The Plumb Line, by Jennifer LeClaire

Want to receive The Plumb Line by email? Sign up here
spiritual warfare
(© Felixcasio | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images)

Jennifer LeClaire is now sharing her reflections and revelations through Walking in the Spirit. Listen at

Spiritual warfare against churches that are making an impact for God can be fierce—sometimes discouraging and sometimes even deadly. I’ve known some pastors who quit and other pastors who died premature deaths in the face of the intense battle.

Yes, the spiritual warfare is all too real at times. But can we really blame spirits like Jezebel, witchcraft and religion for all our warfare? Yes, principalities and powers surely attack, but too often the leadership is willfully opening the front door to every kind of evil.

Indeed, too often the enemy has plenty of help from offended believers. Too often discernment is lacking, and the onslaughts continue unabated—or even increase as spiritual sleuths go on a witch hunt for the Jezebels, Ahabs, Absaloms or other demons that carry rock-star status in the spiritual warfare culture. And too often these religious sleuths label certain members of the congregation troublemakers and seek to shut them out when those members aren’t the problem at all.

No, I’m not exaggerating. This is a sad but true reality in some churches. I lived it.

A Badge of Honor?

I was once part of a church where we wore the “I’m under attack” label like a badge of honor. Leadership joked that even attempts to create a flyer for outreach would unleash principalities and powers against them. The not-to-subtle insinuation was that the church was such a threat to the enemy that he dispatched a host of demons to thwart its every step. This church was proud of its warfare. And it was into extremes.

Taking pride in being attacked was the first sign that something was wrong. If not that, then the constant bickering on the worship team—yes, infighting among those who were supposed to usher in the presence of God—should have been a clue. And if not that, then the literal hissy fits at staff meetings should have made it crystal clear. And if not that, the senior pastor’s habit of calling private meetings where he tore people apart with the words of his mouth should have offered a final verdict.

No, it wasn’t Jezebel targeting the church for destruction. Many had yielded to a garden variety spirit of strife. You could see this spirit of strife manifest on international outreaches and local community events alike. There was an angry undercurrent woven into the fabric of the church. Oh, how it must have grieved the Holy Spirit to see men of God belittling one another and sisters in Christ contending to have their way instead of preferring one another in honor. There was no discernment among the leadership about the true root of the warfare because the staff had grieved the One who offers the gift of discerning of spirits.

This church opened the door to the principalities and powers that were assaulting it by refusing to resist strife’s whispers. That spirit of strife stymied the growth of the church and its people, many who left complaining, “There’s no love in this church!” I dare say the spirit of strife helped lead many into deception, as they were always buffeting the air against principalities and powers but never repenting for the spiritual pride in their own hearts. They didn’t see it. They didn’t want to see it.

What Causes Strife?

Yes, the spiritual warfare is all too real at times. But too often we tap into a spirit of strife that afflicts the entire congregation. Strife spreads like wildfire. And it’s not always so obvious as bickering on the worship team, screaming in staff meetings, or behind-the-door browbeatings. You may never see these things going on if you aren’t part of the “inner circle.” Politically correct church leaders are experts at masking an angry spirit. Or maybe you do see it. And maybe you see it in your own heart.

So, what does strife look like and what causes it? Where you see power struggles and exertion of superiority, you can’t automatically blame Jezebel. Strife is the likely motivator. When you see arguing or contending over anything, it’s not always rebellion. Strife is typically lurking. When you see double standards, where one escapes correction for a major offense and another is sternly rebuked for a minor offense, strife could be at the root.

Beloved, strife is an abomination to God (Prov. 6:16-19). Strife affects the anointing and the flow of the Holy Ghost (Ps. 133:1-3). Strife grieves the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30). Strife destroys relationships (Prov. 17:9). Strife is rooted in anger (Prov. 29:22), hatred (Prov. 10:12), pride (Prov. 13:10) and a quarrelsome, self-seeking spirit (Gal. 5:14-18; Luke 22:24-27). James put it this way:

“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3, NKJV).

It was James who also said this: “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:14-16, KJV).

Let me repeat what James wrote so you don’t miss it: Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. Strife opens the door to principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Strife opens the door to spiritual warfare

If your church is under attack, I urge you not to have a knee-jerk reaction. Don’t go on a witch hunt for Jezebel. (I talk more about this in my book, The Spiritual Warrior's Guide to Defeating Jezebel.) Don’t ignore the devil, either, and certainly don’t take pride in the fact that the enemy has targeted you for attack. Instead, get on your face and worship God. Repent of anything He shows you that's not right in your own heart. Then ask Him what the source of the warfare is. It could be Jezebel or any number of spirits coming against you. But it could be internal strife. And nothing kills the anointing faster than strife. Don’t lie against the truth. If strife is the root of your spiritual warfare, repent so you can see clearly to battle your other spiritual enemies. Amen.

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Spiritual Warrior's Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit her website hereYou can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Did you enjoy this blog? Click here to receive it by email.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Marriage man and woman

    Why Marriage Is Not Just Between a Man and a Woman

    Marriage is a miracle. Let us treat it like one.

  • Be encouraged to slow down to hear God in unexpected ways.

    A Common Reason You May Be Missing God's Voice

    Out of thousands of people, only six didn't fall into one experiment's trap. Discover how ...

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit