Part of the fruit of communion with the Holy Spirit is wisdom in warfare. Let’s break down the famous spiritual armour passage a bit.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 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. Ephesians 6:11-13 (NKJV)
In looking at the role of the Holy Spirit in our warfare I want to highlight a few words. In verse 11, ‘stand against’ and in verse 13, ‘withstand’ and ‘to stand’ all capture the idea of maintaining ground that has already been taken. The focus in our spiritual warfare is not on taking ground, Christ has already taken the ground that needs to be taken. Our task is to partner with the Holy Spirit to stand our ground, not retreat, and enforce Christ’s victory. In doing so we experience in our lives the reality of the victory Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection. In His graciousness He lets us feel like it is our victory, and in a sense it is – often a victory over fear, insecurity, doublemindedness or other similar things.
So how do we stand in victory in this battle? Look at what Galatians teaches us.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:19-25 (NKJV)
Here Paul contrasts the ‘works’ of the flesh with the ‘fruit’ of the Spirit and encourages us to walk in the spirit. When we do we enforce Jesus victory and the fruit of the Spirit is seen in our lives. Once we have been born again the works of the flesh are not who we are inside, we have Jesus nature in our spirits and that is what we need to declare using the sword of the Spirit, His word (Eph. 6:17).
A simple example, Paul’s Galatians list is illustrative not exhaustive. So, use anger/frustration with someone you have a close relationship with. If that is something we are feeling it does not come from Christ in us (Col. 1:27). So we declare in the spirit realm that we choose to walk in love toward this person and say to ourselves, and by extension the spiritual realm opposed to our victory walk, that we will act in and think in an attitude of love toward the individual. Something like, “Jesus, I thank You that Your love has been poured out in my heart (Rom. 5:5) and in You I have the capacity to walk in love toward XXX. So I choose this love now. I release from my spirit love for them.”
I leave further applications to you. This example is merely to prime the pump and provide a theological underpinning for a simple practical way to live out the reality of what Paul presents in Ephesians 6. True warfare is not some odd mystical expression (not that I am opposed to mystical experiences, I enjoy them) but a simple practical faith lived out in the real world revealing Jesus to those around us.
Enjoy this aspect of walking in and communing with the Spirit!