My opinions/beliefs on spiritual warfare began to develop in the summer of 1999. At Camp Barnabas, we had some events that I can’t recall very clearly, except to say that they shook up some people, and made them afraid, and disjointed our staff. These events related to the presence of demons, the devil, or workers of Satan, in our midst. And how to handle this as a Christian.
After that summer, until I returned as Women’s Director in summer 2000, I worked steadily to create a framework of God to determine how to handle spiritual warfare. This framework was developed into a bible study that we explored during summer 2000 at Camp Barnabas. And I haven’t done much with it since. But it helps me to determine how to view situations.
Today, I found this quote that sums up what I spent a year on:
“Prayer should never be understood primarily in terms of power but rather as relating to God who is the source of all power. The difference between the two is significant. If prayer is understood as power, Christians will readily seek power words or rituals rather than personally relating to a sovereign God and waiting for him to act in his own time. Likewise, these understandings help us comprehend the nature of spiritual warfare. Spiritual warfare is not about fighting Satan; he has been defeated by the triumphal resurrection of Jesus Christ. Spiritual warfare rather is standing firm in Christ’s mighty power. It is accepting God’s victory through Christ by faith and allowing God’s redemptive power to work through Christ.” (Van Rheenen, “Power, Theology of,” Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, 2000:776-778)
It has never made sense to me to “rebuke Satan” for it is written:
“But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them.” (Jude 9-10)
I have a picture in my head, that I look at to help me figure out how things work:
- The battlefield is earth, a land ruled by Satan.
- The army of Satan is holding people under their dominion as blind slaves.
2 Cor4:4 “Regarding them: the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
- We are freed from this slavery, and our eyes are opened to the situation
Col 1:13 “He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves”
- Now, when we need direction, we COMMUNICATE, not with our captors, but with HIM WHO HAS FREED US, the commander of the Lord’s army.