For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places – Ephesians 6:12.
Is not life a warfare? It is so; for we struggle with the common calamities of human life. Is not our religion much more a warfare? It is so, we struggle with the opposition of the powers of darkness. Spiritual strength and courage are necessary for our spiritual warfare. We have no sufficient strength of our own all our sufficiency is of God. In His strength we must go forth and go on.
Many Christians understand war in the natural because they can see and feel the devastation that’s left behind, but many don’t understand we’re in a spiritual war, a war you can’t see with the natural eyes. Both unbelievers as well as some Christians, don’t believe in Satan or his co-hosts. The sooner the church, which is the body of Christ, realizes that when we engage in warfare we are not dealing with men or ideologies, we will have the greatest victory this world has ever seen. We’re not in a natural conflict, we’re in a spiritual conflict, and it can’t be solved by religious or political gimmicks, or by any natural means. It must be met, and it can only be met, by people who have power with God and with men, and who can prevail.
We must respect our foe, but not fear him. Balance and wisdom are crucial in our assessment of spiritual opposition. We do not fight for victory, but we fight from victory that was won by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Originally Satan was one of God’s highest angels, possessing all angelic attributes (How art thou fallen from heaven, O’ Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations – Isaiah 14:12). Jesus told His disciples, that He saw Satan falling from heaven (And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven – Luke 10:18). Satan is not just a figure of our imagination, he’s real and he uses temptations, fear, pride and other influences to make believers disobey the Word of God. He uses unbelievers who have rejected Jesus and the Word of God, but have submitted themselves to be used by Satan in ways that are unimaginable to the human mind.
There was a priest by the name of Sceva, who had seven sons who traveled from town to town casting out evil spirits. They came upon an evil spirit, one day and tried to do an exorcism by using the name of Jesus, but the evil spirit answered them, by replying “Jesus, I know, and Paul I know, but who are ye” (Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcist, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits, the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and a chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye. And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them so that they fled out of the house naked and wounded – Acts 19:13-16.) Evil spirits are demonic spirits that control people without their awareness of what’s happening to them or have submitted themselves to be servants of Satan.
Although the sons of Sceva were priest, chosen of God because they were Jews, they didn’t have the authority to bind the spirit and cast them out of the individual. Most likely they heard of Jesus, but didn’t have an encounter with Him, like many professing Christians. They tried to use the name of Jesus whom Paul preached about, so that in itself, lets us know, they didn’t have an encounter with the Lord, neither did they have the Holy Spirit. It’s the Holy Spirit that empowers us to fight against evil spirits.
As Christians, its our responsibility to fight for the unbeliever as well as the believer’s that have been attacked by demonic spirits. We fight by prayer and using the Word of God, it’s the Holy Spirit that lives within us, who takes the word of God we speak, and gives it power that evil spirits must come subject to. Evil spirits are aware of those who have power and those who don’t have power. As Christians, we know God is all-powerful and there is no limitation to Him, but we should also know about our adversary, and what he’s capable of. We should know, Jesus has given us power over Satan and demonic spirits (Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you – Luke 10:19).
We must be sensitive to the Spirit God. It is He that informs us what spirits we’re fighting against, and we must have the Spirit of God dwelling in our human spirit to go into warfare. If not, we will be like the sons of Sceva. We’re at war, and its time for Christians to put on the armor of God and become a soldier. A soldier is aware of his or her enemy, they stay focus on who’s the enemy and is prepared for whenever the enemy attacks.