“You are not fighting for victory, but from victory, for Jesus Christ has already defeated Satan!” (p.x-xi)
Ever feel like everyday life is a struggle? That you are fighting an uphill battle? That you just seem to get a footing on solid ground and BAM!; something else happens and smacks you in the face or even knocks you completely out.
Sometimes, I do believe that this is just “life” and that yes, bad things happen everyday to both good and bad people. But sometimes, I also believe that there is a very real enemy waging a very real war against us and that compilation of relational, financial, and health struggles that you have been facing are a concerted attack on his part. This “him” would be the devil a.k.a Satan, who we do not regularly talk about (the church answer is Jesus right?!) but should be aware of since he is the one attacking us. Which is why getting to know him and how he attacks, or as Warren Wiersbe describes it, learning his strategies so we can detect and defeat him, is so very important.
Why I Chose this Book
I know that talking about Satan is often a taboo subject among Christians (weird, right?!). We can talk about God and Jesus and heaven all day, but begin talking about Satan and hell and everything gets quiet. No one wants to be the fire and brimstone pastor or the crazy Christian, and since we do not physically see demons all around us, I think sometimes it is easier to just avoid this part of our faith because it can be scary, a little out there, and not as loving or fun as everything else. However, scripture is very clear that Satan is real, that there is a legitimate spiritual battle taking place each and every moment, and that spiritual beings like angels, demons, and Satan himself are indeed real and active. Just because we cannot see them, does not mean they do not exist. And we not only need to be aware of their presence, but we are instructed to get our armor on and be prepared for this battle (not avoid it or flee from it; thank you Ephesians).
Honestly, this spiritual battle and the spiritual realm of Christianity has always been extremely intriguing to me. I used to love reading every fictional book I could on the topic (some of my favorites are Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, and Bill Meyers) because it helped me be able to envision the spiritual reality taking place all around me and provide the motivation to be equipped and armored as instructed. So, it was no surprise that after falling in love with Warren Wiersbe’s writing, that I would be drawn to a book about Satan and how to both detect and defeat him in spiritual war. And as usual, I was not disappointed.
This book, while no doubt of a more serious nature than the others we have read thus far, is still amazing and powerful. As the quote at the beginning imparts, the beauty of spiritual warfare is that we already know the end result. We already know we have the victory, even though it may not seem like it in the moment. For me, this is like being OK during the unpredictable part of a movie because I know the main character cannot die (there is a sequel LOL); I still watch it and enjoy the story, but I do not have to fret because I know he survives into the sequel. Same with this “fight” we’ve been enduring as we live under Satan’s attack; even though things are horrible and hurtful and devastating in the moment, we can hold to the hope that we already know the ending and are fighting FROM victory instead of FOR victory.
However, holding to the hope and still being a part of the fight requires understanding and strategy of its own. Thus, this book “is a manual of arms for the Christian soldier” (p.ix) that explores the truths in God’s Word in a practical and applicable manner for our fight. Much like a playbook or plan of attack, this book will help you understand why and how Satan is intruding upon your life as well as the weapons you have been divinely given to defeat him. If you have ever felt spiritually “attacked” at some point, possibly even now, then this book will make so much sense and be incredibly helpful. If you have never felt attacked, then I would say this book is a must-read, because as you continue to grow in your faith, I can guarantee the spiritual battle will affect you!
Since we are already halfway thru April (yay Purpose Driven Life; yes, we still have 2 postings to go on this book as well), I am planning to read this book on a daily schedule. There will also be a unique posting plan, since the chapters are not naturally grouped together like in previous months. For now, my plan is to read a chapter a day starting April 15th (although as we have seen… it does not always happen 🙂 ). I will also (at this point) only be posting twice: once around April 26th to summarize and reflect on Chapters 1-4 and and once at the end of the month to speak to Chapters 5-10.
My Hope for This Experience
It has been a long time since I last read this book, but its timing could not be anymore perfect for me (surprise surprise… it seems that these books were divinely chosen for this year of my life). I am surrounded by reminders of spiritual warfare everyday: watching the struggles and trials of my loved ones, the injustices occurring all around, the crazy acts of terrorism that are happening more and more, and the lies I see plaguing both Christians and non-Christians alike. If there was ever a time to pick up a book on waging spiritual war, the time is now.
With that in mind, my hope for us as we embark on such a serious topic is that we will not do so lightly, but with a sense of the weight that comes with waging spiritual war and the focus to remember that above all else, we already have the victory through Christ. As Warren encourages, I hope that we will not try to speed-read through, but really pause, ponder, and pray through each of these points as we are reading. I pray that our eyes will be opened to the reality of spiritual warfare and the importance of understanding what that means and the part that we play. I pray that we will utilize this book and the truth it relays to equip us, empower us, and truly allow us to best utilize our armor to detect Satan where he is present and defeat the strongholds he has in and around us. May we not be overcome with fear, but press on in the hope and strength that we have access to through the Lord. “Onward Christian soldiers…”♥