On a scale of 1-10 where would you rate your spiritual warfare attack meter? Perhaps the obsession of local news networks informing you every hour of who and how many people had COVID was throwing your peace into a tailspin. Perhaps the steady barrage of seeing the same folks in the same place for far too long caused you to reconsider just how much you could handle certain people and has led to serious discord that has resulted in spiritual warfare. Perhaps not having your routines, annual Christmas parties and usual shenanigans has led your brain to unusual thoughts you thought you would never have.
While 2020 was weird and we all know this, 2020 was also filled with a tremendous amount of spiritual warfare that seemed to go unnoticed and was rarely talked about. This is just the way the enemy would like it. You see the one who brings about warfare on the saints is the one who likes to work in the shadows, away from the spotlight, to make you think he is not working.
Now that 2021 is here, it’s a good time to bring spiritual warfare to the forefront of our conversations as believers. Not because we want to, or find joy in it, but because it is an unfortunate side effect of living in an “east of Eden” world. We, however, those in Christ, must remember and reclaim our position with the enemy – we have authority over Him (Luke 10:19) because we are seated with Christ in the heavenly place (Eph. 2:6).
Therefore, we do not fret over the enemy – in fact, we would be wise to adopt the words of E. Stanley Jones, “When Satan attacks you, command him in the name of Jesus to bend his neck. On the back of it you’ll find there is a nail-scarred footprint.”
But how do we joyfully and faithfully live through spiritual warfare, especially when we find ourselves as a prime target?
We worship. Worship? Yes, worship.
One of the biggest effects of spiritual warfare is that we worry and fret therefore centralizing ourselves. Something difficult happens at work with a coworker, we hear terrible news from the Doctor, we get in a fight with someone, we look at our bills compared to our income. Basically, one of the methods of attack from satan is that we obsess over our circumstances and the forecast because all we can see or think about is ourselves. Next thing we know we are beat down, giving into worry and begin doubting the goodness of God.
Then why worship?
Worship of the Triune God decentralizes self and centralizes God. Lifting up our hands, bowing to our knees, singing the songs of the redeemed, confessing what we believe, hearing the Word proclaim – lifts us up out of our muck and mire and to the place where we can live into the truth that God is God, God is good and he is out for our good.
The wonder of worship is that it is not about our feelings or whether we are “getting something out of it or not”. Worship declares God is worthy and he welcomes me to enjoy the peace He gives, the joy He sustains, and the victory he won.
Are you in spiritual warfare, dear brother and sister? Worship, it silences the enemy (Psalm 8:2).
Luke is Pastor of Discipleship to the community of saints, in Christ, at Nashville UMC.