“And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings : 15-17)
In recent times there has been an emphasis in the prophetic on an increase in the intensity of the heavenly battle that we are engaged in. There have been words about God sending angels to earth, and His heavenly army being drawn up in battle array. But where is this battle taking place?
The battle is taking place all around us: not just in our churches, but in our private lives, in our family lives, and in our schools and workplaces. In some contexts it is also taking place visibly in the geopolitical sphere: in Israel, now as always; and where ever political and religious systems or legislative acts are standing in opposition to the Kingdom of our God and His Christ. The growing civil unrest in the USA is also largely an expression of the clash between liberal humanistic values and the values of the Conservative Christian foundation of the nation.
Individually, we can expect to face more and stronger temptations, and more frustration and opposition (especially in areas of ministry) as the devil unleashes his forces against the people of God. Where they are fissures and cracks in relationships the enemy will seek to drive in a wedge and force people apart. He will intensify his attack on Christian marriages and Christian families. Where we are neglecting to adhere to Romans 12: 1-2 and we are not “presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice” as our “reasonable service” to the Lord, the enemy will exploit all the weaknesses of our carnality to do as much damage as he can. The intensified battle over our own lives will often come down to the ongoing war between the flesh and the spirit – (Romans 6:19, Galatians 5:17, James 4: 1 1 Peter 2: 11), so we need to take seriously Peter’s warning to ”Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
Now is the time to stay closer than ever to the commander of our army, and to tune our ears even more finely to His voice. Jesus reminds us in John 10:27 that we, His sheep, do hear His voice; but very often we are listening to too many other voices as well, so His quiet whisper is drowned out. Now is the time to ask the Lord, Just as Elisha did, to open our spiritual eyes so we can discern the spiritual forces around us: not just the forces of darkness, but the angelic forces of the Kingdom of God whose work it is to minister to the Saints (Hebrews 1: 7). We need to remember that we are not alone in any situation: that there is a spiritual dimension all around us that is peopled with beings who are both against us and for us. We need to pray at all times, not just for ourselves but for one another, and especially for those in church leadership; and those of us with the gift of tongues need to spend more time than ever praying in our spiritual language, because it is given to us for our edification.
But, as Paul says, “we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Cor 2:11), and the truth is that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world, and that those who are for us are greater than those that are against us. The enemy may have his “horses and chariots” arrayed against us, but against them are “horses and chariots of fire.” Although the battle may rage, the war is already won, and we can stand firm in the hope of partaking in the fruits of that victory, whether it’s in this life or the eternity that Jesus has won for us. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
Jesus told us that the “violent” take the Kingdom of Heaven ”by force”. There is a land to take, but we are going to have to fight for it. The battle is on. But we have the fire; and the Lord says to us today what He said to His old covenant people through Moses and Joshua: “Be strong and very courageous, for I am with you.”
And if God is for us, who can be against us?