Why don't we talk about this much in the church? If we believe that the world in which we live is a broken and fallen place where we need--daily--the Hope of salvation to survive, why don't we spend more time talking about the constant war that is raging and our place in it?
Jesus "was manifested for the purpose of destroying the works of the devil" (1 Jn 3:8b).
God "has rescued/delivered us from the kingdom of darkness" through Jesus (Col 1:13-14).
Jesus sought to prepare us for spiritual warfare and to stand with us against it (Mat 16:18b).
The power of the Holy Spirit is the only way we can wage war against evil (Mat 12:28-29).
The epistles of the New Testament speak continually about its importance and the authority we have (and responsibility we have) in Jesus' name (Jn 16:7,13-15).
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21 NKJV)
"...the battle is the LORD's..." (1 Samuel 17:47 KJV)
"…the enemy… is the devil…" (Matthew 13:37-39 KJV)
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy..." (John 10:10a NKJV)
"We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds...." (2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NLT)
"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Ephesians 6:11)
"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty power in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12)
"For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8b KJV)
"For He has recused us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins." (Colossians 1:13-14 NLT)
"But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like satan and plunder his goods? Only someOne even stronger--someOne who could tie him up and then plunder his house." (Jesus speaking, Mat 12:28-29 NLT).
"I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18 KJV)
"No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries for tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below--indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(Romans 8:37-39 NLT)
All this to say: I've been experiencing a lot of spiritual warfare lately and it is not strange or unexpected--the devil is rather unimaginative, actually.
I spent the better part of yesterday in the ER because of an intense and paralyzing pain that was the result of a ruptured cyst on my left ovary (we later discovered). I have never felt anything like it. It was a complex cyst which means is was really big (about 2 inches) and had other things in it than just water liquid. If my ovary was a football, this would have been an explosive wound that was at least the length of the laces and twice as wide; and what came out when it burst was not simply water--hence the intense and immediate pain.
This is not a coincidence.
1. One week ago we added a member to our family--Evan. So satan attacks my ovaries (ability to become a mother to many).
2. The day I spent in the ER was the day we were supposed to meet my parents in Chattanooga so that they could meet Evan and welcome him into our larger family. So satan tried to mess up that plan and deny Evan that connection of love.
3. The issue of getting pregnant or not has been a hot topic with me and grant for almost a year. So satan wanted to come in and speak death over our future ability to have kids.
BUT GOD SPEAKS LIFE.
God wants to extend the boarders of our tent with children (Isa 54:2). God wants Evan to feel fully accepted into a loving family (Mark 1:11). God wants for me and Grant to honor His command to open our hearts and homes to His kids--orphans like Evan (James 1:27).
Spiritual warfare is not as "mystical" as it sometimes seems.
It is real.
It is spiritual.
It is both. But God has already won, the victory is His in Jesus Christ. and His plans (for me, for us, for Evan, for my ovaries and health) CANNOT be thwarted (Job 42:2). Ever (Deut 31:6,8).
God speaks LIFE (Gen 1:27-28).
So when satan comes against us when we are simply being obedient to God, we have Hope and do not lose heart (2 Cor 4:1). I know exactly what satan's trying to do; problem for him is: we love, trust, and belong TO JESUS. and I will praise Him forever. Amen!
""Sing, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem, you who have never been in labor. For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who has many sons with her husband," says the LORD." (Isa 54:1).