The Bible affirms the reality of spiritual warfare. So why do so many people, even believers, deny its reality?
"I fear that there are two extremes," Dr. Sam Storms tells Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of the Greenelines podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. And as with most extremes, the lead pastor at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, believes both sides err—but Christians need to recognize the enemy's power as well as their own power in Christ to withstand his evil attacks.
"There are those who are drawn to talk about nothing but the demonic," Storms says. "And then there are those who will never talk about it, and they pretend as if they can kind of coast through their Christian lives. And just because they're born again, they think they're invulnerable to the attack of the enemy. And of course, that's not true."
Storms explains how the New Testament affirms the reality of spiritual warfare. "Peter tells us, 'Resist Satan, and he will flee from you.' Paul gives instruction in Ephesians 6 about "our battle is not against flesh and blood.' We are not at war with other Christians, or even non-Christians; our war is with principalities and powers."
Storms says he wants to "awaken people and alert them to the reality of spiritual warfare," which he accomplishes in part through his new book, Understanding Spiritual Warfare: A Comprehensive Guide (Zondervan).
"There's a passage—and I unpack it in my book—in 1 John Chapter 5, where John says ... 'the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.' That's a stunning statement: that there is this global dominion that Satan exercises over the world and its systems, and I want Christians to be alert to that. I want to awaken them to who they are in Christ and the power of the Spirit that operates through them."
Too many Western believers, Storms says, deny the reality of the supernatural spiritual realm. "It's like every physical effect has to have a physical cause. And we don't take into consideration the spiritual forces both of the Holy Spirit and angels on the one hand, and Satan and his demons on the other.
"I think also a lot of Christians, they'll say, 'Oh yeah, I believe in spiritual warfare. But that's what happens in third-world countries," Storms adds. "That's what happens on the other side of the globe, but not here in the good old U.S. of A., you know; we're too educated and too highly sophisticated to give into that sort of thing'—which is precisely what Satan wants us to think. Because then he can take advantage of our ignorance and our indifference to make inroads into our lives and into our local churches."
For much more from Dr. Sam Storms on the reality of spiritual warfare and how we can combat Satan's pervasive influence in our lives, listen to the entire episode of Greenelines at this link, and subscribe to Greenelines on your favorite podcast platform for more inspiring, informative stories like this one. Find Storms' book, Understanding Spiritual Warfare, wherever fine books are sold.
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Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
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