In a recent article, I mentioned that there are various perspectives on spiritual warfare in the body of Christ, but that regardless of your view, it is important to know your enemy so that you can have victory over him. Now I want to outline some characteristics of what I believe to be a healthy view of spiritual warfare.
First, we must embrace the reality that spiritual warfare is real. We have a very real enemy, and he and his demons are actively at work in the world. But once we wake to this reality, what is a healthy approach to take? How can we maintain a healthy balance in this area?
Below are some key mindsets for a healthy view of spiritual warfare:
1. Aware but not Afraid
The Bible is clear that we must not be ignorant of the devil or his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11) But we must never walk in fear of the enemy for, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). We can be aware of how the enemy works through biblical study and practical experience. And because of the finished work of Christ, we can stand in His victory without fear.
2. Familiar but not Fascinated
As I stated earlier, it is important that we know our enemy. But it is also possible to become over-fascinated with the topic of spiritual warfare and get off balance. The command to resist the devil is sandwiched between a command to submit to God and an encouragement to draw near to Him. (James 4:7-8). This is a good reminder that our primary attention should be on the Lord, not the devil.
3. Walking in Authority but not in Arrogance
As children of God through faith in Christ, we have been given great authority in the spiritual realm. I love what Jesus said in Luke 10:19:
“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.”
We can stand against the enemy with authority and faith in the Word of God. But we should not carry an arrogance or think that we are “untouchable” and automatically immune to the enemy’s attacks. We must walk in humility and vigilance, knowing that it is the grace of God that allows us to be victorious in our battles.
If we keep our eyes on the Lord and follow His ways, He will guide us into a healthy and victorious experience of spiritual warfare!
What has been your experience with spiritual warfare? What mindset do you think is the most helpful when you find yourself in the thick of spiritual battle?