After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. “When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. Matthew 2:1-3
When we think about Christmas most people focus on the joy of the season, the family traditions, present giving and receiving, extra family time, and holiday parties. However, we often forget that the enemy engages warfare on the saints, and he does not take Christmas vacation. In fact, the enemy has been strategic to go after the true anointing of Christmas from the very beginning. So, if you are experiencing a little more spiritual warfare this Christmas season than normal you are in good company. Even mother Mary, Joseph, the wise men, and every parent in Bethlehem experienced spiritual warfare on the very first Christmas.
I believe there are hidden tools tucked away in Matthew Chapter 2 (commonly known as the Nativity Chapter) that will equip us to battle against the enemy and to be ready when the attack comes.
Three ways to combat Spiritual warfare this Christmas season:
- We must have Discernment.
At the same time God sent wise men to worship, bring gifts and honor baby Jesus the savior of the world, the devil enticed Herod with a spirit of foolishness to wipe out the Messiah and a generation of boys born in Bethlehem.
Herod was possessed with foolishness, jealousy, and pure evil. Historians tell us King Herod was a cruel, power-hungry ruler who destroyed anyone he feared was trying to overthrow him from his throne. He even killed members of his own family including one of his wives, brother-in-law, and a son because he thought they were plotting against him.
Mary, Joseph, and the wise men had to learn, spiritual warfare and quick if they wanted to “outwit” Herod. They had to understand that it was not enough to be wise; they also had to be discerning. Discernment according to the Cambridge online dictionary is, “The ability to judge people and things well.”
A person filled with wisdom is also able to walk in discernment because the application of wisdom also requires one to be able to judge things well, separate right from wrong, or distinguish between good and bad. Every human being can have a measure of discernment, also known as intuition. But godly discernment is also a spiritual gift that the Lord gives to His children. It is a needed gift, especially in the unprecedented season we are enduring. Saints, it is time we take notes from Mary, Joseph, and the wise men and gain discernment. If you want to outwit the enemy in your life, discernment is an essential tool!
- We must know when it is time to depart!
The Angel told Joseph to flee, get up and run as fast as you can, escape and depart into Egypt!
Spiritual warfare is serious business, and we need to know when it is time to fight and when it is time to not engage and trust God to take care of us. It is human nature, when in dangerous situations, to fight, flee, or freeze. Often during spiritual attacks, we must remember we do not fight as the world does. Unfortunately, we often rely too heavily on our human nature and not enough on the Spirit of God. We often freeze up and do not know how to battle or sometimes we fight without being properly equipped or worse, we fight the wrong enemy.
Sometimes the way we fight spiritual battles is to flee from certain situations, and this takes discernment. The wise men went home another route and the bible says they outwitted Herod. Joseph and Mary departed to Egypt out of Herod’s territory to protect Jesus.
Unsuspecting Christians are falling victim to certain types of bondage because they never learned when it was time to flee.
Two types of sins attacking the church from which we must flee:
- Sexual sin (fornication, lust, adultery, pornography, etc.)
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18 NIV)
- Idolatry (anything you put before God)
“Therefore, my beloved, flee from Idolatry.” (1 Cor. 10:14 ESV)
You do not need to show up to every fight to which you are invited. Sometimes it is best to walk away, and to not even be in the situation that can cause you to stumble. It is also wise to know when it is time to take another route, just like the wise men did. It is time to wise up and be aware of the enemies’ schemes; he has been pulling the same tricks from the beginning.
- We must follow God’s Directions.
God spoke to Joseph and gave him direction on how to flee but He also gave him direction on how and when to come home. Joseph did not return to Israel until Herod died. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that Herod the Great died of a painful and debilitating disease that caused breathing problems, convulsions, rotting of his body, and worms even ate his body. God always takes care of His enemies when we put it in His hands, instead of trying to do it ourselves.
We must follow God’s directions and understand who the real enemy is. The bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12NIV, “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.” The bible makes it clear it was the devil who enticed Herod the Great to try to kill baby Jesus! It is still the devil and his minions who now attack The Spirit of Jesus that lives in every believer.
Therefore, we must be ready to obey every direction the Lord gives us about spiritual warfare from His word. The word of God is truth, and it is sword of the spirit that we can use to combat the enemy and his lies.
Friends, if you want to outwit the enemy in your life then you need to add these tools to your belt – discernment, departing, and direction. If you do then you will start to see more victory.
If you are in the middle of Spiritual Warfare pray this prayer with me:
Father, I do not want to give the devil access to my mind, will, or emotions. I desire to focus on you during this Christmas season, but I know the enemy wants to steal my joy and keep me in bondage. Please help me understand the areas through which the enemy seeks to find entrance in my life and help me close those doors. Please give me wisdom and discernment so I may outwit the enemy at his own game. Teach me when it is time to flee and when it is time to engage in warfare. Help me follow the instructions you give in your word so that I may live in victory.
I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.