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One of the sad realities within the local church today centers on the fact that numerous born-again Christians have little or no knowledge of the spiritual warfare that takes place all around us. The Bible is crystal clear in proclaiming that there is a battle raging in the heavenlies as the forces of evil continue to wage war against not only the Creator, but also against all who trust in Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord.
The Bible is crystal clear in proclaiming that there is a battle raging in the heavenlies.
In the six thousand years since the Garden of Eden, two of Satan’s most strategic assaults have been focused on destroying the sanctity of the marriage covenant and the unity of our homes. A detailed study of God’s Word will show us that the devil is focused on ripping our families apart. Satan will use any tactic he can; he will capitalize on every advantage imaginable to disrupt the harmony in our homes.
As a pastor, I am a firm believer that the modern-day church must be dedicated to preaching and teaching the Scriptures without compromise beginning with its foundation in Genesis 1–11. We must be committed to training all believers in the knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures so they can know how to stand firm against the enemy of God. Ray Stedman addresses the reality of the spiritual battles we face by stating:
We can only truly understand life when we see it as the Bible sees it. That is why the Word of God was given: to introduce us to real reality. When we come to the Bible, we learn the truth. One of the most fundamental truths the Bible presents to us is that, behind the facade of this world, there is an invisible battle raging. This battle takes many casualties, and there are no innocent bystanders, no noncombatants. Every human being on the planet, whether he or she is aware of it or not, is forced to take one side or the other in this great cosmic war. There is no room for any neutrality. So it is critically important that you and I know how to defend ourselves and arm ourselves for battle.1
As believers, we may often wonder if there is anything we can do to counter the attacks our spiritual enemy hurls at us. We might even ask, “Can we, as Christian couples and parents, stand in the gap for our marriages, our children, and our homes?” Let me say a resounding, “Yes, we can, and we must stand united in the victory Jesus has secured for us.”
We must not delay in teaching our children to understand what the Bible has to say concerning spiritual warfare. Modern-day theologian Wayne Grudem assists us in understanding some of the basic doctrinal truths pertaining to Satan’s origin and fall from heaven when he writes:
Satan and demons were once like the good angels but who sinned and lost their privilege before God. Like angels, they were also created, spiritual beings with moral judgment and high intelligence but without physical bodies. When God created the world, he “saw everything he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). This means that even the angelic world that God had created did not have evil angels in it at that time. But by the time of Genesis 3, we find that Satan, in the form of the serpent, was tempting Eve to sin (Genesis 3:1–5). Therefore, sometime between the events of Genesis 1:31 and Genesis 3:1, there must have been a rebellion in the angelic world with many angels turning against God and becoming evil.2
As Genesis 3 shows us, Satan’s desire is not only to destroy our lives, but also to weaken and sever the relationships we hold dear. We might all agree that Adam and Eve were both at fault for their disobedience and rebellion against God’s commandments. But a careful reading of Genesis 3:12 shows that Adam blamed his sin not only on his wife, but also on his Creator by saying to the Lord, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate” (emphasis mine).
Without question, Satan is still using the same tactics against our marriages and homes today. He seeks to divide us from our spouses and our children as he plans his strategies to destroy the unity God has designed for us. Just as he was successful in breaking the unity Adam and Eve shared with their Creator, he is still achieving an alarming number of victories in the modern-day Christian home, as the sins of pride and selfishness are often all too prevalent.
I have often talked with numerous people who have had serious questions about the origins of evil and sin in the world. Many may wonder, “How and when, did sin begin?” As the Bible teaches, Lucifer sinned when he exercised his free will to rebel against his Creator.
Over my years in pastoral ministry, I have seen far too many believers who lack the knowledge about who they are in Christ. I am convinced that unless we acquire a solid biblical understanding of our “in Christ” position, we will be unable to fully counter the attacks of our enemy as he tempts us to exercise our free will and rebel against the commandments of God. As believers, we have a tremendous responsibility to study God’s Word so we can be better able to stand firm with the knowledge and power our Lord has provided for us as we face the devil and his forces of evil.
Without a doubt, it is time that we, as the children of God, began living as strong soldiers of the Cross. May our awareness be ever so quickened that we will begin recognizing the attacks of the devil when they come our way. Would you also agree that Satan has been achieving his victories for far too long? Will you join with me as we literally claim the power of God’s Holy Spirit against the one who seeks to divide and destroy our marriages, our homes, and our churches? As the people of God, we can praise our Creator for all His abundant promises as we literally stand in the strength He provides.