Spiritual Warfare (I)
I used to believe that too much talk or time invested in discussing the power of the enemy demonstrated a skewed understanding of God. It was superstitious on the one hand, and fanatical on the other.
I also believed that extending too much importance or attention on the “darkness” was, according to my worldview, an effort to call it into action. In doing so, one would render it significant and worthy of our regard; and in some uneasy way, to respect it.
I didn’t want any part of it. I made every noticeable effort to ensure I let others know that personal responsibility needed to be taken for most of our individual choices. All too often, “the devil” was blamed for thoughts and actions that were clearly within the purview of the person and not the devil.
To project blame onto the devil was to usurp human freedom and responsibility. In short, the argument that the devil was still roaming around seeking to devour Christians was, in my estimation, an unenlightened, if not medieval, understanding of God and how He created, controlled and commanded the universe.
I was wrong. Very wrong, indeed.
The power of the enemy to foil, destroy and sabotage Christian lives, marriages, families, ministries - and above all else, the confidence in the character of God, is real. It is absolutely true. Nowadays, it represents to me, the single-most important truth that we as Christians must be in complete awareness of… Satan wants to destroy you, me, us, the Body of Christ, and he is insanely committed in doing so. He has nothing to lose.
Be that as it may, I feel there is a dismissive, and in some cases, a disdainful attitude, with which many discard notions of the evil one as being present and at work in our day and age. Perhaps it’s because we are saturated with the scientific method as the rational way we make “sense” of our surroundings. We explain phenomena through reason and measure to authenticate plausibility. The ides of Satan do not comfortably invite any of these methods of inquiry to explain his existence and purpose.
It is perhaps for this reason alone that parts of our world are under such brutal satanic attack. The presence of the enemy is dismissed, the nature of his purpose is seen as an antiquated means of explaining natural phenomena and the consequences of his actions are understood to be the results of psychology and personal freedom having individual and collective ramifications.
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