One of my goals in my Lifegroup is to try to create an atmosphere that leads the women to desire and seek deeper intimacy with God. Last week’s teaching was on spiritual warfare, which may seem like an odd avenue to a closer relationship with God, but it actually isn’t odd at all. Hopefully, this series of posts will bear that out.
I thought I would lay out a sampling of what the scriptures say, and then I will offer my thoughts – but that’s all they are. My thoughts. I’m asking you to look at the scriptures and seek God for what He is saying in them.
Knowing our Enemy: His Domain
Ephesians 2:2: “…in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
1 John 5:19: “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”
2 Corinthians 4:4: “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel…”
Revelation 12:9: “the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”
John 14:30: “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me…”
Ephesians 6:12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” [the lower heavens, or the heaven of the clouds]
Job 1:7: “The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”
Colossians 1:13: “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,…”
Matthew 4:8-9: “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. And he said to him, “I will give you all these things if you will fall down and worship me.”
From the looks of it, the whole earth is satan’s domain, including the atmosphere. The conundrum is what do we do with the scriptures that tell us that the earth is God’s and everything in it, or that Jesus is Lord over all? The best illustration I could come up with is the Roman Empire in biblical times. It may not be a great illustration, given my weak grasp on history, but it’s all that came to mind. The Roman Empire was vast. Really, really huge. And throughout it, there were many Governors, or rulers. They each had power and authority over their particular ‘domain’, however, there was only one who was sovereign over the whole empire. Caesar.
So my thought is this: Satan has power in his domain, but he does not have sovereignty, and that is important for us to know.
Let’s also consider this: Satan was in the Garden of Eden, the place where God walked with Adam and Eve. The place He had created for them. He was also present at the last supper, when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. He was in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was being arrested.
I think, based on my own experience, that many of us live unaware of the presence of the enemy. When we are fighting with our spouse, experiencing road rage in traffic, thinking of ways to get our next fix (drugs, alcohol, sex, food…whatever our fix may be), when we feel overwhelmed by life to the point of withdrawing from others. We blame our spouse, blame the ding-dong drivers, blame our job, blame our kids, blame ourselves, blame life. And so we fight the wrong enemy, engage in the wrong battle, and wonder why we feel defeated.
We have to acknowledge the war that is taking place all around us. Not just out there, but in our homes, in our churches, in our own hearts. Ignoring it will be of no benefit to us.
The enemy’s domain is the whole earth, including the atmosphere.
He is called the ruler of this world, the god of this world, and the deceiver of the whole world.
He has power, but he is not sovereign!
We will neither glorify him nor underestimate him. We will educate ourselves on his domain, his activities, and the weapons we have at our disposal, and we will walk in the victory that is available to us.
Questions to ponder ~
Where have you most seen the enemy at work in your life? (Marriage/relationships, your job, your emotional / mental state, your ministry or calling, etc.)
How quickly have you been able to recognize that he is at work?
How does the fact that his domain, where he is working and exercising his power, is the whole earth, change how you view world events, if at all?
Next time: The Weapons of our Warfare – Pt. 2 – His Activity