WHY SPIRITUAL WARFARE?
(This blog is taken, word for word, from the script I used for the LifeWay recordings for pastors. It is applicable to all so I am sharing it with you.)
God commands us to be involved in spiritual warfare against Satan and his demons (1 Timothy 6:12). Ephesians 6 says “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers.” Paul describes in great detail the armor provided for us to fight this battle. He says every Christian is in a battle and needs to be prepared.
Paul tells the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 2:11: “We are not ignorant of Satan’s devices.” If Satan uses his power against us, then surely we are to oppose him. But some may wonder, if God is sovereign, why do we need to fight Satan? If God is sovereign, why do we need to witness, pray, believe, work for our money, drive carefully, go to a doctor, or any of those things? If we trust in God, why lock doors at night? There are some common-sense things God expects us to do for ourselves, even though He is in control of everything. We take care of our health, lock our doors, drive carefully and keep from sin. By doing these things we learn to trust Him more.
Here are some reasons we know we are to use spiritual warfare. First, the Jews were given the land of Canaan but had to fight to live in it. When we fight we see His provision, might and deliverance. When we learn about spiritual warfare we are better able to pray for and give guidance to others. Also, we see the awfulness of sin and its consequences so we can better turn from it. We see His glory as He uses us to bring victory to others.
A second reason we know about spiritual warfare is because Jesus used it. Jesus talked about Satan & demons more than anyone in the Bible. He cast out demons and He commanded His disciples to cast them out, too. He taught His disciples to fight Satan and overcome evil (Matthew 10:8; Luke 10:1, 17-20). He was disappointed when they were unable to deliver a demonized boy (Mark 9:14-29).
We see examples of others in the Bible involved in spiritual warfare as well. Daniel prayed spiritual warfare prayer for three weeks while a demon prevented God’s angel from coming with the answer to Daniel’s prayers (Daniel 10:2-6,12-14). Paul was twice involved in casting out demons, in Acts 13 and 16 (Acts 13:6-12; 16:16-18). Paul wrote a lot about spiritual warfare in Ephesians 4 and 6 and Galatians 2 (Ephesians 4:26-27; 6:10-13; Galatians 2:10, 13; etc.) His thorn in the flesh was a demon, an angel of Satan (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). Moses was challenged by Satanic forces in Jannes and Jambres (Exodus 7:1-11, etc.).
Many examples in history and today show the involvement of God’s people in spiritual warfare. We know in the last days spiritual oppression will increase. The book of Revelation makes this clear.
Satan has opposed God from the beginning. Satan attacked God through His creation. First Adam and Eve, then Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God’s people ended up in Egyptian slavery for 400 years until God delivered them. God did it all: provided the innocent blood and the power to protect them from the angel of death as well as deliver them unharmed through the Red Sea. They did nothing but accept His salvation. Then the battles started for them: the Amalekites attacked, then the Canaanites, and on it went. The Jews had to learn to fight. When they learned to fight behind their leader Joshua, who is a picture of Jesus, they conquered and settled the land God had for them. When we learn to fight behind our Commander, Jesus, we have victory in life.