Spiritual Warfare in the Executive Suite

by Gary Selman

Businessman totally desperateSince Adam and Eve fell from grace in the Garden of Eden, Christians have had to walk in full combat gear to deal with the battlefield that constantly rages in their minds. Our eternal salvation hangs in the balance as the battle or spiritual warfare between God and Satan, righteousness and sin, faith and fear, and love and selfishness is continuously set before us, testing our faith, values, and beliefs (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). When ungodly choices are made, the spiritual warfare can wreak havoc and destruction in our lives.

Why Satan Uses Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual warfare is used by Satan to cause us to disobey God’s Word and become separated from Him. The attack on senior executives and members of the C-suite is done in an attempt to steal, kill and destroy the vision, financial health, and productivity of the organization. By derailing the senior executives through spiritual warfare he can manipulate and control the business for his purposes. In the end, companies are destroyed, reputations are tarnished, vast resources are wasted, employees are marginalized or discarded, and ultimately careers, marriages, and families are often torn apart.

How Does It Start?

Spiritual warfare in the C-Suite often starts in the form of sedition and rebellion. Sedition (standing apart) starts whenever members of the team begin to question, stand apart from, or discard the company’s vision, values, beliefs, and goals to pursue their personal agenda. They begin to focus on differences rather than look for common ground. This divisive attitude of discontent begins in the mind, moves to the mouth, and is followed by rebellious behavior. Sedition often leads to rebellion or open resistance to authority. This rebellious, independent mindset leads to disloyalty, envy, jealously, bitterness and resentment.

Early Warning Signs of Spiritual Warfare

Some time ago in a church leadership meeting our minister shared with us nine stages that lead to disloyalty in the church. Ironically, they apply to corporate settings as well. They are:

1. An independent spirit that fosters an attitude of discontentment and dissatisfaction
2. Desire for personal recognition and elevation of personal status
3. Distortion of the views of the leader
4. A critical, prideful, and judgmental attitude
5. Prideful exaltation of self above or at the expense of the leader
6. Attempts to give recognition and attention to others who are disenchanted
7. Justification and rationalization of opposition to the leader
8. Emphasis on or exaggeration of minor points or issues
9. Break off and formation of splinter groups (Us vs. them)

Overcoming Sedition and Rebellion

What are the antidotes to sedition and rebellion? They include:

1. Honor God in all that we do (1 Samuel 2:30, Proverbs 15:33, Colossian 3:23).
2. Be obedient to God’s Word by submitting to authority (Titus 3:1-3, 1 Peter 2:13-17).
3. Be loyal (2 Samuel 22:25-26, Proverbs 14:22).
4. Be faithful (Proverbs 28:20, Luke 16:10-12).

How to Win the Battle

Paul addresses the need for obedience, honor, and respect within families and our relationships with others including the world of work in his letter to the church at Ephesus. In fact, Chapter 6 is dedicated to the need to maintain harmony and what to do when we encounter conflict. He explains Satan’s use of spiritual warfare and what we are to do whenever we find ourselves under attack. He says we are to:

1. Be strong in the Lord and draw our strength from Him (Ephesians 6:10).
2. Put on God’s complete armor and resist the strategies of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).
3. Understand the battle is supernatural and that our true enemies are demonic spirits (Ephesians 6:12).
4. Dress for battle in God’s armor; resist Satan and stand your ground (Ephesians 6:13).
5. Base our actions on truth, integrity, and moral correctness (Ephesians 6:14).
6. Prepare for battle and hold onto the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15).
7. Hold onto and walk in faith (Ephesians 6:16).
8. Trust in our salvation and in the power of God’s Word (Ephesians 6:17).
9. Pray at all times, especially in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18).
10. Keep watch and be alert for the next attack (Ephesians 6:18).


C-Suite executives who are Christians have the greatest opportunity to influence the well-being of an organization. Through fervent prayer using the Word of God, they can cast down organizational strongholds and demonic forces that challenge their integrity, loyalty, and faithfulness. Although Satan is strategic, resourceful, and the ultimate opportunist, our Heavenly Father is so much more. When the attack comes, heed the advice of James, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, NIV).

Self Reflection and Application

1. What did the Holy Spirit reveal to you through this lesson about spiritual warfare in your personal or professional life?
2. Have you been under attack recently? Who or what did Satan use to attack your confidence in God’s Word?
3. What was your response to the attack?
4. Did you turn to God’s Word and seek guidance from the Holy Spirit?
5. What Scriptures will you stand on the next time you are attacked?
6. Pray and give God praise and thanksgiving for victory in every battle.

Gary L. Selman is an accomplished author, executive coach and motivational speaker.  He has spent over thirty five years pursuing his calling, encouraging, mentoring and equipping others to live as citizens of the Kingdom of God and to become compassionate, faithful and disciplined servant leaders.  Gary and his wife Karen are founders of the First Call Advisory Group, which ministers to business owners, corporate executives and entrepreneurs. Gary holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical & Community Psychology from Stephen F. Austin University.  He can be reached at gary@yourfirstcall.net