- “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.” Ephesians 6:12 NIV
- You Vs. Satan
- So you’re a Christian leader. Such leadership encompasses a whole range of spiritual responsibilities, tasks, and roles which are part of the essential Divine calling to Christian ministry. What a privilege it is! What a joy to be a minister!
- The calling, however, is a calling to strive against Satan in your every single waking and sleeping moment. After all every Christian, eo ipso, is automatically in warfare with Satan. The more influential the Christian leader, the stronger and more insidious the methods and schemes Satan uses.
- This “sifting” by Satan is intended to wear the Christian down. It is intended to erode confidence and, if possible, make that individual so weak as to loose faith. The only proper Christian response is that of declaring, in Christ, outright 24 hour a day warfare.
Methods Of Satanic Warfare
1) Cause doubt.
- Doubt strikes at the heart of a Christian’s greatest defense, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If one doubts the power of God unto salvation, by default one choose to fight Satan alone. In any such confrontation, we are no match for him. With Christ on our side, he is not match for us!
2) Cause Disruption.
- Chaos is the mother of lawlessness. Cause confusion, mix-ups. Make common misunderstandings global issues. Start a religious war. Of course it doesn’t really matter who wins as long as everyone is hurt. That way nobody wins.
- Getting behind enemy lines is always a key to victory. When all is said and done, Trojan horses strategies are quick, efficient and effective. Satanic warfare aims at infiltrating both the church and the people inside of it. Tragically, as the Trojan horse was brought inside the city gates by ones it was intended to destroy, individuals may also roll out the red carpet for Satan.
- 4) Work For Total Occupation
- Satan’s ultimate objective is to live in you. In legal parlance, possession is one of the most compelling evidences of ownership. By dwelling and possessing our lives and hearts, Satan demonstrates his ownership. This occupation can range from outright, total demonic possession to the insidious influencing of everyday decisions.
- One example of the latter involves King David’s preparation for warfare. Instead of trusting in God’s power for victory, David commanded Joab to number all the troops “just to be sure” he had enough power to win. Curiously, this “counting resources” was “incited” by Satan (I Chronicles 21:1).
5) Destroy The Leader First. The Rest Will Follow.
“Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census
of Israel.”1 Chronicles 21:1 NIV
- Satan’s method is simple. If you want to destroy the people of God, incite the leader to sin. That’s precisely how Satan worked in the example above. Whatever your ministry you can count on this. If Satan rises up against your organization, he will incite you to testing. Read it. Know it. Believe it. Count on it. Stand up and resist it.
6) Little-By-Little Not All At Once.
- Seldom is Satan effective in urging someone to do something radically out of character and habit. For him, success is in the slow but sure hammering away a one’s character, faith, hope and confidence. By the time his prey falls, it only takes one final straw to break the camel’s back. Rarely is there the such thing as a fall. Satan doesn’t work that way. Virtually every fall is simple the final, visible consequence at what may be a very long progressive Satanic hammering away and weakening of an individual.
7) Don’t Blow Your Cover.
- Hide anyway you can. Hide behind culture. Hide behind denials that demons exist. Use events of nature or actions or thoughts of people to carry out your work. But whatever you do, don’t blow your cover! If they discover demonic influence, they will fight it.
8) If You Can’t Destroy Faith, Hinder It.
- Since God and His Word are so powerful in creating faith, Satan may recognize he can’t immeidately destroy it. Thus he will try the next best thing: hinder it. Don’t let it grow. Frustrate it, take away its joy. Do anything possible to hinder its growth.
9) Look Bigger Than You Are.
- Since human beings are so prone to fear, play on that fear. Whatever is done doesn’t’ have to be real. All it needs to do is frighten them. Keep them off balance and do everything possible to make them believe Satan is bigger and more powerful than God.
10) Accuse And Deceive Incessantly.
- Since people hate criticism and uncertainty, be sure that they become as vulnerable to criticism and anxiety as possible. Be it through others, the church, the world, their family or themselves, do it any way possible. Sooner or later there’s always hope that guilt, despair, aimlessness, doubt and disappointment of failure will cause them to give up.
11) Focus On Externals Not Faith.
- When Satan eludes us to obsessively focus on our looks, our impressions, our performance, our statistics, our numbers and positive regard from others we are easy prey. When we give such exaggerated attention to these and other externals, his next step is have us continue building our hope on externals. when things fail, Satan will be quick to exploit those whose self-esteem and faith have been shattered.
What You Must Know About Satan And His Angels
- 1) They Are Losers.
- Jesus has taken away their power. You just are made to think they are powerful. When confronted with their power lead them to where your faith is based: the cross. They’ll leave virtually every time in fear.
- 2) They Make Mistakes.
- They cannot predict the future. They are not all-powerful. they are sinners too. Sinners make mistakes. Watch him closely and you’ll see how Satan is guilty of some pretty big “whoppers.” Some of their biggest blunders have been to miscalculate and attack people who understand–or have the persistence to growing in understanding–how they work.
- 3) They Shudder In The Face Of God’s Power And Jesus’ Name.
Confront them with God and the power of the Gospel, and they freak out. They just want to get out of there and will find any means possible to escape God’s power. Fleeing from Jesus, they went straight into pigs and ended up killing the hosts they possessed.
- 4) Though weaker than God, they are always eager–and ready–to catch us in our weak moments.
- If one is not continually conscious of their presence and threat in our lives, we can easily fall unawares. Of course, we can even fall when we are aware of their presence and threat. The weakest link in our battle with Satan is always us.
What Warfare Requires
1) Spiritual Armor
St. Paul and others including Jesus, spoke of the necessity to be armed, alert and ready for battle. The well-equipped solder is always well-equipped. The soldier knows each weapon intimately. He (or she) knows how they work, when they work, what they will do, in what circumstances they work best and, when they don’t work, they also may know how to fix them.
Of course, no soldier goes into any battle or engages any enemy without first having some “intelligence” or knowledge of the enemy. In our warfare with Satan, God’s Word has blessed us with numerous examples of “intelligence” by which to confront, struggle, fight and win in our victory against Satan and his hosts.
3) Confidence in God’s Victory
David in his battle against Goliath knew that the victory was his. He knew that God would deliver Goliath into his hands. This confidence was more essential than armor. David knew his enemy. He knew God’s power. He trusted God’s power. He knew that if God had given him victory he didn’t need armor. All he needed was a bold confidence in God’s victory.
4) Willingness To Fight
A recent study conducted by the United States of soldiers in the Vietnam Conflict in the 1960-1970’s revealed that only 15% of troops engaged in direct enemy contact fired their weapons. A significant number of these soldiers died simply because they wouldn’t or couldn’t move against the enemy. Nor, when confronted, would they defend themselves. They were trained. Some were expert marksmen. But they weren’t willing to fight. This reluctance cost them their lives.
Intelligence, confidence and all the armaments of warfare are worthless unless one is willing to go forward into battle with resolve. It is this resolve which must mark all ministers of the Gospel.
Are you ready to fight?
- Thomas F. Fischer
- * This article was inspired by Charles Kraft. Defeating Dark Angels (Servant Publications: Ann Arbor, MI), pp. 102 ff.