkness to advance in these good-hearted people.
For instance: 1 can put 1,000 to flight and 2 can put 10,000 to flight
This teaching is so common whole generations of Christians think their understanding is chapter and verse. Namely, that they can pray with someone to multiply their power against demons.
The verse in question is Deuteronomy 32:30: "How should 1 chase 1,000, and 2 put 10,000 to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up?"
Deuteronomy means 'words', and is the transcript of Moses telling the story of the birth of Israel to those born in the wilderness during their 40 years of wandering.
Because those who came out of Egypt had within a few months refused the Lord 10 times, He gave them what they told Him they wanted - to die in the wilderness. "Truly as I live says the Lord, as you have said to Me that is what I will give you; Your bodies will fall in the wilderness..." (Numbers 14:2, 28-29)
Here in Deuteronomy 32, Moses tells all this to the children of those who died in the wilderness. Moses is about to die, and these young people needed to hear what happened to their parents. They needed to know why the enemies of Israel were successful; It was because after stubbornly refusing to believe after 10 times, He was forced to their parents what they demanded: Die in the wilderness. (They couldn't go back to Egypt at this point)
It is within that context Moses says in 32:30: "How could one single enemy chase a thousand of them, And two put ten thousand to flight, Unless their Rock had sold them (to their own unbelief), Unless the Lord had close them in - limited their attempts to do it on their own?"
The verse is about how the enemy triumphed over the unbelieving generation: How 1 enemy made 1,000 Israelites run in terror and 2 enemy made 10,000 Israelites run away because they abandoned God, who eventually had given them over to their unbelief and its consequences.
But some preacher years ago took the first part of that verse, and thought it would 'preach'. Thus an erroneous doctrine was born, and eventually became a doctrinal plank in the foundation of many Christians - and they wonder why their efforts are so powerless. God is Truth, and they have been lied to, believing that verse says something it does not. So God isn't in it.
There are many such false doctrines that well meaning Christians have believed. But the Holy Spirit isn't in error for He is Truth, so those people feel powerless spiritually and have no idea why.
Is the darkness advancing or is your light retreating because you've believed error all these years?
Next week, what the New Testament says about spiritual warfare...until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org