Spiritual Warfare is Real.

In this twenty-first century with its technological culture, it’s hard for us to comprehend the supernatural. We tend to think of things like witchcraft and demonic possession as fiction. Our society uses these elements for entertainment in novels, TV shows, and movies.

But the Bible is clear: supernatural forces of evil are real. Not only that, but they at work trying to destroy you.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 

The War Has Been Won, but the Battle Rages On 

Before we were born, a war was waged for our souls. The ruler of the kingdom of darkness, the devil, captured our souls through the inherited sin of our first human ancestors, Adam and Eve, forever separating us from our Creator. But God, in His great love and mercy for us, sent His son Jesus to die so that we could have freedom.

Here’s the good news: the war has already been won.

We don’t have to do anything to add to the victory Jesus won for us by dying on the cross. It’s ours when we put our faith in Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

The problem is the battle isn’t over. Even though sin and death have been defeated, the devil hasn’t surrendered the fight. While accepting salvation means God has made peace with you, it also means the devil has made you his number ONE target! He will stop at nothing to keep you from living in the freedom of Christ and advancing God’s kingdom.

What Spiritual Warfare Looks Like 

Simply put, spiritual warfare is any attempt to keep you from following God’s plan and purpose for your life.

For our brothers and sisters in countries not open to the gospel message, this can look like physical persecution. But for those of us who live in a society that is somewhat tolerant of religious freedom, spiritual warfare is often a little less obvious than a physical threat to our earthly lives.

It can look like shame and doubt, anxiety, disappointing circumstances, or even apathy. All these things can be used by the devil’s forces to get you to take your focus off heaven and onto yourself. That’s when you’re vulnerable to sin–rejection of God–which will keep you from experiencing the freedom and peace that comes with salvation through faith in Jesus. 

How to Fight Back 

Here’s some more good news: God hasn’t left us to fight this battle on our own.

In his letter to the Church at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul tells this body of believers the secret to fighting spiritual warfare is to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” (Eph. 6: 10)

We couldn’t win the victory over sin and death on our own, so it makes sense that we can’t fight the spiritual forces that attack us on our own either. We need the power of God. Thankfully, in Jesus and through His Holy Spirit, we have access to Him and His power.

The devil is going to do whatever it takes wherever he can to break you down. He’ll attack in your home, your work, your places of leisure, even (and arguably most especially) in holy places where you worship God, but every time he attacks is an opportunity to grow stronger in the Lord and in His mighty power.

When the forces of evil tempt you with the fear of missing out, you can remind yourself God has a greater desire and plan for you than what the world has to offer.

When anxiety pushes you to focus on fear, remind yourself you are loved by the Almighty, All-powerful God who works things for your good and His glory.

When you’re exhausted because you’re being stressed from seemingly every direction in your life, you can find rest and refuge in God’s presence.

Be on the Defensive Against Spiritual Warfare 

No matter what the situation, choose GOD! 

*inspired by message one of Mt. Bethel Church’s BATTLE sermon series, entitled, “Spiritual Warfare is Real” by Pastor John Freeland. You can listen to the message here. You can also subscribe to get access to the study guide that accompanies this series here.