Every true Christian believer is involved in a great spiritual battle between good and evil. When one gets born again by The Holy Spirit, we become a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17), a member of God’s family (Mark. 3:35, Romans 8:14, Ephesians 1:4-5), Ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), members of God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13, Luke 17:20-21), and more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). As soldiers in God’s army, we have a part in this great “spiritual” battle. We wage war against spiritually dark forces of evil, not against flesh and blood.
By “true” Christian, I mean those who are born again by The Holy Spirit and who continue to have a relationship with God through repentance, reading God’s word, spending time with God in prayer and endeavoring to follow Him and obey His commands.
Satan, a fallen angel, is the leader of the enemy forces. Satan is angry at God for casting him out of the third heaven. God cast Satan out of the third heaven because he became so puffed up with pride that he thought he could ascend to heaven and exalt his throne above the stars of God and even above The Most High God. (See Isaiah 14:13-14) Satan rebelled against God and His divine order. In addition, Satan also convinced one-third of the angels to join him in his evil schemes.
The Bible warns us about Satan, encouraging us to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8) Revelation 12:9 also tells us about our adversary saying, “And the great dragon was cast out of heaven that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
In this spiritual battle we not only war against Satan, but we also fight against the enemies of God who try to destroy God’s work, God’s people (the apple of God’s eye) and God’s kingdom. Satan and the enemies of God try to rob, kill, and destroy everything that’s important to God. However, Satan does not have the power to hurt God so he wars against God’s people, trying to destroy, rob, and even kill them.
The host of fallen angels also help Satan in his war efforts. Scripture tells us about Satan’s helpers saying, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) These fallen angels, called demons, can inhabit people who are not born again and who do not have Jesus Christ living in their hearts, by means of The Holy Spirit. In several places, scripture tells us about Jesus casting demons out of people. The demons can impair the physical and spiritual health of people. Examples from scripture tells about people who were physically, mentally and spiritually oppressed by demons, resulting in physical illness, mental illness and spiritual darkness, even to the point of being extremely violent.
Satan and his evil forces want to take as many people as they can to the lake of fire (hell) with them. This is the second and final death–a spiritual death and separation from God throughout eternity. The evil forces will pull out all the stops and push forward as quickly as they can to accomplish their agenda. They do all they can to rob, kill and destroy because they know their time is short and Jesus will soon come back and translate God’s people up to be with Him. Satan wants to create as much destruction and death as he can before that day comes.
For Christians, however, there is “Good News.” God is mightier than Satan and his whole army of followers. God has divine authority and power over Satan and his allies. God will not allow them to do anything that will destroy His people. Everything Satan and his soldiers do to God’s children is God-filtered, but Satan refuses to give up the battle– though he has already lost–because he is too stubborn to admit defeat. At times God will use the enemy’s rampages to do work in the hearts of His children, but God is always watching and protecting His own from the warfare.
God provides protection, provision and great spiritual weapons for His children to use in battle. Among the weapons God has given us are (1) the Word of God, (2) prayer, (3) the armor of God, and our spiritual gifts, and the infilling of power (from baptism of the Holy Spirit). The Bible tells us, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Ephesians 6:10-18) God wants us to stand firm in the battle and trust in Him for the end result. God has already won our victory!
As soldiers in God’s army, we need to learn about our weapons and how to use them to fight in this great spiritual battle. We also need to learn to recognize the enemy and his tactics, the way he wages war.
As we live our daily lives we hear or see evidence of enemy forces that dwell in this universe. As Christians, we face them every day. These forces try to convince us to sin, to physically or verbally tear apart our brothers and sisters in Christ, that God is not real, to doubt God and/or His word, to give up our faith, to give up on God (for various false reasons), to believe God is our enemy, to believe God’s plan is to hurt us rather than bless us, to trick us into believing we are failures, beyond help, and worthless, and to believe there is no hope. Satan lies and tries to get us by putting destructive thoughts in our mind and trying to convince us these lies are true. The main battlefield of this war is in the hearts and minds of believers. We need to continually guard our hearts and minds, stand, and call on God when we find ourselves under attack from enemy forces.
Our enemies use evil influences, subtle or blatant, to attack God’s people. At times these influences are so common and subtle that we have failed to recognize their source and have come to accept or even embrace them. Many of things we see in the world have been accepted into our lives but God does not accept them because He knows they are sin and can bring destruction upon us. We need to be aware and extremely careful in choosing the beliefs and material things we accept into our homes and our lives. Like the classic example of the frog in the pot of water on the stove, we may suddenly find ourselves in an extremely dangerous and hot place.
As Christians, we need to thank God that He is always with us and He promises to deliver us from all of our troubles. Like the frog in hot water, we need our awesome God to deliver us from our bad choices because He is the only one who can. Thank God, because by sending Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, He has already won our victory. All we have to do is stand, and above all stand, pray, wait and watch for the deliverance of our God. God will deliver us because He loves us and He is faithful!