The Battle Is Real
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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.
Many of us are familiar with the reality of evil and that spiritual warfare is always lurking in the shadows. But how aware are we really? Are you ready to fight the battles surrounding your world today? Even many well-informed theologians would prefer to write and speak about other topics. Exposing the darkness requires the acknowledgment that there is wickedness in this world that we are living in. Jesus and the writers of the New Testament clearly understood that the world that we live in is run by Satan and his demons (John 12:31, 14:30; Eph. 2:2; 1Pet. 5:8).
The Bible tells us that at least one third of all the angels that God created followed Satan when he was thrown out of heaven (Rev. 12:3-9). We are also told that Satan can enter an individual (if allowed Lk 22:3). Does that mean that the enemy can also enter into you or me? Scholars can either take the passage in Luke as a literal possession of Judas’ body, or it can be taken figuratively, as in Satan influenced Judas to betray Jesus. If God allowed for Satan to possess a human’s mind and soul this would have very disturbing implications. If this literal possession was the case in Scripture; was it a one-time instance, or can it still happen?
We know one thing for certain, and that is that there are evil spirits, also referred to as impure spirits (Mark 9:25), who are allowed to take up residence inside of a human body. Are these the fallen angels mentioned in the book of Revelation, or are these disembodied spirits whose flesh drowned in the flood? That is a question many scholars have done their best to explain. One thing that we can be sure of is that there is an ongoing war for our souls taking place. The book of Daniel gives a good representation of the battle for the soul of a nation, and we are shown that there is an intense fight for positions of influence over political figures on the world’s stage (Daniel 10). This has not changed.
It should not come as a surprise that the more active you become as a Christian, the more you are targeted by demonic influences. Lucifer’s minions are ready to make your life miserable if you allow them to. Once you become aware of why sudden chaos begins in your world, like your spouse takes a conversation in an odd direction, the dog barks when you are trying to have a spiritual conversation with a friend, your children or parents become unusually demanding just as you are planning to participate in a church related activity, or any out of the ordinary goings-on that challenge your witness for Christ, you can take control over the situation.
It is not as easy as it may seem on the surface to thwart the challenges that the enemy can bring about. That is why we are forewarned in Scripture to be aware that we have an enemy who wants to destroy us (Gen. 4:6-7; 1Pet. 5:8). Our battle begins with the acknowledgment that the enemy is real and the war that we are in is constant, and that we must be wise and use great discernment in this fight to be successful. Diligently seeking God through his word is the key to knowledge.