Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Yes. It's a Battle. You're Gonna Win.

Dear Friends,

Does hearing about the Devil and demons make you feel uncomfortable? If so, join the club. We want to read and hear light-hearted, feel-good stories that bring happiness and peace to our lives. That's why many churches today do not preach about spiritual struggles and the reality of evil. As a result, 60% of Christians believe that Satan is not real but just a symbol of evil. 5% are not sure. But God's Word mentions the very real existence of Satan or the Devil eighty-one times and the existence of demons or unclean spirits seventy-seven times. By my count, Jesus refers to the spirit-being called Satan seven  times. That’s proof enough for me.

It’s important for Christians to really understand what the Bible says about Satan and the demonic realm, because the most effective tool the Enemy has in ruling the world is deception. The Bible says that Satan is the father of all lies and he is a master at illusion. The Devil's ability to work without resistance in today's culture is because people just don't know that he's there. That's why the Destroyer has been able to so rapidly increase persecution against Christians in our country. Evil operates most effectively when it is operating covertly.  

If al-Qaeda terrorists had to wear a sign that said "DANGER – SUICIDE BOMBER – STAY BACK 90 FEET", they wouldn't be very effective. Terrorists are only effective when they look, sound and act normal. Evil only works when it blends in, becomes “invisible” and people are unaware of its existence. 

So when 60% of Christians don't believe that Satan exists, that's a huge victory for him. Satan's greatest deception is to create disbelief in himself.  Derek Prince has said that, "..demons exercise a continuous and powerful influence on our lives, but our humanistic prejudice has blinded us to the evidence. In fact, it's our refusal to acknowledge the evidence that makes it easy for demons to operate undetected."

The reality is that, “..we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) The Bible tells us that we are in a continuous struggle against the Prince of Darkness and his demons and that struggle affects our everyday physical realm.

While we must be careful to take responsibility for our own actions and decisions, we constantly find ourselves wrestling with temptations, illness and misfortunes. When we resist temptation, we are resisting the Tempter. When we refuse to live deceptive lives, we refuse the Deceiver’s lies. When we pray against accidents illness, injuries, disease, calamity and destruction, we are praying against the Devil. When we pray for protection against harm and danger for ourselves, friends and loved ones we authoritatively take a stand against the Devil’s works.

We are currently in a season of very strategic and intense times in the church. There is a battle against the rulers of the darkness of this age, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness. This is nothing new. Paul tells Timothy,“But you, O man of God, flee (evil) things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith..” (1 Timothy 6:11-12) 

The Greek word translated as “fight” means to contend with as in battle. We don’t give in to the powers of darkness; we fight, wrestle, battle and contend against the Enemy in prayer. This is Spiritual Warfare! We claim our authority through Christ and when we pray against Satan’s works in the name of Jesus, we have confidence that the Holy Spirit will give us victories against the Enemy. 

Until the Devil and his forces are forever bound in Hell, we will continue to struggle against them. And we confidently do so knowing the One who already has the victory. “For this purpose the Son of Man was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil.” (1 John 3:8)  That’s the good news!  Amen?

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