The topic of the devil, demons, and spiritual warfare elicits quite a range of responses from Christians. Some obsess over the topic, while others avoid it altogether. As believers, we can’t deny the reality of the kingdom of darkness. The Bible talks plainly about Satan, fallen angels, unclean spirits, and the reality of our battle against them. (Read Ephesian 6:10-13 for one example).
The fact is, we have a real enemy and we are in a real battle. But how can we approach this topic in a healthy way? I’ll be writing many articles on the subject of spiritual warfare, deliverance from evil spirits, the occult, and overcoming the kingdom of darkness. But in this article, I want to address two wrong approaches to spiritual warfare that we must avoid.
1. Ignorance of Satan’s Schemes
Some take the perspective that we should ignore the devil altogether and just focus on the Lord. Of course, our primary focus must always be on Jesus, but does this give us the luxury of being ignorant of the devil’s devices?
It would certainly be nice if we could just ignore the devil and his kingdom, and pretend like this spiritual battle didn’t exist. But ignorance comes with a price tag. Paul says this in 2 Corinthians 2:11: “…lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” This text implies that if we are ignorant of the devils schemes and methods, he will be able to take advantage of us.
Just as a football team takes time to study films of its opposing team to know how it operates, we must have an awareness of the devil and how he functions. The Bible gives us great insight into Satan, his kingdom, and how to walk in victory through Christ. This knowledge can make all the difference in the world. Remember, the Bible says to resist the devil not to ignore the devil!
2. Fear of the Devil and Spiritual Warfare
As we seek to gain insight into the nature of spiritual warfare, we must not succumb to another wrong perspective: fear. Though Satan is a real enemy, we must not be afraid of him or his demons. Because of the finished work of Jesus and our place in Him, we fight this battle from a position of victory.
Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). Satan has been stripped of all authority; the only authority he has is that which people give him through their agreement with him. Jesus also said this: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). Not only has Satan been stripped of authority, but Jesus has given us authority over him!
So when it comes to spiritual warfare, let’s be aware but not afraid. Let’s focus on the Lord, but also be prepared to resist the devil. Let’s be equipped to walk in victory through Christ and set others free from the enemy’s grip!