Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dealing with Spiritual Attack – Are You Susceptible?

“We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.”

—Ephesians 6:12 (CEV).

Here’s a topic that sparks sharp divergences in any room; it splits the masses down the middle as some swear by it whilst others shoot it down as some snake-oil concoction of spiritualised denial. Dealing with the topic of spiritual attack is no universal thing; it may never be.

I think personally that there is such a thing, and I believe the Bible backs up this assertion in many areas and in many ways, for instance, Paul’s writings[1] and also Jesus’ many allusions to the demonic. It seems wherever the Presence of God exists (i.e. everywhere) there also lurks darkness and agents of the darkness.

This ‘darkness’ manifests itself most often via the mind of the person being attacked. It is generally the mind that informs, or at least confirms or affirms, the heart. Sure, we feel something, but feelings are generally always processed mentally before the attribution is made. We’re deceived first in the mind.

One of the keys, therefore, is firstly recognising what’s going on at the level of our awareness.

We’re defeated secondly in our unbelief; sure, the mind can be deceived but the heart should sense the trick and therefore begin to inform the mind of the incongruence. Then the mind must become aware, processing the incongruence; checking the integrity of the overall ‘system.’

The long and short of it is we’re all susceptible—believer and non-believer alike. Although it would be fair to say the Devil is up for a battle at any given opportunity and for someone to be in active allegiance with Christ—the direct threat to the prince of this world[2]—that, for Satan, is a match made in hell—his favoured playground. It’s, of course, our least favoured existential environment.

And we ought to remember that spiritual attack comes when we least expect it. The prince of this world, the angel of lies, is also the master of disguise and the lord of surprise.

The most important thing we can do to fortify ourselves against the wanton dealings of the enemy, and of spiritual warfare, is to:

ü Gird the mind with solidly positive faith constructs, and

ü Bolster the heart with felt belief that instinctually feels right, and that most importantly aligns with what our best mind’s saying.

The enemy is often quite easily halted in his tracks when we employ such logical ‘system analysis.’

Our challenge is to make this process habit.

© S. J. Wickham, 2009.

[1] I’m thinking of Romans 8:38; Ephesians 6:12; and, 2 Corinthians 10:4 to name just three.

[2] Jesus speaks at least three times in John (12:31; 14:30; and, 16:11) about ‘the prince of this world,’ a characterisation that whilst Satan is not the authority of authorities, he still plays a commanding role if we let him. Yet, all we need do is approach Jesus.

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