Do you keep up with the news? What we read online, hear on the radio, and see on television can be depressing, can’t it? News gives us a daily reminder of this truth: the world is messed up, and evil is real.
You know what else is real? Satan and his demons. Yes, there is an invisible, cosmic conflict happening all around you right now.
Maybe you think the idea of spiritual warfare is just a superstitious holdover from the medieval era. That’s exactly what Satan wants you to think!
Like it or not, the Bible clearly teaches that there’s an invisible, immaterial world behind our visible, material world. In other words, there’s a reality behind what we see and know and can physically touch that’s just as real. And in that invisible realm, the bad guys rule.
And they’re out to “steal, kill, and destroy” the church, the entire world, and 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).
When you hear me talk about Satan, you might get pictures in your mind of weird stuff like scenes from the “Exorcist” movie. I get that. But the truth is, the great majority of spiritual warfare is subtle, and the battleground is in your heart and your mind.
Here’s why: Satan is a deceiver. He is the father of lies. He and the other fallen angels take what God says is good and flip it. They persuade people to believe truth is nonexistent or relative. They arrange for us to be tempted by good things at wrong times and in wrong ways.
The devil wants you to believe lies about God and His goodness. He wants you to believe lies about yourself, that you’re worthless – or that you’re the most important in the person in the world. He wants you to believe that success and money and appearance and things are your salvation, not Jesus Christ.
All this is happening right now in the invisible world you live in. What are we supposed to do about it?
Thankfully, God has not left us to our own devices. First, Satan is already defeated. If you have given your life to the risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in your heart. You are not under Satan’s power! With Christ, you are invincible! As the apostle John says,
“The one who is in you [Jesus!] is greater than the one who is in the world [Satan]” (1 John 4:4).
Second, God has provided His children with spiritual weaponry for the war!
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:13-18).
Third, the apostle Peter shares this promise:
“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Yes, there is an invisible war raging around us. We need to be equipped to do spiritual battle with the enemy of our souls and to stand firm in victory!
Learn more about how we can stand firm in victory – check out The Invisible War from Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip