Right now I am doing Priscilla Shirer's "Armor of God" Bible study. And wow, we are only a week and a half in and my eyes are so being opened. I want to share a bit of what I am learning in case it helps you too.
I very much belief that spiritual warfare is real. There is a battle in the spiritual realms constantly. However, I usually think of this battle going on as the pull and the temptation to do the things we aren't suppose to do. For example I viewed spiritual warfare as happening when Satan temps married men or women to have a relationship with the opposite sex , when lies are told to a teenager that pushes them towards substance abuse, when greed pulls people into poor financial decisions and debt that enslaves them.... all of these are temptations and things that people DO. They are ACTIONS people take... COMMITING adultery, TAKING substances, CHARGING a card. These actions can ruin lives and that's just what Satan wants. He is the father of lies and deception and nudge you in any direction he can so that you are far from God, not living in his will, not experiencing his abundance, and not being effective.
However, What my eyes are being open to in my own life is that spiritual warfare is also going on to keep people INACTIVE. Not taking actions. Those actions they know they are suppose to be taking but they are listening to the father of lies of how inadequate they are and how unclear the path is. We are allowing doubt, insecurities, and fear to creep in instead of calling on The ONE who can overcome all of that. The one who gives us our confidence in Him. We are choosing to believe the lies of how unequipt we are instead of trusting God to equipt us.
In addition to listening to the lies and the doubt I see spiritual warfare happening when I think my heart is aligned to what God wants. I think I'm ready to move forward but the TIME isn't there. I think "I have no time. I'm to busy. This is going to take to much effort and I can't see how to fit it in". These are my thoughts. These are my challenges. But really, that's a lame excuse. Yes, I truly do feel like I don't have time.. but then I realize that once again I am listening to a lie. Yes I do have time. Can I give this project or this idea or this organization 30 minutes of my time. Yes! We all have the same 24 hours each day. And if other people have figured out how to fit it in their day so can I!
Once I see this as spiritual warfare and how easily I have been kept paralyzed with fear and ineffectiveness.. it just makes me mad. I wanna fight against it. I wanna take action.
One of the best questions Priscilla asks in the book is to ask yourself "In what ways do I pose the biggest threat to the enemy and his purposes".
When you identify that, look closely, and that's often right where Satan wants to keep you ineffective.
Once your eyes are open to it don't try to defeat it in your own strength ( I'm guilty of that) but call on Him. The only true GOD who has the power to give you the strength, to arrange your time, and to align your focus to his and use you in ways that are beyond yourself!