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By Nelson Thomas, Mumbai

Most people in Ukraine and even around the globe never imagined that Russia would attack another sovereign country so brutally in this modern time. This shows, education as well as development does not change the mind-set of people, and it’s risky to take the opponents for granted.

This is a lesson for God’s people too. Irrespective of our understanding and response, the fact remains that God’s people are in a battlefield, and spiritual warfare is a reality.

From the moment of our conversion, evil spiritual forces in the heavenly places make every effort to disturb and discredit us (Eph. 6: 10 – 20).


1. Repeated exhortations in the epistles.

Most of the authors in the New Testament refer to spiritual warfare and encourage believers to be on their guard to fight a good warfare (cf. Rom. 13:12; 2Cor. 2:11; 1The. 5:8; 1Tim. 1:18; 6:12; 2Tim. 2: 3, 4; James 4:7; 1Pet. 2:11, etc.). While referring to his ministry, Paul mentions it as warfare and declares at the end that he has fought it well (2Cor. 6:7; 10:4; Phi. 1:30; Colo. 1:29; 1Thess. 2:18; 2Tim. 4:7).

2. Even angels faced it. Daniel 10:13

The angel’s revelation to Daniel is startling. From the first day of Daniel’s special prayer (cf. Dan 9:3ff), God began to work; He sent His holy angel to communicate with Daniel, but on the way evil forces hindered him for 21 days. Finally, Michael the Archangel had to intervene.

3. Above all, our Lord Himself faced it victoriously.

A careful study of the entire scripture reveals how these evil forces tried to hinder the work of God’s redemptive programme through the ages. We see the efforts of the enemy before the incarnation of Christ and even after that (Matt. 2:16; Luke 4: 1, 13; John 14:30). However, the Lord Jesus disarmed the enemy and triumphed over him on the cross (Colo. 2:15; Heb. 2:14).

4. Finally, our Lord not only exhorts us to overcome, He promises final victory too. Reve. 2, 3

Christ’s repeated calls in His messages to local assemblies to overcome, refer to the reality of a continuous warfare (cf. Reve. 2:7, 11, 26 etc.). He has already spoken of the triumphant march of His church (Matt. 16:18).

All these facts point out the reality of spiritual warfare that God’s people will have to face during their earthly sojourn. Then, why do we neglect it or do not feel the fight?


1. The easy-going, ignorant new generation. (Judges 2: 10 – 15; 3:1)

After the time of Joshua and his contemporaries, the new generation preferred an easy life and compromise more than warfare. The writer specifically mentions that they did not know the Lord, His ways and the warfare. They were only enjoying the benefits of the efforts of the forefathers.

Don’t we see the same situation even today? The first generation stood for the Lord and His word. They triumphantly fought against the evil forces of every kind. But the present generation without having any conviction or commitment of the first generation, prefers to be neutral and non-combatant. Thus, we see spiritual activities becoming entertainment programs and ministry becoming performance.

2. Misunderstanding grace.

The security of salvation is a New Testament teaching; we ought to rejoice in that. Salvation is of God and it is He alone who sustains us. But this does not mean we have no role at all. Paul pens it beautifully in Philippians, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (2: 12, 13).

To enjoy the blessings of salvation and to lead a fruitful Christian life, one needs to fight a good spiritual warfare.

3. An unproductive and worldly life. (John 15:19)

In any fight, the target of the enemy is always the key people and strategic locations. They don’t waste their ammunition on useless structures. So, our enemy too attacks those who are fruitful and stand in the frontline, serving the Lord.

Thus the casual, indifferent Christians even though bear the name of Christ do not face the fury of the enemy, for they are not a threat. In fact, unknowingly such believers are working for the enemy!

Remember, in Egypt Israelites had no fight, but only as they moved towards Canaan they faced opposition. Once in Canaan, they faced severe battle. Their possession and enjoyment of the Promised Land depended upon their successful fight.

In Christian life too, as we move forward, spiritual warfare only becomes intensified, not decreased. Consequently, the increasing attack of the evil forces only proves our growth, not the decline (Cf. 1Cor 16:8, 9).

John MacArthur’s comment is significant in this aspect, “A Christian who no longer has to struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil is a Christian who has fallen either into sin or into complacency.”

4. Satanic Deception

Our enemy himself prefers a low profile. He makes no introduction nor does he seek any credit. He loves to work from behind the scene and keeps people in the dark even about himself.

That’s why Paul admonished the Corinthians, “we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” (2Cor. 2:11 (ESV)). Peter warns, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1Peter 5:8).

We should never be unaware of this warfare, our enemy or his tactics. We are not only the children of God but His soldiers too. Christian life is never easy; we have a fight to be fought. And we are never alone either; everyone is facing the same struggle.

Warfare - Important as wealth and walk.
In the book of Ephesians, in chapters 1 – 3 Paul deals with the believer’s spiritual riches in Christ. And in chapters 4 and 5 he explains our walk in God’s will, and finally, in chapter 6 he concludes with our warfare with the evil forces.

We definitely rejoice over our position in the Lord and are careful about our daily walk too, but how serious are we in connection with the warfare? In fact, all the three major topics of the book are connected to each other and vital for successful Christian living. When we truly appropriate the wealth in Christ and walk pleasing to the Lord, it is then the warfare is felt in its full force.

Finally, we are not helpless in this fight. Our Lord has already defeated the enemy. In Him, we are victors too. Apart from that, we have the resources too (Eph. 6: 10 – 20). That’s why, we need to continue to trust in the Lord, resisting the evil forces and fight a good warfare.

Related Topic: The Whole Armour of God


More:- An index for all studies

Prepared by Nelson Thomas as part of his teaching ministry. You can reproduce this article in any medium, provided it is unedited, and retain the original author / copyright information and reference to this website. Please feel free to write to the author for details. Or contact    gracepeaceu AT gmail.com

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