So what do you think about spiritual warfare?
Does it really exist and just how prevalent do you believe it is in our world today?
If you've been a Christian for any length of time, you will no doubt leap right in and declare that you absolutely believe it exists and is actively at work in our lives today.
But do you live like you believe that?
Did you know that the Bible speaks more about the "powers of darkness" and how to overcome them than it does about Heaven? If God took that much time to warn us about it, maybe we should give it a little more thought.
When you think about demonic activity, does your mind go straight to stories you've heard about witchdoctors or occult activity? We're certain Satan and his cohorts are flourishing in deep-dark-Africa, in drug-infested inner cities, and even in some so-called churches in America. But what about in your home?
Kinda creepy to think about, isn't it? We prefer to think of Satan attacking nonbelievers and those outside the will of God. We'll even inch a little closer and acknowledge that he most likely tries to thwart the good work of dedicated Christians and we'll pray for them.
But...get back there to the original question. What about in you? How much of your daily struggle is the work of Satan's fiery darts rather than your own failure?
Some Christians become overly excited about this issue and start calling everything they find unpleasant "demon-inspired." They see a demon behind every sniffle or stock market plummet. All this does is dilute the truth, like the little boy who cried wolf too many times. And we can't blame Satan for our own sinful choices. Scripture says we are tempted when we are "drawn away by our own lusts and enticed."
However, there are times when we need to step up and recognize that something we're facing goes beyond normal human experience. If there is an area in your life in which you are unable to gain victory, there is a good chance you are under attack.
I had been plagued with anxiety attacks and unreasonable worry for the past several years. No amount of prayer or Bible reading seemed to help. I thought it was just me--I was doing something wrong. Granted, this past decade has been a veritable pit of worry-inducing situations for me, but as a dedicated Christian, I should have been able to gain victory over it. And I could not.
Only recently, through fasting and meditation, God showed me the problem. I was under attack and had not realized it. Whenever I was weak, either physically or emotionally, the spirit of Fear attacked me and refused to let go. The more I believed the fear, the stronger it became. Even when the situation resolved, the Fear remained, holding me in such a grip I could not find peace or joy.
"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you," states the Bible. "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love and of power and of a sound mind." That phrase popped into my mind as God coached me through it.
I was stunned when I realized the problem. I had not resisted. I had not rebuked. I had not taken command over a power already defeated. I had gone right along with it.
Satan knows that as a child of God, you have power to resist him and he cannot harm you without your consent. He also knows that most of us don't realize that.
Why is it we are so easily captivated when we have the truth right there in Scripture? I believe the strongest weapons Satan uses are doubt and our natural inclination to think anything that pops into our minds is our own thought. So we keep it to ourselves and wrestle with it in our own strength.
You are no match for the devil. But you also do not have to put up with it.
When, with God's authority, I spoke aloud to the demon of Fear and refused its thoughts, its ideas, its lies, and quoted God's truth--it was gone. Just like that! Not a trace left of it! No anxiety when I wake up now. No gripping, unnamed fear haunting the shadows of my mind. Just the peaceful presence of God..
Now I know to be on guard and resist the first fiery dart of fear that pelts my mind. When we resist those thoughts and replace them with truth, they leave. They don't have to take root.
Maybe your weakness is low self-worth. Or a sense of failure. Or confusion. Wherever you are weak, Satan finds you. You don't have to put up with it either. You do have the responsibility to get yourself in the best possible spiritual shape first, or Satan knows you don't have God's power in your life and without that, you can't resist him.
But with a heart totally dedicated to God's service, you can command the forces of darkness to leave you alone and they will. You have such overcoming power at your command. Don't waste it!