For an example he used Exodus 14:13 where when God delivered Israel out of Egypt, He told them to "stand still and see the salvation of the Lord." Simultaneously I was thinking of 2 Chronicles 20:20-23 where the king sent singers to praise the Lord before his army.
However, and this is what I've said for years, these were frequently quoted miraculous exceptions to the weight of scripture. There are 200+ more examples where it was recorded people or armies had to fight or people had to engage beyond a spiritual response. Our ratios in applying the weight of scripture seem to be backwards many times.
For weeks the Lord has drawn my attention to Ephesians 6:10-13. In fact, I awoke this morning with this scripture on my mind. It says, and please note the underline I added, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 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"
We Don't Wrestle Against Flesh & Blood.... Or Do We?
I thought of how many times I'd quoted this scripture through the years. Then I thought of all the prayer meetings I've been at and how often I hear this quoted. It often sounded something like, "Lord, You know we don't wrestle against flesh and blood.... "
Demonic entities need a body to work through. They need a host which has hands, feet and a mouth they can use to do evil. Guess what, God needs people to work His will through. That's why in Revelation 12:17 we see it says, "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
How does the devil make war against God's people? He has to do it through other people.
Exegesis is a term theologians like to use. Dictionary.com says it means, "critical explanation or interpretation of a text or portion of a text, especially the Bible." A basic rule in interpretation is found in Deuteronomy 19:15, Matthew 18:16 and 2 Corinthians 13:1 and that is "in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established." So, we don't base a doctrine on just one scripture. We need at least two or ideally more.
When we examine Ephesians 6:12 we find, "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," we are hard pressed to find any other scripture that says we don't wrestle against flesh and blood. In fact, the great weight of scripture addresses our interactions with people influenced by the demonic. Did you know that Greek word translated wrestle in this scripture is only used one time in the Bible?
Here's another principle. There are fewer Hebrew and Greek words than English. Hence, the Greek and Hebrew words contain more meaning. Each word can take many English words to convey its real meaning. Therefore, in attempting to translate into English, we sometimes don't get all the author intended. I've memorized most scriptures using the New King James Version. That's what I quote and what flows out of me when I pray.
I find the Amplified Bible to be more accurate here. It adds a very important word that other translations leave out. Only! The word "only" fixes the problem that I see.
If "Only" is the Problem
What's the problem? The problem is we have a propensity to quote that scripture which seems to encourage the Church to only engage in prayer and our practice in most of the Western Church is to avoid personal interaction beyond a spiritual response. At least, that is the way I see a lot of people use it. They may not teach it this way, but their actions speak loudly. Please note my underline in the Amplified Bible.
Ephesians 6:12 12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
If only, "ONLY," were added to this scripture it would fit and flow so much better with the great weight of scripture which addresses our interaction with the demonic manifesting in and through people.
What Does Error Look Like?
When I say error, or err, I mean to miss the mark. I submit that when we act like what I've described above we see fruit that looks like this experience. Some years ago, a group of prophets in a state told me, Tim, we've prayed, prayer walked, and engaged the Jezebel spirit. That spirit is cast down and we don't need to pray anymore, it's done. It is cast down in our state.
My response was something to this effect. Well, if Jezebel has been cast down, then why do you still have a governor who is a practicing bi-sexual and is promoting laws and policies that reflect the sexual deviancy the Jezebel spirit usually manifests?
Trust but Verify
I've learned the spiritual manifests through the natural. For example, many years ago when Holy Spirit was teaching me about city transformation and learning to work with prophets, one of our prophets revealed to us that the spirit of death was at work in our community, I remembered a principle I learned from the military. Trust but verify. If there is a demonic principality at work, then there should be a natural manifestation of that principality. In this case, one of the natural manifestations of the spirit of death was found it was the Hemlock Society. They were founded and based in our community. While working with teams of prophets we developed a strategic plan, mobilized strategic corporate prayer and shortly thereafter the Hemlock Society moved out of state.
First the Natural and then the Spiritual
The spiritual and the natural are linked. My friends, we have to remember James who said by Holy Spirit that faith without works is dead. Second, we remember 1 Corinthians 15:46 which says, "However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual."
If the Church is to go into all seven spheres of society to transform it through the presentation of the gospel of the kingdom, then we have to engage people to. While we do not physically wrestle with them, we do have to fight with the truth. That is why the Lord gave us the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.
If you ONLY take one thing from this article.... ONLY.... one thing. I hope it is this. Remember to add only to your translation of Ephesians 6:12 says, For we do not ONLY 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.
My friends, we have to engage BOTH; people and principalities, powers, spiritual hosts of wickedness and demonic entities, It's a package deal just like us. I am made up of spirit, soul and body and so is our adversary.
I pray we are prepared to wage the good fight. A good fight is one you win. You cannot be effective in a fight if you don't know who you are fighting. I pray God give us wisdom.