The more I read CS Lewis (aka Jack) the more I am beginning to love the man. In his book The Screwtape Letters, he drops this line:
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them” - CS Lewis.
On one hand, there are a group of people that think there is a demon under every pillow.
Forgetting your keys and locking yourself out was the Key Demon. (Your an idiot)
Running over a nail on the way to bible study and getting a flat was the Nail Demon.
Your internet isn't working is the Web Demon. (Or Comcast sucks)
The other extreme is that Spiritual Warfare doesnt exist at all.
Everything is a chemical imbalance, depression, bad health caused by poor eating or lack of exercise.
The answer to everything is either good psychiatric counseling, prescription drugs, governmental reform or proper education
Lets look at how this spiritual battle began and The Story of Satan.
Satan's Beauty and Role:
Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the signet of perfection,(D) full of wisdom and(E) perfect in beauty. 13You were in(F) Eden, the garden of God; (G) every precious stone was your covering, (H) sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire,[b](I) emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings.[c] On the day that you were created they were prepared. 14You were an anointed(J) guardian cherub. I placed you;[d] you were on(K) the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.
Satan's Sin in heaven:
12"How(A) you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north;[a] 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'
War in Heaven:
7Now war arose in heaven,(A) Michael and(B) his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9And(C) the great dragon was thrown down,(D) that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan,(E) the deceiver of the whole world—(F) he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
What does Satan now do on earth?
1 Peter 5:8
8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
In Job and Jude (which we'll see later) we see that God has given Satan limitations and boundaries while he exists on earth. He cannot just do anything he wants.
Satan's first victims and God's plan of redemption:
15I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring[a] and(A) her offspring; (B) he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
Satan's plan to overthrow God's plan.
Since the beginning, it has always been Satan's plan to overthrow God. Knowing that the only way to stop the Messiah from being born, this is what the angles did to overstep their boundaries and attempt the messiah from being born of the woman.
1When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3Then the LORD said,(A) "My Spirit shall not abide in[a] man forever,(B) for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years." 4The Nephilim[b] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
God ends Satan's plan again.
After the Demonic angles overstepped their boundaries and God gets the last word and deals with them properly.
6And(A) the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—
God brings the flood and starts over with Noah:
Genesis 8 and 9
Jesus enters the scene.
John the baptist comes as prophesied in Isaiah saying: Prepare the way of the Lord. In other-words, we've been waiting for years for God to send his son and he's here. After Jesus is born to Mary an Joseph, you see Satan again trying to distort Gods plan by leading Herod to kill every child 2 and under in Egypt. God in his providence, again overcomes Satan's plan by sending Joseph and Mary along with baby Jesus to safety.
Jesus then grows us, lives the life we should have lived. No sin, blameless, perfect and holy. He fulfills everything that God has for him and never falls to any of the temptations that Satan throws at him.
Death of Jesus and a quick visit.
1 Peter 3:18-20
18For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
I love how we see Jesus going to visit those demons who tried to stop Him in Genesis. In my opinion, I think Jesus went down there to talk some major trash.
So, what does this mean for us?
13(A) And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God(B) made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14by(C) canceling(D) the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15(E) He disarmed the rulers and authorities[a] and(F) put them to open shame, by(G) triumphing over them in him.[b
Let me explain it like this....Because we are sinners, everyone alive has bought into demonic lies and choose to align themselves with Satan in his war against God. It started with Adam and Eve, and continues with us. Most of us think of demonic activity as things like Palm Readers or movies like The Exorcism, but that is not what we see in the scriptures. We see in the scriptures that as we buy into holding anything up to the place of God (Materialism, False Religions, Jobs, our Families, etc) That is demonic in nature. We also see in scripture that anytime we begin to deviate from what we know to be the will of God (when God says left, but we go right), that is also demonic in nature. We see that when Peter tells Jesus not to go to the cross, and Jesus replies by saying, “Get behind me Satan.”
Everyone in humans history is guilty of this at some level. The only exception is Jesus Christ who resisted every temptation (Luke 4:1-13) and remains continually sinless (Hebrews 4:15). Because of this, Jesus alone can and will defeat Satan, liberate us from slavery to the worship of false gods, and usher us into a freedom that continues forever with Him. This was made possible by Jesus dying in our place for our sins to defeat our Enemy and liberate us into new life.
Hebrews says it like this…..
Hebrews 2:14-15 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
If Satan has been defeated, how is there still a fight?
Example: On August 6th 1945, about 3 ½ years after attack on Pearl Harbor, the US dropped the first Atomic Bomb onto Japan which threw havoc among the japanese as they continued to rage war during World War 2. Three days later, on August 9th, the US dropped the second Atomic Bomb on Japan which later that day led the Emperor to declare a state of surrender of all military forces.
Although the war was officially over and Japan surrendered on August 9th, it wasn't until September 12th that the last Japanese Military Division got word to surrender. Between August 9th and September 12th, the fighting was just as fierce, violent and deadly as it always was. It wasn’t until 1947 that America released the last POW back to Japan. So, you see that although the war was already won, fighting still went on.
The same is true for us. Though Jesus has won the victory for us, the victory has not been fully enforced yet. Although the war has been won, battles are going to continue.
Revelation 12:11-12: And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"
Satan knows that he doesn't have much time left and that he has lost. However, in his remaining time, he still attempts to distort God's plan by pestering God people.
How do we fight that fight?
It starts with a recognition that “We do not fight for victory, we fight from victory.”
1 John 4:4
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for(A) he who is in you is greater than(B) he who is in the world.
1 John 5:4-5
For(A) everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes(C) that Jesus is the Son of God?
7Submit yourselves therefore to God.(A) Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
I believe that the way that we fight from victory is through the praise of His name. Specifically through corporate praise where two or more are gathered together.
Here are 3 examples of this…..
Joshua 6 you see the walls of Jericho come down after the priests play trumpets, march around in worship for 7 days and shout to the Lord. When they do, the walls come down.
2 Chronicles 20:17, 20-23 You see that the leader appoints people to worship before the battle and when the battle begins, God destroys everyone.
Acts 16:16-26 Paul and Silas are arrested, flogged and thrown in jail. At the sound of them singing hymns and praising God, 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.
Worship is celebrating the win before we actually see the victory come to pass.
By doing this we show faith. And.....Faith is our avenue in pleasing God. Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.”
A few questions to think about….
What if we viewed our worship as battle; how would your corporate worship through song look different?
Knowing that our corporate worship through song is warfare; how might that change our preparation, our volume, or even our posture?