There is a War Going On

There is a War Going On

In this country today, there is much interest in witches, zombies, death, vampires, haunted houses, magic, fortune tellers, horror films, paganism, homosexuality, promiscuity, rape, and the occult. People are entertained and enthralled by what is evil and whatever rebels against all authority. They call evil good, and good evil. They want God and believers in God removed from all public activity and thought. Some people take their fascination with evil to the next level by entering a church, theater, or school and kill people at random. Some of these people say they hear voices telling them to commit murder.

It is the spirit of Satan, and his demons.

You might think demonic activity only occurs in Bible times and heathen places. Sadly, this country is becoming a heathen place. And unfortunately, most American churches do not know how to minister deliverance to the afflicted. In our foolish wisdom, we call demonized people insane and we lock them up and drug them to the point of lethargy.

The Bible tells us there is a real devil and there are real demons. You might say, "Well, I'm not sure that is still true today." Or you might mistakenly think, "If I leave the devil alone, he'll leave me alone." But whether we like it or not, or disagree with it, the war is on, and we're in it. The war is on for every Christian, 24/7, every day of the year. And if you are not fighting the enemy, you will become a casualty of this war.

Ephesians 6:10-12 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

In most sports, the players are given a "time out" to catch their breath and plan a strategy. But not in wrestling. Once the wrestler enters the ring, he can't let his guard down for a moment or his opponent will pin him to the mat.

Likewise, Christians can't say, "Time out devil, I need a breather!" He doesn't take “breathers” or any day off. He doesn't take it easy on you when you've been through a tragedy or been hurt. That's when he pours on the heat. He's the original kick-'em-while-they're-down person. He is totally evil. He has no sense of mercy, sympathy, or what it means to have a fair fight. There's no practice and no warm-up. Satan is fighting a real war against every one of us. We need to learn how to conduct spiritual warfare so we can battle with the appropriate armor and weapons.

According to the New Testament, (we are in the New Testament?) demons can cause:

a. Insanity (Matthew 8:28; 17:15) –Gadarene demoniacs

b. Muteness of speech (Matthew 9:32) – demon possessed man who was mute

c. Blindness (Matthew 12:22) – demon possessed man who was blind and mute

d. A person to harm themselves (Mark 5:5) – man who had a “Legion” of demons

e. Paralysis (Luke 13:11) – woman who had a disabling spirit

f. Deafness (Mark 9:25) – boy who was mute and deaf and foamed at the mouth

Jesus completely delivered and healed people with these afflictions when he cast out the demons that were causing these things.

There are at least six groups of people that are more likely to become demonized:

1. Those who enter into a covenant with Satan, selling their souls.

2. Those who dabble in the occult, paganism, magic, horoscopes, astrology, fortune telling, card reading, Ouija boards, charms, séances, Satan worship, and etc.

3. Those who abuse drugs and alcohol.

4. Those who practice false religions.

5. Those who watch satanic movies and pornography.

6. Those who are rebellious, and practice sexual abuses, homosexuality, and promiscuity.

Proverbs 17:11 An evil man seeks only rebellion, therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

A cruel messenger could be a demon. Anyone who is unsaved and rebels against God is a candidate for demonic influence. A person, who rebels against God’s Word and purposely sins, opens himself to the devil and his demons.

I repeat, according to the New Testament, demons cause many of the physical and mental conditions we incorrectly call “illnesses”. Satan has blinded us to his activity by making us wise in our own eyes, thinking we can cure these “illnesses” with drugs, imprisonment, or hospitalization, when what people really need is Jesus and His deliverance. Because these people are removed from society and we don’t see them, we think demon possession no longer exists. That is a serious mistake.

However, demonic possession is not the main war for a Christian. Satan takes advantage of our ignorance and strikes like a terrorist when our guard is down. But when we are aware of his schemes and filled with the Spirit, he can't destroy us even if he makes us suffer.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

We must keep our eyes on Jesus at all times – not the devil. However, the Bible says we must not be ignorant, but instead stand against the devil's schemes. The enemies we face are not "bad vibes," nor "negative energies in the universe," nor the "dark side of the force." They are demonic spirits who think, talk, listen, observe, and plan strategies. We resist them by forgiving one another, submitting to God, asking for grace, taking thoughts captive, obeying the Word, speaking the Truth, and rebuking them.

For example, 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven--if there was anything to forgive--I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

Unforgiveness plays into the hands of Satan. These verses show how forgiveness resists Satan and thwarts his schemes. Nothing defeats the devil faster than resisting what he's trying to do. Therefore, refuse to hold a grudge. Instead, forgive, be filled with the Spirit, and offer worship, thanksgiving, and praise to the Lord!

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

This is active warfare! Submit to God, obey Him, and walk by the Holy Spirit. Resist the devil by refusing to do what he wants.

Now, there are two extremes to avoid. Some people tend to blame every adversity on the devil, always assuming it's a demon. They claim to know all the spirits and the "sub-spirits." This can be an unhealthy preoccupation with the occult. But there are others who never admit the devil is doing anything. They don't want to even think about it. Unfortunately, we can't make the enemy nonexistent by refusing to recognize he's here.

So, how do we stay balanced? Don't assume the devil is behind something, but don't refuse to consider it either. How will you know? Ask God. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is discernment of spirits. If the Lord shows you it is demonic, He will give you power over the demon, or He will give you grace to endure and overcome its torment for God’s glory. Either way, trust God’s wisdom, grace, and love for you.

For example, Paul experienced an attack from a “messenger of Satan”. He asked God to remove it, but God gave Paul grace to overcome the torment in a way that glorified Christ.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Therefore, be aware of what the devil does, but don't be controlled by his activity. Overcome his lies, temptations, and schemes by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. Our dependency on Jesus Christ to do this glorifies the Lord.

1 John 4:1-6 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

Do not fear the spirit world. God gave us armor for defense and weapons for offense. Christ is our armor, righteousness, salvation, shield, and truth. The Word of God is our sword. And prayer in the Holy Spirit is our offense.

Remember, "the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." We can be "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." When we are weak in our own strength, dependent on the Lord, and filled with the Holy Spirit is when we are strong.

2 Corinthians 10:3-4 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

We don't struggle against evil to get saved or stay saved. Salvation is a gift of God's grace and He can keep us from falling. But we must defend our faith from the enemy's attacks, lies, seductions, deceptions, and temptations.

The devil frequently whispers lies into our mind. We can be born-again and heaven-bound, but if we listen and contemplate and act according to the devil’s lies, we will be defeated and our effectiveness on earth will be diminished.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

We must war against thoughts that don't agree with the Truth. If it's a thought of pride, fear, unbelief, lust, depression, or condemnation, it needs to be taken captive and rejected. That's something we have to do. We can make our thoughts obedient to the Word of God, focus on Jesus, and speak the Truth.

Ephesians 4:25-27, Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

We give opportunity to the devil if we don't deal with our wrong attitudes. Arrogant, rebellious, unforgiving, selfish, and contentious attitudes open up a door for the enemy to have a foothold in our life, marriage, church, nation, and world.

Jesus defeated every demonic power on the cross 2,000 years ago - but Satan is still active to the exact degree people allow him to be.

For example, if we are not filled with the Spirit and obeying God, the enemy can inspire us to speak unbelief, slander, gossip, and hurtful words. As a result, many of us carry wounds from things said to us years ago. Don't let the devil bring curses through your mouth. Pray what David prayed in Psalm 141:3, Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.

Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection conquered Satan, death, and sin. Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

After the Resurrection, He gave us the Holy Spirit so we would have power to be His witnesses and do His work while we are here. As Children of God and ambassadors of Jesus Christ, we have authority to use Jesus’ Name in this spiritual war.

Jesus said in Luke 10:19-20 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

God is expecting His people to know their authority and to exercise it. If we don't rise up to drive out the enemy, the devil will stay in control. In the Promised Land, God gave the victory, but the people had to do the fighting. Rebuke the enemy in Jesus' Name. Satan may attack several more times, but when you've convinced him that you're convinced of your spiritual authority over him in Jesus’ Name, he will stop attacking from that angle.

We need to get angry enough at the devil to refuse him access into our lives by defensive warfare of resisting him - and then push him out with offensive warfare by the power of the Spirit, the Word of God, prayer, and fasting.

Satan’s greatest lie is telling us he doesn’t exist. He is the reason for evil in this world, not God. Satan has not only blinded us to his existence, he has blinded many to God’s existence and the Truth.

Through prevailing prayer, fasting, and the Word of God, we can bind the powers of darkness affecting people. We can also pray that people will have a revelation of who Jesus Christ is and their need of Him as their Savior and Lord. Then we will see change in our lives, in families, in cities, and in the world.

Spiritual warfare is hard work, but let the Holy Spirit lead you and empower you. God has given us authority over Satan in Jesus’ Name.

When you arise each morning, ask your Father for His grace to die to yourself and live for Christ, and for the power of the Holy Spirit to resist the devil. That’s how we suit up and prepare for battle every day.

Unfortunately, if Jesus is not your Lord and Savior, you are a captive of Satan and have no power to resist him. He doesn’t war against you because you belong to him. You can change sides in this war today. That thought may give you some fear and anxiety. Those feelings are from the devil to keep you in bondage.

So let’s clear the confusion in your mind right now. Do you want to suffer the devil’s fate—eternity in Hell?

If not, then desert Satan and run to your Savior, Jesus Christ. Confess Him as Lord and the Son of God. Ask Him to forgive you of your sin and be baptized. He will give you a new life filled with peace and joy, born of the Holy Spirit, who will give you power over the enemy. You will not be alone. We will support you and be fight Satan with you.