Last week, I wrote an article on the biblical reality of Spiritual Warfare. Near the end of that article, I noted that Satan is a created being who fell from heaven because he rebelled against God. Though he is powerful, God is still completely sovereign over him. He is nothing more than a mean dog, and his power and influence extends only to the end of his leash. I then concluded that article with the following paragraph:
Though we are surrounded by much evil, and though Satan is fighting against God and striving to diminish His glory, we know that our God is working all things according to the counsel of His own will. Though preachers of the gospel may be imprisoned (Acts 4:3), many will come to believe through their witness (Acts 4:4). Though godly men are murdered, it may be the cause of the gospel going forth to new regions (Acts 8:1). Every occurrence of spiritual warfare is thus a God-given opportunity to draw near to Christ, depend upon Him more fully, and exalt His name and proclaim His grace out of the midst of our adversities.
Given this biblical perspective, I wanted to return to the subject with this week’s article to further delineate how believers should respond when we encounter spiritual warfare. As you might expect, the first response to spiritual warfare is to be more fervent in prayer. Prayer and Scripture intake are our two greatest means of grace: our two greatest means of expressing our dependence upon Christ, drawing near to Christ, and being conformed to Christ. Thus, we should pray the words of Scripture, and pray for Christ to exalt Himself and crush the serpent when he is active in our circumstances. We should pray for wisdom and discernment (James 1:5), so that we might respond to adversity with settled faith instead of panicked fear. Finally, we should pray for one another, to stand firm in Christ and not be given over to the temptations of the evil one (Eph 6:16, 2 Thess 3:3).
Second, the onslaught of satanic forces should cause us to examine ourselves to make sure we have not given Satan a foothold (1 Cor 11:28, 2 Cor 13:5, Eph 4:27). A “foothold” is an opportunity to deceive and tempt unto further sin. Such opportunities arise when we are in unrepentant sin, when we are hiding sin, and when we fail to take biblical steps to deal properly and firmly with besetting sins. In such circumstances, we must die to ourselves, lay down our pride, and be completely open and transparent about our Continue reading