crows

The Demonic Affects Us All!

Many contemporary Western Christians think we only engage in spiritual warfare when we encounter somebody who is exhibiting bizarre, demonically-inspired behavior, such as the demonized people Jesus confronted in the Gospels. Since most Western Christians rarely hear about, let alone personally encounter, such people, the concept of spiritual warfare plays little to no role in their lives.

Once we understand that people can be demonized to various degrees, we can begin to appreciate that spiritual warfare cannot be restricted to these sorts of extreme cases. Rather, spiritual warfare encompasses every area of life. Consider these biblical teachings that speak to a pervasive demonic presence in our world:

  • Whenever we try to buttress our credibility by taking oaths, Jesus says our speech “comes from the evil one” (Mt 5:37).
  • Our thought life is a battlefield. We must continually resist the enemy by striving to take every thought captive to Christ (2 Cor 10:3-5).
  • Legalism is a doctrine inspired by demons (1 Tim 4:1-3).
  • Christians are to live life as if they are soldiers stationed on foreign soil, always focused on pleasing their commanding officer (2 Tim 2:4). As soldiers, we are involved in a constant struggle not against “flesh and blood” but against principalities and powers (Eph 6:12).
  • Christians are to live life as if they are soldiers stationed on foreign soil, always focused on pleasing their commanding officer (2 Tim 2:4). As soldiers, we are involved in a constant struggle not against “flesh and blood” but against principalities and powers (Eph 6:12).
  • Whenever we let anger simmer in our heart, we give the devil a foothold (Eph 4:26-27), and whenever we fail to forgive others, we play into Satan’s schemes (2 Cor 2:10-11).
  • When Paul was prevented from going on a missionary journey to Thessalonica, he interpreted this as Satan blocking his way (1 Thes 2:18).
  • Satan is called “the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Eph 2:2), the “prince” of this world (Jn 12:31, 14:31, 16:11) and the “god of this age” (2 Cor 4:4) who controls “the whole world” (1 Jn 5:19). He owns all the authority of the world governments and gives it to whomever he wishes (Lk 4:5-7). This implies that the world outside the kingdom of God is, for all intents and purposes, owned and operated by Satan.
  • The NT views all infirmities as being ultimately due to the oppressive work of Satan (Lk 13:11ff).

From this small sampling of passages, it’s clear that spiritual warfare is not an activity that’s limited to freeing overtly demonized people. Rather, our entire life is engulfed in spiritual warfare. We live in the middle of a spiritual battlefield. Though the vast majority of Westerners are completely unaware of it, there are, if you will, spiritual bombs and grenades going off all around us. Our job as Kingdom people is to remain aware of this warfare and to continually seek to please our “commanding officer” by carrying out his directives.

Image by TumblingRun via Flickr

Related Reading

Why Did Jesus Die on the Cross?

If asked why Jesus had to die on the cross, most Christians today would immediately answer, “To pay for my sins.” Jesus certainly paid the price for our sins, but it might surprise some reader to learn that this wasn’t the way Christians would answer this question for the first thousand years of Church history.…

If We’re Made For Warfare, Why Non-Violence? And What Will We Fight in Heaven?

In this episode Greg talks about our warrior nature and discusses some interesting implications of that on our understanding of heaven. Links: Website: ReKnew.org http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0006.mp3

What We’re Up Against

Though Jesus dealt a final blow to Satan’s kingdom through the cross and resurrection, the New Testament makes it clear that Satan is still viewed as the “god of this world” (2 Cor 4:4), “the ruler of the power of the air” (Eph 2:2) who heads a rebel kingdom (Rev 9:9-11) and through whom he…

What are the main principles of the warfare worldview?

In my book God At War (IVP, 1997) I flesh out what I call the “warfare worldview” of the Bible. This is the view that the world is a battle ground between God and good angels, on the one hand, and Satan and fallen angels, on the other. In my book Satan and the Problem…

Terror in the Night

I’ll never forget the night it first happened to me. I was thirteen, sharing a bedroom with my older brother. I woke up in the middle of the night and felt as if something was pinning me to the bed, choking me, and electrocuting me, all at the same time.   The wind was blowing through…

Podcast: Am I Being Tested By God? Or Am I Being Attacked By Satan?

Greg ponders whether or not the SOURCE of testing matter, and offers wisdom for dealing with testing.  http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0301.mp3