Wednesday, January 25, 2012
What comes to mind when someone mentions "spiritual warfare"? Do you think of scheming charlatans who make a living "casting out demons"? Do you think of little devils running around in Halloween-type costumes, making small mischief in people's lives? Do you dismiss it as hocus-pocus nonsense?
None of these concepts are biblical.
Many of us simply don't understand.
And yet, spiritual warfare is an important reality taught in the Bible. See Ephesians 6:10-18.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
In this passage, Paul warns us to "take your stand against the devil's schemes." Peter also cautions us, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8. James encourages us, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:7
How can we resist the devil if we don't know who he is? How can we be "alert" and avoid being devoured if we don't know how to take our stand against the devil's schemes, because we don't know what they are!
I want to encourage you to put away ignorance and fear on the subject and dig into God's Word. Learn the truth about your enemy and his schemes. Then, and only then, will you be ready, able to resist him, and qualified to take your stand against him.
"Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." 2 Cor. 11:14