We Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places  (Ephesians 6:12, KJV)

God clearly states that we’re in a spiritual battle, clarifying that our enemies aren’t “flesh and blood.” What do these terms mean?

“Wrestle” connotes close hand-to-hand combat, recalling Ancient Greek athletics where each competitor aims to take the other down. Therefore, spiritual wrestling involves two key elements: it is up close and personal, and it is often intense.

In Ephesians 6:12, Paul shifts the concept of wrestling to describe Christians’ intense struggles against dark powers. Unlike typical wrestling, where you see your opponent, Paul states that our adversaries aren’t human (“flesh and blood”). Essentially, our struggle is not against people but against invisible spiritual entities.

But how do these invisible enemies operate here on earth? They will not appear as horned creatures to fight with us. Instead, they will come through everyday events and things. For instance, think of how Satan( the prince of the principalities) attacked Jesus by luring Judas to be greedy for money and accept to betray Jesus. Sadly, the Church’s spiritual warfare movement often distorts this reality of how these spiritual powers operate. Many Christians imagine power clashes with demonic forces involving witchcraft and occultism, or power encounters in the air or water.  While these activities exist, they aren’t what Paul highlights in this verse. Also, these battles are not merely in the air or water but are our homes, churches, minds, relationships, finances, etc.

As the idea of wrestling suggests, these spiritual entities operate closely with us. They tempt us to sin, discourage prayer and Bible reading, cause division in Churches and homes, stir opposition against ministers and the preaching of the Gospel, promote false doctrines, etc. They work through people and systems around us, and they do so at close range, like in a wrestling match.

Moreover, these entities aren’t just impersonal spiritual powers; they’re spiritual beings, fallen angels with a mind, emotions, and desires. They know us and aim to exploit our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Just as God has good plans for us, these beings also have plans to ruin our lives. 

Recognize that you’re in an intense battle. Know your real enemy and how they operate.


Are you aware of the spiritual battle in your Christian life, ministry, and family?

Apply the Word

Don’t be ignorant of the enemy’s tactics. Equip yourself with God’s full armor as described in Ephesians 6:12-18.


Ask the Spirit for guidance to understand the enemies in this warfare and how they function in your life.

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