It is hard for me to understand that there are some Christians who do not believe in spiritual warfare. In Ephesians 6:10-12 (NLT) we read, “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and His mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
John Phillips in his commentary on this passage writes the following:
Satan’s master plan for holding the world in subjection can be summed up in a single word – deception. He keeps people in a state of spiritual, philosophical, religious, political, social, and personal blindness. He has invented every false ideology and every false theory. He keeps people in a state of darkness, and he has a legion (at least 6000) of evil spirits whose supreme task is to fasten false ideologies like iron shackles on the souls of men.
I find what he wrote to be very true and very sobering. My great concern is that many Christians are not even aware that this is happening.
Perhaps you have felt a strange heaviness of spirit or oppression in your mind that made prayer very difficult. Maybe you have felt as if your prayers were shut up in a box, strongly thwarted, going nowhere, and unheard. Perhaps when you attempt to pray, wicked – even vile – thoughts rise from nowhere. Sleep is difficult. Even thoughts of suicide have entered your mind. Folks, these thoughts are not from God. They are from our adversary, the devil. Chuck Swindoll says, “(These are) subtle, yet distinct hints that evil forces are at work. My wife and I have often talked about how we can sense the invisible presence of the adversary.”
When our children were young, it was our practice to have family devotions right after dinner. For quite some time the moment we started devotions, the phone would ring or somebody would be at the door – it was one interruption after another. Soon I realized Satan attempted to keep us from spending that time with the Lord, so I began to fight back and resist him. I asked the Lord to protect us from such interruptions and before long they ceased.
Prayer is key to resisting Satan. The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:18 (NLT) wrote, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
The following excerpt is from author Dave Earley’s book, The 21 Most Encouraging Promises of the Bible:
Martin Luther was a monk, a theologian, and one of the most influential people in history. His insistence on salvation by grace sparked a movement called the Protestant Reformation and led to the rise of Protestantism. His love of music and hymns brought a renaissance to church music. His ideologies helped shape several European governments. He may have done more for God than anyone else in his day, and the enemy did not like it.
Luther believed in a literal devil and the attack of evil spirits. He freely spoke of being pestered by devils, evil spirits, and demons throughout his life. These attacks increased in frequency and intensity when he went into hiding in Wartburg Castle. There Luther, a fugitive for his faith, spent his time translating the Bible into the language of his people, German.
God’s enemy was aware of the power that would be unleashed when the Bible became available in the language of the masses. Satan did not like this and kept attacking Luther. One night the attacks hit a climax. Luther sensed the presence of the enemy in his room. Exasperated by the close and constant hounding, Martin whirled and heaved his inkwell at the devil. The ink stain on the wall of Wartburg Castle was visible for centuries.
I am not sure how effective his inkwell was in defeating the devil, but I do know that Luther’s usual practice of praising, praying, and trusting in God’s promises is effective. Later in life, Luther put into practice God’s promise of deliverance when under attack. He penned a song. I am sure you have sung this hymn, but I bet you probably never noticed how the words speak to those under enemy attack.
A mighty fortress is our God
A bulwark never failing
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe
His craft and power are great
And armed with cruel hate
On earth is not his equal
Did we in our own strength confide
Our striving would be losing
Were not the right man on our side
The man of God’s own choosing
Dost ask who that may be
Christ Jesus, it is He
Lord Sabaoth His name
From age to age the same
And He must win the battle
And though this world
With devils filled
Should threaten to undo us
We will not fear
For God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us
The Prince of Darkness grim
We tremble not for him
His rage we can endure
For lo his doom is sure
One little word shall fell him
I want to close this meditation with a promise given to us in Psalm 91:1-3 (NLT) of God’s protection. “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. 3 For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.”
Folks, do not be unaware of Satan’s tactics and claim God’s presence, power, and protection whenever you sense that Satan is messing with you.
God bless you.