Spiritual Warfare: A Strategic Guide -- By: Lance T. Beauchamp
JBTM 15:1 (Spring 2018) p. 88
Spiritual Warfare: A Strategic Guide
Lance Beauchamp is director of Baptist Collegiate Ministries at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. [email protected]
Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens (Eph 6:10–12).1
This is a passage most of us are familiar with and perhaps we have heard a message or two on the armor of God from the following verses in Ephesians 6. Even so, do we take the idea of spiritual warfare seriously, or do we gloss over it as purely hypothetical or metaphorical? Most people react in one of two ways. Either they make too much of Satan and see a demon behind every bush, or they make too little of Satan, living a life of practical naturalism.
In the first response, every temptation is addressed as “the Devil made me do it.” As believers, we are our own worst enemies because of our continued desires for the things of the flesh (Rom 7:15). We cannot blame every problem in our lives on demonic influence. Even when temptation comes our way, God has promised that we always have a way out (1 Cor 10:13). While demonic influence indeed does tempt us, we are more often enticed by our own flesh as well as the worldly pleasures that surround us and compete for our attention (Eph 2:1–3).2 At the other end of the spectrum, we must be aware that the “spiritual forces of evil” are a reality, and we would do well to be vigilant and informed of their power and influence. A balanced approach is not only necessary for proper interpretation and application of biblical truth but also necessary for comprehending life in this world.
It is imperative that we grasp two essential facts: 1) Satan and his demons are real. They hate everything about you and want to destroy you. “Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour” (1 Pet 5:8). We are at war with a relentless enemy who will exploit our weaknesses in every possible way. Although Satan cannot snatch you from the hand of God (You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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