Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The Reality of Spiritual Warfare
I have watched trends in Evangelical Christianity for the last 40 years. The Church from the time of Christ seemed to have been aware of an active enemy who sought to destroy the work of God. Satan is the "Thief who comes but to kill, steal and destroy." Numerous books have been published that alert the church to the enemies schemes and instructed believers in the battle. It seems to me that in the last few years many ministries have turned away from teaching about the enemy. I have numerous friends who serve in Scriptural Warfare ministries, they all tell me the church has become cool toward the subject of warfare. Some of this undoubtedly comes from a abuse of warfare teaching and extremest in the body of Christ. However, their abuse is not an excuse for our non practice of Biblical truth. I believe this gives the enemy a tremendous advantage in very troublesome times. Lets examine a few passages that deal with our common enemy. Paul said "In your anger do not sin: do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold' (Ephesians 4:26-27). The word "Foothold" literally means "Place." Paul is saying that it is possible for us to allow the devil a place in our lives if we fail to speak the truth in love or fail to be emotionally honest. Anger that leads to bitterness and spiritual ineffectiveness is an open invitation to demonic influence (see II Corinthians 2:10-11). It is a critical need that each believer understand their vulnerability to demonic influence so they may have an adequate Biblical answer should they fall victim to "The Fowler's snare" (Psalm 91:3) or "The devil's trap" (I Timothy 3:7). Satan may well outwit us if we are "Unaware of his schemes" (II Corinthians 2:11). Spiritual believers don't grow out of coming under spiritual attack. As we grow in the Lord the enemies' attacks may well increase. Anyone who is doing damage to the devil's kingdom will feel his wrath. When we come under attack we must have the discernment to understand the nature of our attack. If we blame God, our confidence in Him will be shattered, and we won't submit to Him and resist the devil. I believe the Biblical balance in warfare is to gaze on Jesus and on occasion glance at the enemy. This is a good time for a glance. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.