Spiritual Warfare Awareness Training (SWAT)

Spiritual Warfare Awareness Training (SWAT)

Spiritual Warfare Awareness Training (SWAT)

We often hear our earthly
existence referred to as the 'Game of Life.' Although life might
be considered a game to some, according to scripture, spiritual
life definitely is not meant to be a walk in the park! "For
our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the
rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark
world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly
realms"
(Ephesians 6:12). As it is always better to treat
the cause of the disease rather than the symptoms, we must
realize that physicality is mostly a manifest symptom of deeper
spiritual causes and motivations. So, what are some of the things
that we must struggle against here in the West?

The one man band

Independence is the 'virtue' that
rose out of the American Revolution, a rightful reaction against
British autocracy. But the great American celebration of
individuality, and the cultural suggestion that reliance on
others may be a weakness, has seeped into the Body of Christ and
weakened its defences against an all-present enemy. Our
contemporary culture of independence, with the Fourth of July
being its holiday, is just the opposite of the biblical world
view. "Two are better than one, because they have a good
reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up
his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falls, and has
not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, then they
have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? And if a man prevail
against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a
threefold cord is not quickly broken."
(Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). 

Team ministry

Wherever I have travelled around
the world during the course of my ministry, one thing stands out.
Those successful ministries that are successfully impacting their
communities, whether they are churches, movements or
denominations, always reflect some aspect of team ministry based
on the five-fold ministries of Ephesians 4:11. Even many of the
relatively high number of independent churches and ministries in
the United States are beginning to see the value of networking
with others. Substituting interdependence for independence, they
are learning to function as a team. The days of the 'one man
band' in ministry are long gone. God has us in a new season
now. 

For the sake of the mission

I recently watched a documentary
on SWAT teams, which outlined some operational principles that
the church would be very wise to heed. The first was, 'We must be
prepared to forgo comfort for the sake of the mission.' In a
culture where our Christianity has become just another option
among the many vying for our attention, no great level of
commitment can be expected when there is no strong sense of
mission, especially if it may mean putting our lives on the line.
The American church has to jolt itself out of the 'holy social
club' mentality and recapture the sense of a cause worth dying
for. Our comfortable Christianity is a diversion from our
God-given mission. So what if the air-conditioning is broken,
let's still go to church!

Trust the one you're with

The level of trust in a swat team
is astonishing. All members have their own level of
responsibility, and must trust the other members to do their job.
The survival of each member and the success of the mission depend
on the level of trust that can be established. It's time for the
church to put away suspicions and realize that only when we are
unified can the Lord truly build the house. We must trust each
other with our lives. We must cover each other's backs and
vulnerabilities. Each member of the SWAT team understands his
responsibility to shield the blind spots of his team mates. 

The golden rule

The SWAT team's golden rule is to
never enter a room or territory by yourself. A lone wolf in
ministry will have very little lasting effect, but together we
can subdue a whole region. In spiritual terms, let us speak out,
proclaim, declare, rebuke, announce and pray together, knowing
full well that one can only put a thousand to flight, but when we
all link arms together, the sky is the limit. The devil does not
play by any rules. The way to defeat him is to play by team's
rules. Let's go out together and SWAT all those spiritual flies,
to the glory of God!