Let’s play a game. I’ll say a word and you say its opposite.
Who did you put as Satan’s opposite?
The devil wants us to believe God is his opposite or equal. He’s not. Jesus is “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephes. 1:21 NIV).
Satan’s opposite is Michael the archangel, the chief prince of angels. God created both. Don’t let Satan deceive you. God and Satan are not in a tug of war struggling to see who wins. Why is this important? Because you and I, my friend, live in spiritual warfare.
The church I grew up in didn’t talk about the devil or spiritual warfare. I learned about this when I joined an international ministry out of college. Spiritual warfare isn’t isolated to areas with witch doctors or to those in ministry. Spiritual battles rage in our universities, government, churches, and minds.
Satan works to divide our minds, families, churches, and nation. He wants us to doubt ourselves, our calling, and God’s word. He seeks to move us away from truth and against each other.
Some areas of spiritual warfare are subtle.
- I asked a group of women, “If you experience accusations and taunts in your mind when you drive home from Bible study, please raise your hands.” Hands shot up all around the room.”Our enemy doesn’t want us to grow in our faith. Beware of thoughts and doubts that hinder your efforts to grow spiritually.
- A successful business entrepreneur confided before her book came out, “I feel like a fraud. Who am I to come across as an expert?” Our enemy doesn’t want us to live purposeful lives that help others. “Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12 NLT). Self-doubt, discouragement or, as with Job, illness, attacks against family, and storms (natural and cyberspace) may assail you in an effort to derail you.
Knowing the Truth Protects Us in Spiritual Warfare
Jesus is the truth. The better we know Him the quicker we recognize which thoughts and ideas don’t align with Him. The quicker we see through deceptive narratives the less harm they accomplish.Jesus is the truth. The better we know Him the quicker we recognize which thoughts and ideas don’t align with Him. Click To Tweet
Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27, NIV).
Walk in Faith, Not in Fear
Many years ago, I led a team to host Freedom in Christ’s Stomping Out the Darkness conference for youth and their parents. On the morning of the adult conference, the electricity went out only on our small cul-de-sac. I had to shower at a friend’s house. The speaker was staying with us. We reasoned that God had something big planned for Satan to try this.
The day of the youth conference, the tables turned. Some students who’d attended Friday evening couldn’t make the Saturday conference until after their SATs. Saturday morning, someone hit the light pole in the school parking lot of the SATs, knocking out the power. The students made the conference on time.
At the end of the conference, the emcee opened the mic for conferees to share what God had done for them. For over an hour student after student shared how God had touched them. Some publicly apologized to other students. Some came to Christ. Others rededicated their lives to Him. Many destroyed their anti-Christian music and DVDs. God was glorified.
Yes, the battle is real. If we aren’t aware, we’ll ignore our resources and live in danger of being sidelined—or worse—used by the enemy to hinder God’s work. God is greater than our enemy, and He has assured our victory. Let’s be alert and walk in victory.
Do you think it’s important to recognize the spiritual dimension of everyday life and battles? Why or why not?
Here are some books I recommend.
- Victory Over the Darkness by Neil Anderson
- Stomping Out the Darkness
- Give Yourself a Break
- Little Strength, Big God
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