Spiritual warfare may not be something you spend a lot of time thinking about, but it’s important to realize that Satan and his evil minions are constantly fighting against you, and they don’t play fair.
In fact, it can be tempting to think that the Enemy has an easier time of it when he’s able to use your own sin nature against you to steer you in the wrong direction and propel forward the goals of his kingdom.
I was on a walk with my husband, Todd, planning a getaway for just the two of us. The conversation started with the right intention and before long irritations start. Disagreeing on where to go, how much to spend, how long to be away … We walked for a while in silence. Todd had the wisdom to ask, “What do you think the Enemy wants to happen here?”
How Satan Works
Satan’s main strategies are rooted in deception, intimidation, and manipulation. Those strategies will never change because they’re part of who he is. He’ll deceive you by telling you lies about how things really are or who you really are. Satan tries to intimidate you with threats or other types of pressure (including spiritual warfare) in order to get you to do what he wants.
Satan is looking for any way he can destroy people. He wants to devour, steal, kill, and destroy. No one is exempt from his sights (1 Peter 5:8). He destroys us by getting us off track from where we should be going spiritually. Satan is also focused on destroying our relationships in family, church, or workplace. You may think you are living a Christian life right now but Satan has goals of destroying you too!
Paul wrote, 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…against…against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness in [the spiritual realm] (Ephesians 6:10-12). Understanding what Satan is doing spiritually in our world will help us walk in victory.
The Armor of God
Partner with God to see regrowth and rebuilding, or our sinful nature can partner with the Enemy. Without wanting it, we can propel forward the goals of the Devil. Paul wrote, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
In 1 Peter, we read about an enemy roaring around like a lion, wanting to devour us. I believe the lion is circling, and I want to take a stand. I am tired of the teaching that says to put on the armor and wait for the Devil to come to you. What if we decided to go after him and punch him first?
Taking Our Stand
To fight spiritual warfare in our own lives, we must begin by standing firm against its works. Romans 12:2 says, Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
God has invited His people to partner with Him ever since Genesis. Sometimes that is building a kingdom of heaven here on earth, and sometimes it’s collaborating with God to destroy the Devil’s work. I don’t have to sit around and be frustrated about the state of the world, or the struggle I have with a particular sin.
I am biblically encouraged to dismantle what the Devil is constructing around me. Since all work by God—restoration, reconciliation, redemption, rescue, and repair—is opposed by our spiritual enemy, I can imagine with stunning accuracy the Devil’s agenda.
Instead of restoration, he wants destruction. Rather than reconciliation, he wants us to remain in conflict. Instead of redemption, he wants us to experience shame. Instead of rescue, he wants us lost; and instead of repair, he wants us to feel permanently broken.
The Enemy will tell stories through our lives. When we don’t put up a fight, and instead hand our sinful nature over to him, he’ll use it against us. There is much that factors into how we think, feel, and act—our past experiences, generational sin, spiritual discipline, temperament, accountability … We can learn to see beyond what is unfolding around us and train for the spiritual combat we are invited to engage in.