Did you know that love is the best way to defeat Satan's power?
During the many years I have been involved in prayer and intercession, I have seen all kinds of approaches to bringing down the strongholds of the enemy. Just mention the phrase "spiritual warfare" in a group of seasoned intercessors, and you'll be amazed at all the different "techniques" espoused and "weapons" employed.
Although I too utilize various approaches, I have come to believe that the greatest weapon of spiritual warfare is simply love—God's love. This love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit and sustains us at every juncture of life and in every opposition and trial. If we abide in God's love, it consumes us, restores us, refreshes us, satisfies us and gives us power over the enemy.
The Warrior Bride
For several years, the body of Christ has been experiencing tremendous warfare. The battle has been intense, with no rest in the foreseeable future except the rest that comes from relationship with Jesus.
In the midst of the battle, we have been praying for revival for ourselves, our nation and the nations of the world. We are beginning to see answers to our prayers: signs of revival in our country as well as in other countries. However, this year, many leaders and intercessors are seeking the Lord as never before for fresh strategy in prayer, hoping that we will experience a more full-blown Scriptural revival worldwide—and especially in America.
I believe one of the main keys both to the success of this new phase of the battle campaign and to the strength of the leaders and intercessors as they engage in warfare for the revival is found in the first chapter of the Song of Solomon. Here the Shulamite—also known as the Beloved, and representative of the bride of Christ, the church—says of her lover, a symbol of Christ: "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is better than wine" (Song 1:2, NKJV).
The Hebrew word for "kiss" used here is nashaq, and it can refer to either a literal or a figurative touch of the form we normally think of as a kiss. But there is another meaning of the Hebrew word that applies.
According to Strong's, nashaq also means "to equip with weapons." I believe the Lord is raising up and equipping a new breed of warriors in the body of Christ—whom I call collectively the warrior bride. Many in the past have seen her, by the Spirit, dressed in a beautiful wedding gown with combat boots.
I no longer see the bride only that way. The new warrior I see still wears the beautiful gown, and she is still in combat, but her boots have been replaced with dancing shoes. She is adorned in righteous garments and feels the joy and liberty of the Holy Spirit down to her toes (see Eph. 5:27; Rom. 14:17; 2 Cor. 3:17).
If she were to remove her shoes, though, you would see that she bears the marks of Christ—the wounds, scars and bruises that have come from walking in this life. These scars are fulfilling their purpose, that she "may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings" (Phil. 3:10). That's why she can dance with all her might like David did (see 2 Sam. 6:14); the enemy is under her feet.
The bride does not have to fight the way she used to in order to be effective. Her fighting is now offensive rather than defensive because she "lives and moves and has her being" more in God's manifest presence and power than ever before (see Acts 17:28).
This is because she has made a habit of "kissing" her God in the first sense of nashaq. She has learned to spend time with Him in intimate communion, embracing Him and allowing Him to embrace her, reveling in His presence and His touch.
Kissing is an expression of affection, and Scripture encourages us to set our affections "on things above" and not "on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2). The Lord wants us to be so closely attached to and intimately acquainted with Him that we are inseparable in our daily decisions and dealings of life.
As the bride gives herself entirely to Jesus in the kiss of worship, sweet fellowship in the Word and heartfelt waiting upon Him, she is being equipped with weapons that will enable her to rule and reign in heavenly places more effectively. She has not always exercised the full authority behind her declarations in prayer because she has not known intimately the One to whom and of whom she spoke.
But now, she is armed with the weapon of love—God's love (see 1 John 4:7-8,17)—and with the weapon of herself, infused and saturated with His presence. It is not only the words she speaks, but also her very presence that dispels darkness because of the One she has kissed.
Responding in the Opposite Spirit
When we, as the bride, experience an intimate relationship with Christ, we are transformed by the power of His love into His image and likeness (see 2 Cor. 3:18). We develop a new way of speaking, thinking, acting and even of fighting battles. We gain greater understanding about how to respond to the subtle attacks of the enemy. This understanding helps us to be resourceful in using the weapon of love; we learn to operate in a spirit opposite to the one with which we are attacked.
Our model, of course, is Jesus. He did nothing of Himself but only what He saw His Father doing (see John 5:19). As we mature and develop a lifestyle of deep devotion to Him, the choices we make will be motivated by His love and will glorify His name.
In the face of opposition, we take a stance—sometimes of silence, as Jesus often did (see Matt. 26:63, for example). In the midst of His accusers, He held His tongue, knowing His Father was His defender and had an eternal purpose for His suffering—just as He has for the bride's.
"For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His steps: 'who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth'; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously" (1 Pet. 2:21-23).
Instead of pointing the fault-finding finger, we speak "grace, grace" (Zech. 4:7) and not judgment. The Bible tells us that "judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment" (James 2:13).
When we discern a spirit of pride in a person or situation, we humble ourselves so that we may walk in the fullness of God's grace. We know that "'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble'" (James 4:6). We are to be dispensers and imparters of His grace wherever we go.
When others curse us or are rude and demeaning, we are polite and esteem others above ourselves (see Phil. 2:3). We "bless those who persecute [us]," never repaying evil for evil (Rom. 12:14,17).
When jealousy comes against us, we recognize that it operates on a lie—on insecurity, inadequacy and a sense of unworthiness. We look to encourage with truth and to bring peace. "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable" (James 3:16, NASB).
When we are confronted with anger, we remember that "a soft answer turns away wrath" (Prov. 15:1, NKJV). We are "swift to hear, slow to speak, [and] slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:19-20).
Operating in the opposite spirit may not be considered a powerful spiritual warfare strategy by some intercessors. However, it can change an individual, a church, a city, a nation and the world. It is a successful and effective weapon of warfare—the love of God in action.
Isn't this the approach Jesus took when He redeemed mankind? He responded to hatred with the ultimate demonstration of love, giving His own life for those who deserved death. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).
No wonder the bride loves Him! No wonder she desires to be with Him! No wonder she wants to be like Him!
Waiting in silence and contemplation, she is still and knows He is God; commemorating and honoring His name and Word, she sees His truth prevail; offering shouts of praise and rejoicing, she celebrates His victory; assuming the attitude of a victor and an overcomer, she watches the neck of her enemy subdued by the foot of the Lord.
Pat Chen is founder and president of First Love Ministries International. She is also an ordained minister with a reputation as an apostle of prayer.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!