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It's Not Optionalby Duane Mabee on January 26, 2023
What’s your reaction when you read the words “spiritual warfare”? For most, those words induce feelings of anxiety. We’ve been conditioned to see spiritual warfare as bizarre supernatural battles that are incredibly dark and seemingly out of control. Since that is so foreign to our experience, we are tempted to dismiss it as fantasy or try to avoid it at all costs.
Biblically, we should think of Paul’s statement in Ephesians 6, For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, (Eph. 6:12 ESV). Alone, those words don’t calm our anxiety. But they are preceded by the statement, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil, (Eph 6:10-11 ESV). We are not expected to stand on our own. We have all the might of God on our side, and He has provided spiritual armor for our protection. In addition, Paul indicates that we will be able to stand.
Spiritual warfare is not optional for believers. We have been thrust into a battle with Satan and his emissaries whether we like it or not. The problem of Christians being spiritually defeated by Satan is far more widespread than evangelicals have been willing to admit. Much of that defeat comes because we are unaware of the spiritual war that is raging all around us, or we are comfortable and unwilling to engage in the fight.
While overt spiritual power encounters do happen, the majority of us are called to fight the spiritual battle through sustained and specific intercession.
Satan and his friends are real and intent on sabotaging our spiritual life and effectiveness. When we ignore that and live as though there is no supernatural contest taking place for our souls, we play right into his hand. The best way to deal with this reality is to learn to recognize Satan’s tactics and to do spiritual battle through prayer.
We must learn how absolutely dependent we are on God’s power and His provisions for our protection. We must learn that prayer is a powerful weapon. In fact, it is the primary weapon Satan fears. He does not fear our intellect or prowess. He does not fear our activities or programs. He shutters when we recognize our dependence on God and regularly go to Him in prayer.
Are you doing spiritual battle by praying for the spiritual health and vitality of the people around you? Are you aware of the tactics Satan is using to destroy them, and are you actively praying for them to be able to stand?