“Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might . . . . For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:10, 12).
Spiritual warfare can be intense, but God’s grace enables you to prevail against Satan’s attacks.
Through the ages Satan has accused, besieged, and battered believers in an effort to prevent them from living to the glory of God. He attempts to snatch the gospel message from a person’s heart even before salvation occurs (Matt. 13:19). He bombards believers with false doctrine, trying to confuse and distract them from biblical truth (Eph. 4:14).
Martin Luther reported that his conflict with Satan became so intense that at one point it was as if he could see him. In anger over Satan’s incessant attacks, Luther picked up his inkwell and threw it at him. It hit the wall with a resounding crash, splattering ink throughout the room. The stains remained for many years, reminding all who saw them of how vivid spiritual conflict can be.
You may not have experienced anything like the intensity of Martin Luther’s conflict, but spiritual warfare is just as real for you as it was for him. You are in mortal combat with Satan and his evil forces. That’s why Paul said, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against . . . spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).
“Struggle” in that verse speaks of life-and-death, hand-to-hand combat—the kind Jesus Himself experienced while on earth. He met opposition and persecution at every turn. The same was true of Paul and the other apostles as they dealt with Jewish religionists, heathens, sorcerers, and demon-possessed people who tried in vain to thwart their missionary efforts.
Satan’s onslaughts may seem overwhelming at times, but don’t be discouraged. See them for what they are: a defeated foe’s last-ditch efforts to inflict damage on the conquering army. The Lord will strengthen and protect you, just as He has protected all believers before you.
Suggestions for Prayer
Praise God for being your protector and the source of spiritual victory.
For Further Study
Read Acts 4:1-22.
• What kind of opposition did Peter and John face?
• How did they respond to the Jewish Council’s order not to preach the gospel?
From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187