In our material, tactile world we often forget that there is more to life than the physical. That’s why I appreciate it when Hollywood churns out movies that remind that there is a spiritual world that is beyond us and a part of us. In my day, it was movies like Star Wars and the Matrix and Field of Dreams that called people to pay attention to more than what they will eat or drink and what they will wear.
But we need only to turn to God’s word to discover that we are part of a world that is more than what we can touch. We are part of a spiritual world and from the start of first book of the Bible we see that there is a spiritual battle for the hearts of all people raging around us. Satan is like a “roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1Peter 5:8). We read in Genesis 3 that he tempts Adam and Eve and they join his rebellion against God. And so the battle rages. God wants us because of his love. Satan wants us because he knows how dangerous we can be to his plans. We can be a means of bringing glory to God. He doesn’t want that, he wants all the glory and to bow down to him.
What Satan didn’t count on was that God would become one of us and pay the price for our rebellion on the cross. As a result, we read in Colossians,
“He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2:14,15)
Satan is now a defeated personality. He was soundly beaten at Calvary and we are given victory. So we are told in Ephesians 6 to “stand our ground.” That means that we don’t have to get victory over Satan, we already have that. What we have to do is stand firm in the victory that is already won for us.
And as we stand firm God calls us to participate in the spiritual battle through prayer. (Ephesians 6:18). People ask, “Why pray? If God is sovereign and all powerful, why do we need to pray?” It is because God has graciously invited us to participate in the spiritual battle that rages in the heavenly realms for people’s hearts and souls. Through prayer we give God consent to rule in our lives. Every time we pray we are raising God’s flag over the fortress of our lives and saying, “God is in control here, God is at work here. We take our stand with him.” Every time we come to God in dependent prayer the victory of the cross is proclaimed and the work of Satan is set back.
Don’t be lulled into thinking that this world is all there is. Read your Bible, fall on your knees, call out to God and join the struggle “against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Your fellow soldier, Pastor Tom.