Most everyone knows that the Arabic word “jihad” means a holy war against the enemies of Islam. But you probably did not know the Koran also gives it a broader application: it also means an internal spiritual struggle—probably not unlike our biblical term “spiritual warfare.” And like “jihad,” our “spiritual warfare” denotes both an inner and outer battle: the latter, our battle with the “god of this world” and demons in the heavenly realm (2 Cor. 4:4, Eph. 6:12); the former, the warring of the Spirit against our unruly flesh (Gal. 5:17, Ro. 7:23) in order to bring it into subjection.
Significantly, one of the primary strategies of “Jihadists” is to secretly invade the place they plan to attack. Similarly, the Holy Spirit employs an aggressive invasion strategy—a ‘search and destroy’ mission in our hearts, to root out everything that is un-holy in us. Unlike jihad, though, it is truly a Holy Invasion, and He is a welcomed invader. “Search me, O God, and know my heart” (Ps. 139:23).