Combating Spiritual Evil
If you are unaware of the battle being waged in the spiritual world, all you are left with is to try and deal with life in the physical world. But a physical solution can’t fix the problem if the problem originated in the spiritual realm. People spend all of their time and money and effort trying to do better in the physical when that’s not where the problem emanates from. It emanates from a location called “the heavenly realms.”
So if you want to fix a problem that started in the spiritual world that is messing you up in the physical realm, you have to fix it in the spiritual realm where it began. But the devil doesn’t want you to know that. He wants to limit you to the world of your five senses because he knows that if you function only on the basis of what you can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch, you won’t make any real spiritual progress in spiritual warfare.
That’s why the Bible says we have to take our stand against the devil’s schemes. He’s a thief and a murderer who wants to rob you of the spiritual blessings God has stored up for you and to kill your joy, your witness, and your impact for Christ. That’s quite a different picture from the caricature the world has of the devil: a funny-looking little guy running around in a red jumpsuit with a pitchfork. That’s the way the devil wants people to think of him because then they don’t take him seriously as a deceiver with schemes—strategies, tricks, and clever devices.
The essence of Satan’s scheme is to trick you into relocating the focus of your spiritual warfare. By that, I mean the devil wants to get you focusing exclusively on the visible, physical realm so you don’t use the armor of God to defeat him and his forces in the realm that matters, the spiritual realm.
What happens when we do this? For one, we start seeing other people, or even ourselves, as the problem, and we start fighting them or ourselves. Or we come to believe that the answer to our need is found in some self-help program or in finding a new job or even a new spouse. But these things don’t work, so we start believing that we are helpless against the devil and his schemes.