Spiritual warfare is a reality. We may use different images or metaphors to describe it—war certainly doesn’t work for everyone—but there’s a constant struggle in this life between the powers of good and the powers of evil. Ephesians 6:12: 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.

What is our part?

Scriptures like this raise so many questions for Christians: What is our part in that conflict? How can we resist? How can we remain strong? 

The rest of the passage (v 13-18) goes on to list the positive forces we can bring to the table: 

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 

Praying and ministering in the opposite spirit

The positivity and hope in this passage reminds me of a concept called “ministering in the opposite spirit” or sometimes “praying in the opposite spirit.” The idea is that we identify the stronghold of the enemy and counter it with its opposite. If greed is the problem, counter it with generosity and simplicity. If lies are the problem, counter it with truth and authenticity. As Neil Cole said, “The best way to get rid of the darkness is to turn on the light.” 

The real power of spiritual warfare is not just praying against darkness and evil. It’s also praying for the good, the light, the coming of the Kingdom of God. We can also take actions that counter the dominant forces. They can be simple ones: if someone doesn’t have a book, give it to them. Then replace it in your own library with a new copy. 

Look around at your world. What strongholds are preventing disciplemaking movements across your neighborhood, region, or country? What unique challenges do you face? Those are indicators of the values that need to shift. Now turn it around and ask yourself: how can you be a part of shifting those values? What can you do? Acting in the opposite spirit will help us all experience the full power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our environments. 


An Undivided Heart: Living and Loving like Jesus*– Do you need to be encouraged? This book is a collection of stories that take you on a journey to restore hope and return the focus to the simple and powerful ministry of Jesus.

Becoming Barnabas*- Barnabas was the encourager that came alongside to help Paul and John Mark walk fully in their callings. Imagine a ministry of encouragement. People who are trained to listen well, living in compassion, spreading hope and purpose. This book is the beginning of that ministry in your church.

Barnabas Ministry Training– Ready to jump in? Barnabas is foundational to our coaching philosophy. This downloadable training kit has everything you need to equip your people with basic coaching skills.

What about you?

Pastor, are you in need of an encourager? Ministry is a navigating a series of obstacles in the pursuit of the vision God has given you. It’s hard. Dr. Bob Logan understands—he has walked in your shoes—and he believes that God is ready to do amazing things through his people. If you are brimming with vision to bring the way of Jesus to your community, Dr. Bob would love to come alongside you and see that vision become reality. Email admin@loganleadership.com to request a FREE 30-minute conversation with Dr. Bob and learn how coaching can make all the difference.

*Amazon Affiliate links

Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash