When we are saved, the Lord begins a campaign to reclaim for Himself that which the enemy had occupied. Salvation is the very act of transferring our citizenship from the kingdom of darkness, over which satan rules, to the kingdom of heaven, over which Yehovah, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, rules. This justification, being made in right relationship to the LORD God through the washing of the spotless blood of the Lamb, takes place in an instant of time, and we are born again, with a new heart and a new nature, children of the Most High. Our eternal life is secured.
But soon we discover that though we are new men with a new nature and a new citizenship, we still dwell in this realm of the kingdoms of the world, over which the enemy temporarily retains control. And we have years, perhaps decades, of old or carnal habits, which the enemy is constantly feeding by lies, to retrain. This sanctification begins at the moment of our conversion, and continues to the grave. We battle the lies of the enemy that he feeds into our minds, to tear down strongholds of false beliefs and raise up strongholds of true beliefs in their place. Positive feelings and godly actions stem from strongholds of true beliefs, and negative feelings and ungodly actions stem from strongholds of false beliefs in the heart. Expressing our imputed spiritual righteousness in actual right actions and deeds is an ongoing process of individual sanctification. It does not secure our eternal life, but procures the blessings of obedience for this life. I have written extensively about this warfare of individual sanctification before:
But while this warfare may consume us for a time while we are actively engaged in building up right strongholds, none of us live in isolation. We soon discover that the family as a unit, then the community, and even the nation, is also a target of demonic influence, especially as we gain victory in our individual sanctification and make progress in the purpose God has for our lives, growing in grace and service toward others. A common strategy of the enemy as he loses his influence over us as individuals, is to ramp up his pressure in our circle – family, church, community – to sabotage, if possible, God’s calling.
None of us can stop and be content with individual sanctification. We have authority in Messiah Yeshua to clean house, so to speak, and to reclaim our families, communities, and nation, for God. The next step is family and household sanctification; community (work, church, city) sanctification, and national sanctification. I call this process, “warfare,” because the enemy actively opposes losing his previously- held control. But just as he was forced to bow the knee and depart from us concerning our individual sanctification, so too with the sanctification of our larger circle.
As we engage, we must constantly keep in mind who is our real enemy. On this point the enemy will always be working to shift the blame that is rightfully his.
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. Eph 6:12
Our enemies are not our family members, our co-workers, our brothers and sisters in the LORD, or our national leaders. It is squarely The enemy, and over him Yeshua has triumphed.