“If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success.”
I have used this verse recently, in another article I released within the last year, but I wanted to use it again in this article as a key scripture to release this word of wisdom to you about overcoming Satan in your own life. This wisdom key has helped me a lot over the last few years since I myself have experienced a greater level of spiritual warfare and have been forced to dig deep into the word of God through prayer to find solutions to the warfare problems I was facing; to find solutions beyond just “rebuking the enemy” or “pleading the blood”, which didn’t seem to do it alone. Many times as spirit-filled believers I believe we are trying to use blunt spiritual force with our fasting, our prayer, and our faith-filled declarations and decrees to overcome the enemy, and although I believe in all these weapons of our warfare, I’ve also come to believe that the weapon of wisdom is needed as well and can make all the difference in waging effective warfare in this life and in the spirit realm.
As the scripture reveals above, wisdom takes a dull blade and puts an edge on it. Wisdom takes a dull blunt force method and refines it and sharpens it, which makes the method much more effective and efficient at accomplishing its task. Take the analogy that’s used, a person trying to cut down a tree. With a dull blade a person could stand there all day long swinging away, hacking at that tree, until finally, just through sheer will and force they finally prevail to get the tree on the ground. But if you sharpen the blade, if you put an edge on the ax, you can watch the tree fall down in a matter of minutes.
One method is employed by the fool. The fool charges in and just tries to use blunt force, hard work, and copious amounts of energy to accomplish the task. The wise person prioritizes hard smart work over hard foolish work. The wise person optimizes the tools that God puts at their disposal to get the most out of those tools, which conserves as much energy and time as possible so as to see greater output and great results coming from the work. This is what “success” looks like in God’s eyes: getting the most out of what you have through wisdom. This wisdom key applies to every area of our lives, including the area I’m going to apply it to today, which is spiritual warfare.
How many Christians wear themselves out locking horns with the enemy, fighting him tooth and nail, screaming at him till’ their blue in the face, yet all the while the things that they are doing, the way that they are living their life is actually making it easier on the enemy and harder on themselves. Someone is fighting the demon of lust, locked in a battle with this spirit for years, with many weary nights given to prayer and resisting the enemy, but all the while the tv shows they watch and the movies they continue to view contain highly sexualized material which continually sows seeds into their mind and heart which makes resisting the more blatant forms of temptation all the more harder. God wants us to create a lifestyle that is highly conducive to God, his presence, and his angels, and highly repellant to the enemy and his kingdom. God wants us to order our lives according to wisdom to give us the edge in life and spiritual warfare. One of the ways that we can order our lives according to wisdom which helps to give us the edge when under heavy spiritual warfare is to simplify our lives and narrow our focus.
SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE & NARROW YOUR FOCUS WHEN WARFARE IS INTENSE
(1 Kings 19:15-17)
“15 Then the Lord said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria.
16 Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.
17 It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill.”
This passage of scripture is taken from (1 Kings 19), which is probably one of the most important chapters in the bible for studying spiritual warfare, as it tells the story of Elijah coming under heavy attack from the Jezebel spirit, along with the spiritual hierarchy of demonic power that worked with her to kill prophetic voices and bring the nation into darkness.
One thing you need to understand about spiritual warfare is that when it comes there are several debilitating symptoms that will manifest in a person’s life as a result of the warfare that will make even the most simple basic things in life difficult to do. When the enemy releases an attack against you spiritually it will come with an emotional roller coaster which includes strong feelings of fear, shame, and even anger if there is a specific person that Satan uses to spearhead the attack in the flesh. Spiritual attacks also come with a heaviness of the soul and mind that manifests in the form of confusion, regret, doubting yourself, heaviness, depression, as well as scattered thoughts and difficulty focusing.
A person under spiritual warfare will find themselves procrastinating a lot. Why? Because the strain they find themselves under mentally and emotionally from the warfare in the spirit realm around them makes them feel very stressed, and it is difficult to focus and get things done if you’re under that kind of stress. Procrastination is a method that people have developed as a means to relieve stress. You end up watching cat videos on youtube for two hours, not because you’re obsessed with cats, but because the mindless content consumption offers a momentary escape and relief from the stress, even the stress that your vessel is feeling from the warfare.
Now yes, if we’re under spiritual warfare we need to discipline ourselves to use the weapons of our warfare that are mighty in Christ for the pulling down of strongholds (2 Cor.10:4). We do need to pray and meditate on the word of God. We do need to release positive faith confessions out of our mouths. We do need to verbally take authority over the enemy, rebuke him in the name of Jesus, and apply the blood of Jesus to our lives, our hearts, our minds, and our bodies. But I myself have found it still difficult to cope with some of the symptoms of the spiritual warfare I was under even after I was doing these things. I also found it difficult to even organize myself in such a way to actually employ these weapons consistently until God revealed this wisdom key to me. Simplifying your life and narrowing your focus is a wisdom key to spiritual warfare that needs to be employed. Simplifying your life and narrowing your focus puts an edge on that blade you’re wielding and helps you to have greater success in overcoming the enemy in your life.
Notice how God simplifies Elijah’s mission in his greatest hour of strain and warfare. God doesn’t give him fifty things to do. No, God gives him three things to do, and notice how that simplicity of mission and narrowing of focus helps him to see that the responsibility to deal with Jezebel and these spirits is not solely on his shoulders. By simplifying his approach to the Jezebelic assault that had been arrayed against him and the nation and narrowing his focus on what really mattered at that moment (anointing the next kings and prophet) He gained God’s perspective on how to be effective in this battle. In order for Elijah to prevail He needed to not try and do it all on his own, but to lean on the team of kings and prophets that God had assembled to overcome the enemy in that nation. Before, He was trying to do it all by himself. Elijah was not a good leader, and like a lot of poor leaders He tried to do it all himself. This unwise strategy gave him a glorious moment in (1 Kings 18), but left him exposed and vulnerable for the attack that came in (1 Kings 19) which almost took him out. Spiritual warfare is serious business saints. If you do not learn to wage effective warfare with wisdom then you will be overcome in these last days, as the attacks of Satan against the church have become much more sophisticated and effective as He has employed powerful tools such as technology, entertainment, and infotainment.
One of Satan’s strategies against individuals in the church is to overwhelm their minds and souls with the intensity of spiritual warfare so they get overwhelmed and end up stopping dead in their tracks. Procrastination is terrible when it’s a result of spiritual warfare. A wisdom key you can employ when feeling overwhelmed by the warfare is to do what the Lord did with Elijah: simply your life and narrow your focus.
When you’re under intense spiritual warfare don’t try to take on the world and fulfill all of your tasks at hand and all your goals overnight. Narrow your list down to a few of the most basic, most important things that you need to be doing today, that you need to be doing this week, and just do those things. What you’ll find is that as you keep moving forward and don’t allow the enemy to paralyze you through the attack, that eventually the intensity of the warfare will subside and you will start to build forward momentum once again in your life. Like Elijah, He didn’t stay stuck in the wilderness. He got out of that wilderness, overcame his suicidal tendancies, and moved on with the call of God on his life. Now Elijah ultimately didn’t end up doing everything God told him to do that day, and I do believe his life and ministry were still prematurely cut short, but the principle still stands that we derive from God’s intervention in his life at this point. Simplify your life, narrow your focus on what really matters, and keep moving forward if you’re in a warfare season. Even if it’s just a little progress everyday, and even if you’re not as productive as in other seasons, that’s okay. The important thing is to not let the enemy immobilize you through the attacks. If He can immobilize you then He can bring a whole new level of warfare and spiritual assault to your life.
People that become immobilized start to run into financial trouble usually. People that become immobilized run into greater relationship issues, spiritual issues, and usually more unhealthy lifestyle choices are made. If you allow the enemy to stop you in your tracks concerning the assignment on your life or your work that God’s called you to do, usually the time spent doing those things is replaced with time spent doing other things you shouldn’t be doing. You’ve heard the statement, “idle hands are the devil’s tools”? Well, here it absolutely applies. Let not your hands be idle, as the scripture commands (Ecc.11:6). Find a way to keep moving forward by simplifying the process and not putting too much of a burden on your shoulders, and you will find yourself overcoming the enemy and snatching victory from his hands because you’re using a sharp ax; because you’re using a wisdom key to overcome him and his attacks and stay in your identity as a son or a daughter of God! As long as you keep moving forward you can’t be defeated! As long as you keep doing the wise, healthy, and powerful things you know to do, it will absolutely compound into victory over the enemy and success in your life overtime!
I pray this has been a blessing to you today! God bless!
In His Service,