General Principles

Paul J. Bucknell

The question is not whether we need to fight. Each of us stands in the midst of a horrific battle each striving to take the life of the other. We need to focus on three general principles if we are going to be able to rightly conduct ourselves in this spiritual warfare.

1) Don't Give up! God Cares for you.

When we are trying to overcome some certain sin, we easily stumble. Satan, the world and our lousy old flesh all work together to cause us to fall.

Satan's purpose: Cause us to reach the conclusion that we are beyond help so that we give up on ourselves. Satan wants to destroy us. Once he gets us to stop trusting God, then he can destroy us. The less we trust God the more Satan can move in and occupy us with falsehood.

God's purpose: God, however, always wants to restore His people to Himself. He knows that we need to trust Trust in Christ for forgiveness.

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.(James 4:7).

Spirit or Satan controlled.? Must trust the Lord.s

2) Watch Your Step! Discerning your Weaknesses.

We are not speaking of overall misunderstandings. They are important but are not responsible for the way one stumbles. There are certain practices, attitudes and thoughts that have made one more susceptible to the evil one's advances.

Check what we have been seeing, hearing, thinking and doing. A general rule is that input equals output. In other words, what goes in must come out. Feel the flesh by entertaining certain wrong thoughts and one will begin to live according to them. Whether it be lustful thoughts or covetous thoughts, we must repent from them, assert our intention to live by God's way and follow Christ.

And in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; (2 Peter 1:6).

What we think is what we do: Input equals output.

3) Readying Yourself for a Long Fight - Restore Foundations of Truth.

What we believe shapes our life. We are more prone to fall to temptations in certain areas because we have certain wrong concepts that are built on lies rather than truth. The Lord wants us to be a faithful disciple and take hold of all of His truth in our lives so that it steers our lives. He wants us to believe His truth and so we can live right lives.

What we need to rebuild, will depend on what area we have in life. Every weakness reveals a poor foundation built on lies. We might not understand what God's Word says about that area, but it will be our chief business to find out.

Which foundation would you rather build upon? Anything built on falsehood, must sooner or later come down with a crash!

Truth's foundation.
Falsehood serves as a poor foundation because the building will fall.

Which foundation would you choose to build your life upon?

Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. (2 Peter 1:10,11).


Don't give up. Watch your step! Ready yourselves for a long battle! These are the three general principles for Christian Spiritual Warfare that will continue through each of our lives, though having different emphases.

Directory of Discipleship Articles

Introduction to Discipleship's 3 Stages and The Flow
Basic Discipleship Stage
An introduction to the Basic discipleship stage and basic BFF materials.
Intermediate Discipleship Stage
An introduction to the intermediate discipleship stage and intermediate BFF materials.
Advanced Discipleship Stage
An introduction to the advanced discipleship stage and
advanced BFF materials.
The Flow
Diagram of integrated Discipleship
Spirit-Dependent Teaching
7 principles on excellent teaching.
Designing discipleship curriculum
Stages and goals of discipleship
(1 John 2:12-14)
Integrates Church Growth with discipleship
A series of slides with explanation.
Growing the Church through Biblical Training
A series of articles explaining 'The Flow'.
Discipleship Shapers
Learning how Christians grow
Understanding the Cycle of Decline and Revival (Judges 2)

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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Paul J. Bucknell