Spiritual Warfare in the Western World

Stanton Petersen on May 09, 2019

Many American Christians today do not understand spiritual warfare. The American culture often sees spiritual warfare as an unseen world, a fantasy that is beyond our sense. Much of our western secularized society is unwilling to admit the existence of demons and often downgrades all talk of demonic activity to superstition. With Halloween now seen as the second biggest family holiday, other than Christmas, Christians are called to respond carefully on such pagan religious activities. The fast-growing popularity of Halloween shows the American cultures interest in the supernatural realm.

Non-western countries on the other hand, often tend to lean too much on the spiritual side. Believing that spiritual warfare is about demon possession or some obscure topic pertaining to the spiritual life. This is particularly true where I grew up, South Africa. In charismatic circles, I witnessed public spiritual warfare shows to validate their spiritual gifting. In both the western and non-western countries however, there seems to be an ignorance around the realities of spiritual warfare. At its heart, spiritual warfare involves our walk with Christ and our work for His kingdom. Our walk and work are constantly opposed in the spiritual realm by Satan and his demons. It is a day by day operation that must be fought from a biblically-grounded worldview and approach. God provides us with a wealth of information in His Word for the spiritual warfare He calls us to wage.

One area where spiritual warfare is not taken seriously is in our daily battle with sin. 1 John 2:15-16 shows Satan targeting a believer through the avenue of lust. Though not all sin is caused by Satan and his demonic demons, they do however play a factor in most sin. One practical step that can be taken in ministry context to insure a biblically balanced approach is to follow 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” Many who fall into bad and unbiblical practices are those who have been ignorant of what scripture says about it. Therefore, studying scripture can be a great tool in learning more about spiritual warfare. Another step to follow is prayer. Asking the Spirit to guide and lead you into a right view and perspective on this subject.

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