Do you feel like you're walking through the valley of the shadow of death? Has this year been a constant battle? Earlier this year, I gave a prophetic word regarding spiritual warfare on the earth.
There was an onslaught of fear during 2018 because we moved into enemy territory that has been occupied for years. Demonic forces that have held the planet in their clutches for generations were, and still are, being broken. So you may have experienced resistance in the form of anxiety, depression, nightmares and even suicidal thoughts because you have taken new land to change the world and to love the evil out of the earth. And as you take new ground, there's resistance pushing back against you.
Spiritual conflicts most often occur when we advance into new territory that is inhabited by evil spirits. Much like Joshua's promised land experience or Nehemiah rebuilding of the walls, the enemy defends his territory when we are pushing forward into the new land.
Don't Misidentify Your Enemy
It's so important that we understand we are not warring against our old man, but against principalities. The war is finally won when you recognize that the thoughts you are fighting against are not your own, and you resist them. Ephesians 6:12 says, "For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." When we understand that our old man is dead, we don't try to fight with him anymore.
Evil spirits attack by giving you thoughts that are compelling. In other words, they make you feel like you want to do them, even though they are the opposite of your history and nature. Then those same spirits accuse you of having these thoughts and feelings. If you believe these accusations, you slip into fighting yourself instead of the true enemy and may even lose confidence in yourself and God's ability to keep you. This starts a spiral down into depression, anxiety and self-hatred.
Prophetic Word Revisited
One of the demonic forces I see active on the earth with those who are in the midst of warfare right now is the Jezebel spirit. I want to be clear that Jezebel is not a strong-willed woman, but rather a spirit, which is personified by a woman in the story in the Bible. I know that some people in the church like to label women who have a strong voice or point of view as a Jezebel, but that is simply inaccurate and inappropriate.
The Jezebel spirit is an issue of spirits, not of people, as we just mentioned above.
4 Signs You're Under the Influence of a Spirit of Jezebel
So how do you know if you're under the influence of a Jezebel spirit? I encourage you to read the full story of this playing out in 1 Kings 18 and 19. The story is long, but what I want you to know before reading on is that Elijah had just come out of a great battle and won a great victory (he defeated 850 false prophets). Suddenly, he came under the influence of a spirit of Jezebel when she said she was going to kill him.
Perhaps this year, you had some great victories followed by some intense battles. I propose you didn't "miss it" when you stepped into new ground with courage. You're experiencing resistance because you're right where you need to be: taking new ground, advancing the kingdom and shining light in dark places.
Here are four signs you're under the influence of the spirit of Jezebel:
- Irrational fear and insecurity.
Elijah had just killed 850 prophets and turned the Israelites back to God. He had a great victory! However, when Jezebel said she'd kill Elijah, he ran for his life. Her threat of his life was not a real threat because he could easily defeat her, as he had just defeated 850 false prophets. So this fear was irrational. You may be under the influence of a spirit of Jezebel if you are dealing with irrational fears that make no sense in light of the reality of your life.
- The spirit of suicide.
Elijah wants to die when he comes under the influence of the spirit of Jezebel. Let's think about where else this happens in the Bible. When Jesus met Satan in the wilderness in Matthew 4, one of the temptations was to throw himself off the pinnacle of the temple. Suicide is actually a spirit. How do we know this? Because self-preservation is one of the most common drivers of creation. So what causes a person to want to take their own life? I propose to you that this desire is not human. Your innate desire is to live, but the one (Satan) who hates you wants to see you die.
Elijah doesn't want to live and ends up in a cave, isolated and alone. When he recounts to God the story of what had just happened, he brings up a story that is many years old about a time when everything was going wrong. Yet, the most recent story, of 41 days prior, is about his victory. All he can remember is what went wrong. He is confused and forgot his recent breakthrough. If you can't see clearly, feel foggy in your spirit and are confused about where God has brought you from, you may be under the influence of this spirit.
Elijah said to God, "I alone am left" (1 Kings 19:10b) but God responds that He has 7,000 other prophets who had not bowed their knees to Baal. When you're under the influence of a spirit of Jezebel, you feel alone and think you're the only one left. It's as though the world is coming to an end. But it's important to remember the truth is that the world has dramatically improved in the last 100 years. You are not alone, and God is moving on the earth.
The Purpose of Your Battle
Vision gives pain a purpose. When you know what you're moving towards, you'll have the stamina, strength and steadfastness to come out on the other side of your battle. So why do we war in the Spirit? What glistening light awaits at the end of the tunnel, and how can you focus on its glow instead of the shadows around you?
The clear purpose of wilderness battles is to test and establish our faith. The apostle James told us to rejoice in trials because of what they produce in us—the same maturity and perfection that Christ displayed in His complete dependence on God: "My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations, knowing that the trying of your faith develops patience. But let patience perfect its work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:2-4).
Faith is fundamentally a relational term—it is not first a matter of what you believe, but whom you trust. In the midst of battle, it can seem so complex, but when the dust settles and the smoke clears, the real war is always over the same question—whom will we believe? Whom will we listen to, God or the devil?
Your Victory Is Bigger Than You
May I remind you that your battle is not simply to establish your faith, but it is also to demonstrate light on the earth. People speak of darkness as if it is the most dominant force in the world, as if darkness is forcing light out of the world. But nothing could be further from the truth. It's light that is stalking the darkness. The goodness of God is overwhelming evil; truth is overcoming lies, and the power of the Spirit is displacing the powers of darkness.
If you experienced breakthrough when this prophetic word was released earlier this year, please share your testimonies in the comments. If you're still in your battle, I'd also love to hear how you plan to stalk the darkness in this season. Remember, your battle is happening because you're taking new ground, so may your steps be strong, may your path be illuminated and may your sight be made clear so that every advancement will be accomplished with great confidence.
Kris Vallotton is the senior associate leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and cofounder of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM). Kris travels internationally, training and equipping people to successfully fulfill their divine purpose. He's a best-selling author, having written more than a dozen books and training manuals to help prepare believers for life in the kingdom. He has a diverse background in business, counseling, consulting, pastoring and teaching, which gives him unique leadership insights and perspectives. Kris has a passion to use his experience and his prophetic gift to assist world leaders in achieving their goals and accomplishing their mission.
This article originally appeared at krisvallotton.com.
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