Get Inspired Into Healing

How to Do Spiritual Warfare (A Practical Example)

Recently, a friend of mine was telling me how much she had enjoyed her pregnancy and how beautiful her birth was. She had lots to be glad about because her body was the picture of “everything working in perfect order” throughout much of her pregnancy and birth. She gained a perfect amount of weight for her body type, didn’t struggle with blood pressure issues, and got to exercise all the way up until the week she gave birth. She labored without meds for half a day until her breech baby turned around through prayer, and then had just enough pain meds to breathe her baby out, then be up and walking by dinner time.


So why have I been struggling to feel happy for her? Perhaps, because her story was NOT my story.

My Difficult Pregnancy & Birth

A pregnant, obese Tenay poses for her maternity photos. She has been pregnant for-like-ever.

In contrast to her fairy-tale sounding pregnancy, my pregnancy was tough! Because I had been waiting for such a long time (read: late into my thirties) to get married and have a baby, I really wanted to be one of those cute little pregnant ladies who beamed with joy throughout the whole experience. But instead, it actually felt like I was stuck in the prison of my uncooperative, over-pregnant body. I spent most of my days just trying to fend off spiritual attack, physical illness, and/or the constant barrage of emotional triggers that pregnancy caused. My pregnancy was way too long and every effort I expended to pray my difficult pregnancy into God’s good design for pregnancy led to the same answer from God: “I PROMISE THAT YOUR NEXT ONE WILL BE BEAUTIFUL.” 😖

Then, there was my birth: NOT at all what I had been praying for! In fact, it was almost like God took my perfectly written birth plan and did the exact opposite. To say that I was disappointed about how my pregnancy and birth played out was an understatement.

Did I get a healthy baby out of it? Yes. I also got a lot of unfulfilled hope and a lot of disappointment to accompany her. But I didn’t realize that this unreleased disappointment would become an open door for spiritual warfare.

Whispers of Jealousy

As I meditated on my friend’s testimony of how good God was in her pregnancy and birth, I began to hear whispers from the spirit of jealousy in my thoughts:

“How come God gave her the beautiful pregnancy and birth that I wanted?”
“Am I not the one who regularly sees others get supernaturally healed through my prayers? Why didn’t it work for me but it worked for her?”
“Does God love her more than me?”

Understandable, right?

Maybe; but these thoughts were actually fed to me by demons to see if I would bite on the bait of temptation. In the English Bible, these types of demonic thoughts are represented as “arrows” and translated as “temptation” or “trials”. There is a lot of misconception about temptation so I am being open and honest with this struggle to help give context to what it is and how to overcome it.

Being Tempted Without Sinning

Being tempted is never fun, but it is acceptable in God’s kingdom. After all, even our model, Yeshua, who lived a fully human life, was tempted in every way. What is not acceptable, however, is giving into temptation, that is, agreeing with those demon-fed thoughts, thereby inviting demons to sink their claws into our minds and hearts.

Here is an example of what is acceptable and what is not in my situation. (By the way, I use the term “acceptable” to mean “not evil”, as in “not going to hurt anyone”. I use the term “sin” to mean “missing out on God’s best”.)

Tempting Thought (Not Sin):
“How come she got the beautiful pregnancy and birth that I wanted?”😈

Acceptable Response (Not Sin):
“Although this feels true, it sounds like jealousy, which is unclean. God, please help me replace this temptation with your truth.”😔

Unacceptable Response (Entering Sin Territory):
“Yeah! Why did it happen like that?! I certainly waited longer than her to be pregnant! And I probably prayed more than her! This is unfair!” 🤬

Since Yeshua was tempted in every way and yet did NOT sin, and he told his followers to do all that he did and more, that means that I can also not sin whenever I am tempted (which is inevitable)!

Getting Down to the Business of Warfare

So, it’s good to understand temptation but how do we make it STOP? Here are some ways I resist the spirit of jealousy (that’s what I call the demon who is feeding these temptations into my mind) until it flees my thoughts:

1. I recognize who’s who in my head.

The Bible (and my life experience) are clear on this one: sometimes God is speaking to us, sometimes the enemy of our souls is speaking to us, and sometimes we are speaking to ourselves. Much of this “speaking” is occurring as thoughts whooshing through our brains like airplanes through an airport. But much like an airport has a control tower, I am the air traffic controller of my own thoughts and it’s my job to sort the planes out so that nothing bad happens in my life.

I like to use Galatians 5 as a guideline to sort out my thoughts:

  • If the thoughts I hear in my head lead to the fruit of the spirit (love, patience, peace, kindness, happiness for others, etc.), they are from God and God’s team (holy angels, my born-again human spirit, etc.)
  • If they lead to the fruit of the flesh (jealousy, control/manipulation, sexual immorality, etc.) then they are from the enemy (fallen angels AKA demons).
  • Everything else (like questions, conclusions, and decisions) is from me (my soul AKA my mind—conscious thoughts—and my heart—subconscious thoughts).

2. I don’t dwell on thoughts I don’t want.

If these yucky thoughts don’t originate from me, then I don’t have to let them squat in my brain. I get to decide which thoughts I meditate on and which thoughts I send away—a concept called spiritual warfare. Although spiritual warfare is a much bigger topic than this post, here’s the quick lesson on how to start doing it:

  • I declare out loud (yell, if I must) that I do NOT agree with the jealous thought I don’t like (and I say the specific thought out loud). This is sometimes called “confession” in Christianese.
  • I send away the spirit of jealousy away from me with the help of the Holy Spirit. This is sometimes called “spiritual warfare” and/or “resisting evil” in Christianese.
  • I listen for that truth in my head and then I declare it out loud. This is sometimes called “repentance” in Christianese.
  • I rinse and repeat until it works.
  • If I’m still struggling, I ask God what type of “inner healing” I must do to close the door to this temptation. (For example, grieve my own disappointments so that they are no longer causing a weakness in my proverbial defenses against temptation.)

In my jealousy example, my prayers sound like this:

I resist the lie that my friend got the pregnancy I wanted because God loves her more than me, in Yeshua’s name! I command the spirit of jealousy to flee from me. I thank you God for the beautiful baby you have given me and ask for your help grieving my disappointments and celebrating my victories. I also thank you for the beautiful pregnancy and birth you have given my friend and ask for your help to celebrate with her in great joy, especially because you have enough love to lavish upon both of us! And I eagerly await your redemption of my difficult pregnancy with a beautiful one the next time!

3. I meditate on thoughts I do want.

I cover my life with reminders of the thoughts I do want. I use post-its, scriptures, song and video playlists, memes, and journaling liberally until the thought moves from my mind (conscious thoughts) to my heart (subconscious thoughts). One day, I wake up to find I no longer have to do step 2 at all.

4. I invite someone into my battle.

I tell my husband, my friends, the object of my temptation, or the entire internet about my struggle while I am still fighting it so that they can pray for me and encourage me in my battle. The upside is that they can also celebrate with me when I win!

5. I make gratitude lists.

I write lists in my mind, journal, phone, or text messaging service that help me remember all the reasons for which I am genuinely thankful:

  • About the object of my jealousy (in this case, my friend with the great pregnancy)
  • About myself (in this case, my pregnancy), and the good things God is doing through both of our experiences.

This step reminds me that despite how the spirit of jealousy may be tempting me to feel, I actually experienced SEVERAL miraculous interventions in my pregnancy (including a few by this same friend’s prayers). It also reminds me that God used my excruciating labor pains to heal me of a huge trauma trigger (where physical pain used to send me into an emotional spiral, but no longer!) This step helps me celebrate the fact that I was able to get pregnant at all (as I had several indications of infertility), that I was able to get care from Minnesotans (who have an amazing servant-hearted business culture), that my pregnancy healed my body of hypothyroidism and hypertension (permanently, by the way), and that I was up and walking the same day I had the c-section (even the nurses were shocked).

Oh, wow! It turns out God was intimately involved in my pregnancy and birth, after all! (Silly demons, your lies just don’t hold water when inspected by the light of the truth of God.)

6. I ask God to help me genuinely celebrate another.

The ultimate sign of being free of the spirit of jealousy is that I can genuinely celebrate my friend’s victories. Sending her a card, or listening to her birth story with praise in my heart are some ways I can show her I am happy for her, period. But I must be able to do it with a glad heart and that sometimes takes God-intervention.

Looking Forward to the Future

Do I still have some grieving to do about my pregnancy and birth? Yup. But can I look forward to celebrating my friend’s victories with her now and then her celebrating my victories, later? Absolutely!

You better believe that this spirit of temptation won’t come back if I turn temptation into an opportunity to love God, myself, and my friend even better than I did, before!

One response to “How to Do Spiritual Warfare (A Practical Example)”

  1. […] Interpret Visions From God: A Practical Example How to Offer Holy Spirit Prayer (with Examples) How to Do Spiritual Warfare (A Practical Example) How to Meditate with God (with Practical Examples) […]

Related Posts

Discover more from Tenay Benes

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading