We Wrestle and We Wrestle Not
Priscilla Van Sutphin
March 23rd, 2014
As I thought about something said in a word sent to me about warfare, that said, we don’t need “to throw hatchets at the moon”. I thought maybe that was that person’s frustration with people moving in presumption. There was also an implied, only need to focus on God. And it is true that bringing God’s presence down in worship where HE dwells in the midst of our praises is the most effective means of insulation/intervention.
On same day I also heard this quote:
“You can’t cast out a demon nor can you disciple a demon” – Jack Hayford
GOD in his Incarnate state wrestled with the enemy in the desert and had to use the Word to fight off the devil’s temptations. We also are to WAR with the Word of God. The Lord said to me, “ Why did Jacob have to wrestle?” and I hadn’t really thought of it that deeply before. I’ve heard lectures about it. But I hadn’t thought of that part. I’ve heard teachers say, he wrestled for his blessing, but he didn’t even know he’d be blessed till I think he’d been doing it. He just knew he was being opposed by someone greater than himself. He had been afraid of his brother coming to kill him.
Jacob wrestled with God Himself in His pre-incarnate state. Why?
Thought: Jacob was mild mannered compared to Esau. People teach he was a manipulator, but that is not accurate. At least I don’t believe that totally. I think he was mild mannered, more like his mom, and was trying to fulfill her wishes, and the prophecy she told him was spoken over him. I think maybe he lacked some backbone perhaps after years with Laban. As you see him going on and on, he was really paying a heavy price for his bride and being manipulated by Laban. He had become beaten down perhaps, till finally, he could take no more, and God told him to go. But the process perhaps weighed him down. Some of us know how that is.
So he gets to the river, and hears Esau is coming with lots of his men and he is afraid. He is doubting. Thus he has an encounter with the Angel of the Lord, Yeshua, before his incarnation. For at the end of wrestling we see the Lord say to him…You have wrestled with the Lord and prevailed. Imagine. Imagine you are not realizing what is happening, why you are having to do this, but you know you must prevail to overcome. Many of us have been there and are still wrestling.
There are many who in warfare just presumptively pray against Satan and with arrogance, gloat about their power over him. But that is not scriptural at all. God told His disciples, not to gloat that they had power over the enemy, [which says we do, and are seated in heavenly places over all powers and principalities, and spiritual wickedness in high places in the heavens ] but He told them to rejoice that their names were in the Lamb’s book of life which tells us, not to be proud of our authority, because its only through being IN CHRIST, but be humble, and recognize that GOD is the ONE with the power, it is not our OWN. Scriptures say, all power and blessing and honor belong to HIM.
John Paul Jackson has taught in at least one time of my hearing, not to engage principalities. I remember John White from England also telling a story how they tried to one time in their church in England and that principality showed up towering over the church, mocking them, threatening them. So to not go outside our boundaries of authority. So, what does that mean for the average believer.
Jesus taught us that all power and authority were IN CHRIST. And since we are in CHRIST, we are seated in heavenly places and we trample on serpents and scorpions and over ALL the power of the evil one. So do we use that authority or not? When can we?
A. Each person’s authority depends I believe to a degree on his healing and deliverance progress to an extent. But beyond that extent, you are IN CHRIST, so you call on HIM to rebuke the enemy, or to intervene. You are safe in HIM.
B. He once told me the spirit of fear of man cannot drive out a spirit of the fear of man, So if someone with a lot of pride tries to drive out a demon of pride, they aren’t going to get very far unless they repent and get delivered themselves. If someone still moves in control witchcraft and manipulation, they are not going to be that successful coming against jezebel or witchcraft forces, or any force, because they still have a measure themselves.
C. As you grown in authority, through holiness produced in His presence, then more and more you find your prayers get answered more. That tells you authority has increased.
D. Often you will see people have anointings for certain kinds of things, also and sometimes that is because they have battled it themselves. It says in the Word of God, the Kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force. So what comes against you, God will give you the authority over to drive out of others. So you see people who’ve battled cancer that can pray for others and see them healed of cancer sometimes.
E. When God sends you on a mission of some kind, to someone or somewhere, HE will give you authority to drive out spirits, etc, - the commensurate GRACE required to do it. Grace meaning his power, even if you are not totally free yourself. He did that with me when I went to India. I was not free from the FM demons yet fully, yet He allowed me the privilege to see blind eyes healed, and deaf and dumb spirits driven out with a word, or with a hey, heh, or a roar. I was trying to be obedient to what He told me and led me to do. Epilepsy left, and goiter was healed. People’s hearts and other issues were healed.
Moses had that authority, as he was sent to encounter the most wicked occult power in the earth in Egypt. He prayed a lot, and did only as the Lord led him to do. It was followed by great signs and wonders. Gideon was another, who did some strange things that the Lord told him to do, and God did supernatural things to overcome the spiritual and physical enemies for both of them despite any weaknesses. Peter had weaknesses yet he was mightily used such that even his shadow healed others.
F. If you are SPIRIT-LED, in other words, in what you do, then HE is WITH you to perform what He gives you to do. Where we get in trouble is trying to do things in our own strength. God may lead some to go into the heavenlies and do battle with powers, and dominions, spirits in high places [heavenlies] that are causing trouble for a person or peoples. But that means HE is with you, not just inside you but with you, guiding you and fighting with you in the battle. I’ve heard stories of those who have done this, and it is amazing that God would allow us that privilege. But again, it is not in presumption, assuming anything. It is only done at the Holy Spirit’s leading.
G. I think sometimes we are battling with God, thinking we are battling the enemy like Jacob, till we realize, it’s not the enemy opposing us, but God, because we need to plead with HIM to breakthrough for us, and not be wimps, because we ARE HIS, and if we don’t realize we are bought and paid for with the blood of Jesus and have a right attitude towards His love for us, then there is still something inside of us that has to be overcome, like rejection or self-rejection, or guilt perhaps. Sometimes God is holding us back because we are not ready, not having the right attitude reflecting His light and truth. So He continues to sharpen us and polish us, till we are a ready instrument in His hands.
H. Gehazi saw when Isaiah prayed, that the LORD’s army was greater than that of the enemy. He actually saw the angels of the Lord, so that he would understand how great GOD was.
I. Moses prayed and prayed, and got so worn out, that Aaron and Hurr had to hold up his arms to keep the battle going in favor of Israel. Why? He was engaging in the warfare in the Spirit realm with the true enemies of God. And he got wore out. There are people today who think that no one should ever get weary, and some think they should be able to fight on their own. But God made us INTERDEPENDENT on Him and on our fellow believers. No man is an island He said in proverbs. When we see someone who is weary like many intercessors today which Daniel indicated the enemy would wear down the saints, then we should be willing to pray with them if directed by the Lord. Our hearts should not judge and condemn the weary warrior. The old adage of until you walk in someone else’s shoes fits here. Jesus tells us in the New Testament to BEAR ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS, and so fulfill the law of Christ. We are to share our burdens with one another and pray and war for one another.
J When Esther was called by God to fast, she was battling for her people and she did NOT do it alone. She asked for them ALL to fast, and pray so that when she went into the king, God would move on her behalf. Obedience to what God had said, was KEY to overcoming. This was another case of Spirit led intervention.
I was trying to think about any direct warring with demon entities, then the Lord brought to mind ELIJAH. Confronting Jezebel and the priests of Baal couldn’t have been more hairy. He wasn’t exactly there with a lot of backup in the physical, but he had HUGE back up in the spiritual due to doing what God called him to do. He mocked demonic entities in people, saying maybe your god is asleep, took a nap. He wasn’t throwing hatchets at the moon, yet he was taking on Jezebel and again the most wicked pagan spirits at that time in Israel. Head to head he and Obadiah and his rescued prophets prayed against the many more prophets of Baal. Very similar to the hour at hand. And Who had the victory there? GOD of course, and HE WILL AGAIN, so we just have to be doing what HE says, and not presuming.
In the book of Deuteronomy, God tells Joshua:
Deut 2:24-25 NKJV "'Rise, take your journey, and cross over the River Arnon. Look, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to possess it, and engage him in battle. 25 This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the nations under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.'
The word for engage here is OT:1624 hr*G* garah (gaw-raw'); a primitive root; properly, to grate, i.e. (figuratively) to anger:KJV - contend, meddle, stir up, strive.
In ancient Hebrew the letters are
With meanings of meddle, mingle, pledge, become, engage as in to barter, intermeddle, mortgage, occupier, occupy, undertake, sweet, pleasure, pleasing, pleasant, mingle.
If we look at the individual letters going from right to left the first is AYIN
which looks like an eye. This letter represents the ideas of seeing and watching as well as knowledge as the eye is the window of knowledge.
The second letter is RESH which represents the head of a man. It has the meanings of head, as well as chief, top, beginning or first.
And the last letter is Bet which represents a house or a tent. It best represents the nomadic tents of the Hebrews Benner says. “the tent was divided in two sections, men’s and women’s with the entrance at the front of the tent in the MEN’s section and an entrance from the men’s to the women’s section.”
To me the idea of to BARTER is kind of what we do with the enemy in fighting with the WORD of God like Jesus did. The enemy tries to take ground through legal means, but the Word of GOD displaces him. Give him an inch and he tries to take a mile so to speak. It takes sometimes PERSISTENCE in standing your ground just like in a bartering exchange, the person who wants to win his price, must stand his ground.
Then God says HE will put the dread and fear of Jacob in the nations who come against him. Now think a bit. Would God by the new covenant do anything less? Would not GOD putting His Spirit in us, make us a dread to the enemy? I remember an incident with a young former friend Tim, who when he got saved, started seeing in the spirit at times. When he went on the high school campus, he saw demons hanging out everywhere, but when he got near to a person the demons hanging on the youth, would hide behind them in fear. Probably afraid that he might use his authority in Christ to kick them out! God not only says the nations but ALL THE NATIONS under heaven! And beyond that they shall TREMBLE and be in ANGUISH because of you he said.
We really need to think about that in this hour. Because the enemy thinks he has the upper hand right now. His kingdom has grown, but God has a huge surprise awaiting him through what He is about to pour out in His beloveds.
When Joshua was commissioned He was told,
Josh 1:7-9 NKJV Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
And in 1 Samuel it says: 1 Sam 15:22-23 So Samuel said: "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king."
Can you understand here, that disobedience is the same as rebellion is the same as witchcraft? The Lord once told me MURDER is the highest form of witchcraft! Murder is the far extension of rebellion just as suicide is the far extension of rejection. God showed me we cannot be fully obedient til the enemy is fully kicked off our soul – our heart, will and emotions.
Many people cannot break free of addictions for example till the root cause of their holding on to their rights or will is extinguished, till all unbelief, doubt and skepticism in their hearts is annihilated, about God’s love for them. The LOVE of GOD leads to repentance. So when people fully grasp the fullness and depth of God’s love for them, THEN they will be able to RECEIVE the fullness of God that helps them obey fully. Rejection keeps us from receiving. You will note that people who still have a spirit of rejection on their souls are not graceful receivers. They cannot believe yet that GOD loves them that much.
Eph 3:17-19 AMP
17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,
18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God's devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];
19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!
Who doesn’t want to be FLOODED with GOD HIMSELF?
When we pray to be OVERWHELMED with His Spirit, that is what we are asking for. I remember reading an article about Jonathon Edward’s wife and how she was overcome in any casual or formal gathering during a time in the revival her husband was part of. On one occasion the Lord so apprehended her, she had to be carried to bed, and she was so overcome with LOVE, that she said, she didn’t even think about what someone’s sin might be, she just was filled with love for people.
One of the things John Eckhardt talks about in Prayers to Rout Demons is about the need for endurance from 2 Tim 2:3 – the ability to endure and withstand HARDSHIP, adversity or stress. We are to ENDURE HARDNESS as a Soldier of Christ Jesus. The trouble is there are not many who are willing to share in other’s burdens because we are not willing to share hardships. We fear retaliation of the enemy, and having to battle with them.
Entering the battle for others means WARRING on their behalf, battling with what they are battling with. If that is witchcraft, then you will have to battle it, whether you like it or not. I had this “friend” who was unwilling to go through inner healing prayer [ emotional healing] and retained a high level of rage, anger and bitterness. This one time, I remember getting a package from her. She was keen on sending newspaper articles about things in the news I had no inclination to read. She was trying to put on me, the call on her life in a way or get me to be angry as she was about what was going on. Granted we all have some issues, but we all have our own assignments. And hers was not mine. But when I got the package, I opened it and was immediately feeling irritation and anger, and rage. And I’m talking to God saying, WHAT IS THIS? I feel SO angry, and enraged. And I don’t know why. He gently spoke to me, that what I was feeling was what was inside of her.
There were times when I confronted her, that that rage was aimed at me out of jealousy. I was not all that enthused about taking on her demons. Because I’d been engaging them for years, without seeing any progress, because of her resistance. In this case I had to give her to God. I bound those entities over her and commanded any out of my place. Spirits will transfer if you don’t forbid them, because of engagement with others, unless you disallow them to. So now I’ve also learned when I go out of the apt, to bind any transference of spirits and sometimes have to do it several times a day when in public . I bind the strongman wherever I am going, and bind any transference of spirits to me. It is effective to pray thus, besides putting on your armor daily in the spirit.
The thing is that spirits of darkness do communicate to one another. Satan may not be everywhere, but his minions are, and they CAN read your thoughts, else-wise, why would they insert thoughts into your mind to misdirect or redirect your thoughts. They use the same tricks over and over. The thing is the enemy can see the brightness of the light you are carrying within you, and so can the witches and warlocks who eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so when you show up at the coffee shop, or the health food store, they are seeing who you are. You think they won’t try to engage you? One of the main characteristics of witches and warlocks is PRIDE, just like their father. Like let’s see who’s more powerful.
Its really no contest. But it is a WAR. And in wars, there are casualties. And in war, it’s wise to know the enemies strategies and ways of warfare, lest you be caught unawares. Much of the church underestimates the enemy or overestimates their own holiness. HUMILITY means admitting like the sinner and the Pharisee example, that we are nothing apart from Jesus. Our righteousness IS IN HIM. So through HIM, we have authority, it is not of ourselves, lest any man boast. Boasting is of the devil. Warlocks like to boast how powerful they are and they work to prove it. But if you try to deal with them through arrogance, the enemy already has you.
Eph 6:10-20 NKJV says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints — 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Lord once said: Beloved, the devil is at my disposal to teach you sometimes how to war, how to fight, and I want you to not grow slack or assuming in nature, so that you let down your guard, for you are in the fight of your life right NOW. This is WAR, and there is no slacking. You are in training because of the call I have on your life.
In summary, we go from glory to glory, from grace to grace, so we grow in Christ in authority, and we only have authority for what assignments HE gives us. We are not to step out of bounds and assume anything. Presumption is pride. We have victory over all things because we are IN CHRIST. But not all is subdued yet under us until we are dead to self. Always do what the Father is doing, leading you to do, and only that.