[CF Devotionals] 2009-05-24 - Spiritual Warfare Study

The Spiritual Warfare Series, Part 7 - Introduction to Section 2

“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. 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 saints. ~ Ephesians 6:10-18

We touched previously on the problems with and the dangers of the “deliverance” approach to spiritual warfare. As I noted, this could only be done as an overview, with the hope that you will find the issues of interest enough to stimulate your further examination of the Scriptures and trustworthy authors on the subject. But the deliverance approach is not all there is. as we will.

As we can see from Paul’s comments. while scripture really has very little to say about demons, it has quite a bit to say about spiritual warfare and the Christian walk. Now, will look at what Powlison refers to as “Classic-mode Spiritual Warfare.” 1 This too, of necessity, will only be a very cursory examination of the subject. You suggested reading list includes classic as well as contemporary works on spiritual warfare.

THE PROBLEM: Reality is, life is a struggle. And there is no question, as Paul notes, that it is a spiritual one. The fact one rejects, for lack of biblical support, the deliverance approach, does not mean we reject the reality of Satan and his minions. It does not mean we reject his kingdom as a major source of struggles in this life. What it does mean is that we must fight the battle biblically.

Ray Stedman, referring to Ephesians 6, says in his book, Spiritual Warfare: I hasten to say that this declaration will only be fully believed and understood by Christians. The world either distorts this to the point of ridiculousness or it rejects it as unacceptable to the intelligent mind. Superstition has taken this great revelation and distorted it, twisted it, reduced it to a ridiculous pantheon of goblins, witches, spooks, and ghouls.” 2

  1. Powlison, David, Power Encounters–Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 1995, p. 35.
  2. Stedman, Ray C., Spiritual Warfare, Word Publisher, Waco, TX, 1976, p. 18.

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