How much of spiritual warfare affects the Christian, the child of God?
How much influence does Satan or his demons have in our devotion to God? Can we be affected by demonic interference in such a profound way that our faith is led astray, our blessing is robbed from us, our maturity is stunted, and our destiny is aborted?
What does God say in the Bible?
1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. You enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Some Christians erroneously think that the devil is like a little pet chihuahua – all bark but no bite. But the verse doesn’t actually say that; in fact, the verse says the exact opposite of that.
Peter was using the imagery of wildlife in 1st Century Palestine, when lions roamed the land. When a coalition of young male lions coming into their prime come to take over a territory that’s controlled by an older team of lions that’s past their prime, these young male lions roar to alert the old lions that their coming to devour them and take over their territory. They’re roaring because they’re picking a fight.
The apostle Peter is, in the above passage, warning us that we are in a fight. We are engaged in very real spiritual warfare and, if we don’t engage, we will be devoured.
2 Corinthians 11:3 says, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” The Passion Translation puts it this way, “But now I’m afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s clever lies, your thoughts may be corrupted and you may lose your single-hearted devotion and pure love for Christ.”
What’s at stake in spiritual warfare? Apparently, a lot! If we don’t engage in spiritual warfare and allow ourselves to be deceived by Satan, we can be so corrupted that we lose our single-hearted devotion and pure love for Christ. That would be a terrible condition for a believer to be in.
But here’s the GOOD NEWS:
Jesus, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah - the Lion of lions! - has arrived at the scene of spiritual warfare and He has come to violently and forcefully attack, overpower, and overcome every demonic personality and stronghold. He has come to strip the enemy of his defenses and his weapons, and He has come to divide the spoils! (Read Luke 11:20-22)
In the words of 1 John 3:8, “The reason (the PURPOSE, the MAIN OBJECTIVE) the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” In Acts 10:38, Jesus is described as being full of the Holy Spirit and power, going around “doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him.” A holistic and biblical approach to our personal transformation and sanctification must include the Kingdom-dynamic of receiving God’s blessing in all areas of life, including the destroying of the works of Satan and his forces.
(This blog is part of Ps. Paul’s message series on Spiritual Warfare, January 2019)