Phil, the devil and spiritual warfare

Remember Phil, who I introduced a couple of months ago. Well Phil copied me a letter he wrote to someone concerned about demonic powers operating in their lives. This issue seems to pop up with a certain regularity. Born-again Christians seem to think they are caught up in a gigantic battle in the heavenlies. I think it was novelist Frank Peretti who got all this started with his “Darkness” books. Or it could have been one of many other authors. One thing is for sure, the spiritual warfare craze is not found in the Book of Acts.

Any how, here are Phil’s thoughts:

First of all, let me state that I do not deny there are battles facing every born again believer.  From grizzled veterans of the 5-fold ministry to the average guy putting in 40hrs a week at the local factory – we all wage these battles.  However, for born again believers this battle is not waged in the “spiritual” realm – this battle is waged between our ears.  It is against principalities and powers that exalt themselves above the ‘knowledge’ of Christ.  I am sure the devil wants every Christian to believe he (satan) still has something he can use against us in the heavenlies when in reality our true selves are already perfect and seated in the heavenlies with Christ.  Satan cannot touch born again believers as we are “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).  This being said; if the devil can get us thinking, praying and battling against spiritual enemies we feel ‘we’ need to defeat or generation curses we think ‘we’ need to break, then he has won that battle no matter how much we pray or fight because even addressing the issue on those terms exalts them above the knowledge of Christ.  The fact is this: Jesus utterly defeated and disarmed satan and his cohorts at Calvary.  Believing anything less is to deny the Gospel it’s true power.

One thing I do refute is the existence of spiritual generational curses over those who have been saved.  The only way a “generational curse” can possibly have any effect on a born again person is if this person is taught that a curse is on them and they end up believing it.  How can a generational curse apply to someone who has never existed before?  When we are born again we become “new creations” – that word “new” means “out of nothing”.  God doesn’t just change us – He recreates us!  Also, how can something that God has blessed be cursed?  To say that a born again believer needs to break generational curses over them is to say that the work of the cross wasn’t enough and that we have to put the finishing touches on what Christ wasn’t able to complete.  What people really struggle with here is ways of thinking and behaving that get passed down from generation to generation.  In some religious circles this event gets misdiagnosed as a “generational curse” and people get all weird about it. 

I also don’t for one second believe that there can be some demon with ‘legal’ access to you because of what great, great, great grandmother Matilda did with a Ouija board or what Uncle Henry performed in a ritual ceremony 100 years ago.  ‘Legally’ speaking we have an advocate that stands before God 24/7 on our behalf – His name is Jesus – so it’s not up to us to defend ourselves even if we do screw up or if something bad happened in our past.  “What about sin?  Doesn’t that give satan the legal right to accuse us?”  No.  Committing actions that don’t line up with who we are merely gives the devil the ability to whisper thoughts of condemnation in our ears in an effort to make us feel unworthy of God’s love.  This can be a powerful weapon; however, even if it is only in our minds and that is why we must keep in the forefront of our thoughts who Christ is in us, who we are in Him and what that truly means.  Satan cannot accuse us before our Father anymore because In Christ the issue of sin has been dealt with and the devil has no argument.

The primary struggle we have, as Paul states, is to enter into the rest God has provided for us in Christ.  I guess that will always be a struggle until That day comes.  Nobody will achieve perfection of thought or action until we see Him (Jesus) as He is but in the meantime we can rest safely in the fact that, as far as God is concerned and according to Christ in us, we are perfect in His eyes. 

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