“The devil made me do it!”
This common phrase became popular by comedian Flip Wilson and his character Geraldine who says, “The devil made me buy this dress!” She didn’t want to do it but the devil told her how good she’d look in it. Well, it might be a funny story but in light of the spiritual warfare conversation we’ve been having in the last few blogs, how much of a concern is this for us?
Stressbusting is spiritual warfare. Does this mean we look for the devil and all his demons behind every stress that happens in our life? Well, ultimately yes, the devil and people’s cooperation with him is behind everything that is wrong in this world. But in the day to day moments of the trial, troubles and problems that we face, is satan right there making it happen?
In many cases, he doesn’t need to be. Your flesh and other people’s flesh is doing it all on their own!
First of all, what do I mean by our flesh? That would be anything not of the spirit. Our flesh is our humanness. It includes our physical bodies and our souls which include our will, mind and emotions. Our flesh is known to lead us astray. Relying on our flesh means we allow what we experience through our 5 senses, what we feel and what we think to rule us.
Our flesh is not evil but it is weak. It is easily moved and influenced. It can feel joyfully exuberant one minute and depressed the next. It can say I’m going to start eating better one minute and then eat a donut the next.
The good news is that because the flesh is weak and easy to influence if we intentionally rule over our flesh with our spirits, we can dominate the flesh.
But we do still have our flesh, or our normal human existence, to contend with. Our bodies were created, for example, to take in information from our 5 senses to make decisions that would keep us alive. If we see fire, feel heat and smell smoke, we are to avoid it, not run into it! But we were never supposed to let the body and mind have final authority in our life. They should not be in a place of dominance in your being where they are ruling. No, your spirit needs to become strong and take the place of dominion where it rules over your flesh.
So, the spiritual warfare we fight is not always directly with satan and his demons. It’s with our flesh. Satan knows he can leave us alone and we’ll do enough to kill ourselves or at least live a stressful, worried, fearful life so that he doesn’t even need to get involved.
There are five mentions of war or warfare (Greek word stratos) in the New Testament and they are never once used in connection with the devil.
“For although we live in the natural realm, we don’t wage a military campaign employing human weapons, using manipulation to achieve our aims. Instead, our spiritual weapons are energized with divine power to effectively dismantle the defenses behind which people hide. We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 TPT
We demolish and pull down mental bondages. We make an intentional decision to rule and reign over our mind and take our thoughts captive.
“With this encouragement use your prophecies as weapons as you wage spiritual warfare by faith and with a clean conscience. For there are many who reject these virtues and are now destitute of the true faith.”
1 Timothy 1:18 TPT
Timothy is encouraged to remember the prophecies spoken over him, to stay in the fight of faith and to be faithful to the call of God on his life. He is not told to fight the devil.
“For every soldier called to active duty must divorce himself from the distractions of this world so that he may fully satisfy the one who chose him.”
2 Timothy 2:4 TPT
As a soldier in the army of the Lord, Timothy is to keep his life clear of clutter; to be single-minded and to stay committed to the call of God on his life, no matter the cost. Again, this description of warfare has nothing to do with the devil but is all about our flesh.
“What is the cause of your conflicts and quarrels with each other?
Doesn’t the battle begin inside of you as you fight to have your own
way and fulfill your own desires?”
James 4:1 TPT
This one is the clearest of them all, isn’t it. The battle begins inside of us. We battle against fleshly lusts that come to destroy spiritual growth and development...becoming more like Jesus.
“My divinely loved friends, since you are resident aliens and foreigners
in this world, I appeal to you to divorce yourselves from the evil desires
that wage war within you.”
1 Peter 2:11
Spiritual warfare or stress-busting is primarily concerned with fighting the flesh’s attempt to rule and reign. Conquering the flesh and taking charge of our mind is our main battle.
Yes, satan and his demons might be involved in any of that to put thoughts in your mind or stir up your fleshly desires but if you have a strong spirit that has learned how to take the place of dominion like I teach my clients in my Stress Detox coaching program, then you’ll be prepared for victory.
So, how much of our stress and trouble have we blamed on satan and being under attack when it was really us just allowing our flesh to rule?
If you would like some help to develop a stronger spirit that can rule and reign over your flesh, then sign up for a FREE 45-minute Strategy Session with me. Click here to schedule.