Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shallow Spiritual Warfare

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks abut like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:8-11)
God’s purpose in everything is His glory; even in the attacks of the enemy on God’s people. The enemy does attack the people of God, regularly. Satan is not omnipotent (all-powerful), not omnipresent (all-places-at-the-same-time), not omniscient (all-knowing), nor is he able to do anything that he is not allowed to do. He rebelled against God, as did one-third of the angels in heaven, but he lost, was cast out, and is still on a leash held by God. Sometimes we have a wrong view of Satan, demons and spiritual warfare.
We think and say, “Well, I must be doing something right because I’m having all this trouble.” Sometimes we are having trouble because we are doing something wrong. Sometimes we are having trouble because God is testing our faith (James 1). We think and say, “The enemy is attacking because we are really having lots of sickness right now.” Sometimes sickness is caused by spiritual attack, but often it is just because we live in a fallen world with a fallen nature which includes sickness. We bind Satan, ask God to bind him, speak words against him and do all sorts of things in an attempt to avoid the pain and suffering that Jesus Himself said we would encounter.
God tells us that the purpose of all things, including the attack of the enemy, is that God would use the suffering of it all “to perfect, establish, strengthen and settle” us so that He would be glorified. So be aware of the battle, Satan is real. Don’t freak out, speak incantations over the Devil, or try to shout him out. Instead, resist him by trusting God, knowing that you are not the only one going through this, and knowing that the grace of God is more than sufficient for you to endure and even be transformed by the battle into a person who gives God glory.