In order to understand spiritual warfare it is important to understand warfare in the natural realm. A secular definition of warfare is ‘a quarrel between nations conducted by force; a state of open hostility; suspension of international law.’
The objective of warfare is to have supremacy, to govern, to control and have authority over something or someone else by using force. The spirit behind warfare is covetousness. Lucifer was covetous of God and attempted to overthrow His Kingdom and seize power. The covetous person is driven by continual dissatisfaction. Never being content with what he has, he forms images in his mind of obtaining or controlling what others have. He may even be religious and attempt to justify his actions as being righteous in the interest of others. Lucifer wanted to control every angelic being in heaven and be worshiped as God. Some angels followed this self-exalted god, but Lucifer’s power was limited compared to God’s power and he was cast out of heaven. The objective of the warmonger today is still the same whether in the natural or spiritual realm. His passion is to illegitimately control the life of another.
There was a time before Lucifer rebelled against God when there was no war, only peace. Peace is not the absence of war, but the presence of godly order. When Lucifer and his angels rebelled the godly order was challenged and war broke out. Man is created for peace. War and strife are inherently foreign to us human beings. We are created to enjoy God’s intimate presence and the peace that goes with it. When we put God first in our lives we prioritize godly order and peace is what we experience.
Lucifer gradually took his eyes off God and placed them on himself. His desire to do his own thing became greater and more important than fulfilling the desire of the One who created, anointed and loved him. Self- importance took the place of self-giving love. Sin was born when Lucifer stopped giving worship (worth-ship) to God and ascribed himself more worth than God.
He began to idolise himself through vain imaginations and demanded worship that he felt he was worthy of. The cross of Calvary delivered the deathblow but he still continues with a fanatically insatiable desire to be in control of men’s lives. When he is in control, he is a god to those he controls and in a cheap, distorted way, receives worship from them (Ezekiel 28:12-19 and Isaiah 14:11-17). The aim of warfare is control, and the driving force behind warfare is self-gain. Control is exercised in the natural realm through the occupation of territory, using force and violence. The general rule is that if one occupies the territory, he controls the people. Occupation of territory has always been the prerequisite for successful warfare. If it is not occupied, the people cannot be controlled. Man is a territorial creature and will occupy territory in order to effectively live out his life at a basic level. When an opposing force occupies our territory it dictates our lifestyle. When war results in the occupation of territory it is almost always at the expense of human lives. The quality of human life always suffers under the hand of the oppressor. The same principles apply in spiritual warfare as in natural warfare. There is a war between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light to occupy the spiritual territory (godly inheritance) that has been secured and available to us through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Our godly inheritance is here for us to occupy by faith, but the devil will attack with any weapon that he can use to nullify the effectiveness of Christ’s victory, but we are more than conquerors through Christ.