When we are engaged in this or any other spiritual battle, our focus is not to be upon evil spirits, the devil, or upon spiritual warfare.
This means growing in maturity and balance of both the inward and outward operations of the Holy Spirit.
The Danger of Wrong Focus
We must have a single-minded, passionate focus upon Jesus Christ. Our purpose is to love Him, follow Him and glorify Him. In intercession our belief and practice must be conditioned by this heavenly vision.
Below is an excerpt from the manual of one of our equipping events entitled Dunamis Project V: Equipping for Spiritual Warfare and Kingdom Advancement, detailing the dangers of wrong focus and how to guard against them.
OUR TRUE FOCUS IS NOT ON SPIRITUAL WARFARE BUT ON JESUS CHRIST
Inherent in this Dunamis Project on spiritual warfare are some grave and very real dangers. We must walk a very fine line between taking spiritual warfare seriously, but not too seriously.
We must be aware of the tactics of our enemy but, more importantly, have faith in and a relationship with Jesus Christ.
C.S. Lewis, in the preface to The Screwtape Letters, describes the fine balance that must be kept:
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”
C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: MacMillan Company, 1948), p. 9.
While ignorance of our spiritual foes plays right into their hands, we may actually open the door to being attacked by deepening our awareness of their being and stratagems against us.
Transitional Dualism and Christ’s Ultimate Victory
There is another subtle, philosophical danger that must be avoided. It is falling into a dualistic view of reality.
In Christianity there is no ultimate ontological dualism pitting the light against the darkness. The victory has been decisively won in Jesus Christ.
God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are ultimate reality.
What we face on this earth is a “transitional dualism” where a defeated Satan and his fallen angels still fight to hinder the entrance of men and women into the Kingdom of God.
The Spirit of Wrong Focus
Our focus is not to be upon evil spirits, the devil, or upon spiritual warfare.
“Intercessors and warfare captains take note: there is a demon whose purpose is to lure one’s mind into hell. Its name is “Wrong Focus.” If you are continually seeing evil spirits in people or in the material world around you, you may actually be fighting this spirit. The ultimate goal of this demon is to produce mental illness in saints who move in deliverance. Listen very carefully: we are not called to focus on the battle or the devil, except where that battle hinders our immediate transformation into Christ’s likeness. Our calling is to focus on Jesus.”
“As we continually yield ourselves to Christ, surrendering ourselves by faith to His nature and His words, we literally build the impenetrable stronghold of His presence around us. The way into the fortress of the Almighty is simple. Victory begins with the name of Jesus on our lips. It is consummated by the nature of Jesus in our heart.”
Francis Frangipane, The Three Battlegrounds (Advancing Church Publications, 1989), pp. 37
“Behold, I have given you authority…”
When Jesus’ disciples returned from their mission trip, they reported with joy: “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”
And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17-20)
Single-minded, Passionate Focus upon Jesus Christ
As we begin, let these words of Jesus, both the promise of authority over evil, as well as its subordination to the ultimate reality which is salvation, be sealed upon our hearts!
This means growing in maturity and balance of both the inward and outward operations of the Holy Spirit. We must have a single-minded, passionate focus upon Jesus Christ.
Our purpose is to love Him, follow Him and glorify Him. In spiritual warfare our belief and practice must be conditioned by this heavenly vision.
The Dunamis Project : Spiritual Warfare : Intro
Copyright ©2011 PRMI www.prmi.org
The Next Step
To learn more about Dunamis Project 5, Spiritual Warfare, and other Dunamis Projects, please visit the Dunamis Institute website at dunamisinstitute.org.