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.
If thou forbear to deliver them
that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold,
we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy
soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his
Disarming the Powers of Darkness is about personal victory for you and your home in Spiritual Warfare. As the second scripture above proclaims, our utmost responsibility as Christians is to rescue those being led away to death. We cannot shrink from it. It is because of this that both of us feel so passionately about this issue. Our goal is to teach and live biblical truths, expose Satans ploys, and lift up Jesus Christ as the only hope. And we hope that by what is written here you too will be inspired and will strive to do likewise. However, weve already used two words that confuse, even frighten many today "Spiritual Warfare." But fear not, you can have victory and you can win in the spiritual war!
In the nineteen-eighties and nineties, we heard lots of discussion about "Spiritual Warfare." Just about everywhere you looked within Christendom someone was talking about some form of "Warfare." It became chic. In the process, excesses surfaced, demonism and deliverance became frightening for some, and true victory in Christ became obscured and seemed unattainable for many. There truly is no shortage of differing views on this controversial issue. Some evangelicals and fundamentalists exhibit confusion on the issue by ignoring some of the more intense aspects of spiritual warfare such as demon possession. On the other hand, some pentecostal and charismatic believers tend to see a demon behind every door and under every rock, when in fact many of the sicknesses and sins plaguing mankind are simply a continuation of original sin (Genesis 3). Furthermore those caught in the trap of liberalism completely disavow any intrusion of the Devil and thus are easy targets for his deceptions. So what is the truth and where is the balance?
The "90-10" Approach
While we firmly believe in Satans work being a reality in the world and fully concur that demons exist and often need to be cast out of the possessed, this is not the focus of this book. There are many terrific resources available today which deal with deliverance and related topics. While we certainly wont leave issues pertaining to the demonic untouched, our desire is to instill the need for every Christian to fight and win the battle for personal victory on an everyday scale. It seems to us that when called to battle, far too many saints are ill prepared to deal effectively with the demonic because they are not victorious as a habit. Thus the above section title: "The 90-10 Approach." Directly dealing with the demonic is perhaps 10% of Spiritual Warfare, while living in an elevated level of victory and personal freedom is a goal we all can work toward. If we do so, then well be ready, willing and ablein season and outwhen Satan and his minions rear their ugly heads for a personal confrontation.
Spiritual Warfareunderstanding it and waging itis paramount to our spiritual effectiveness and survival until were at home in Heaven. Every day is the time to be alert and aware of the enemys plans, actions and desires. Yet with so many different viewpoints, where do we begin? Is there a balance? Yes! To capitalize on knowing Gods Word and serving Him daily is of course our first priority. Concurrently the defeat of mankinds three enemiesthe world, the flesh and the Devilmust be a priority too.
The apostle Peter admonishes us:Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
Satan is out to trick, trap, and destroy whomever he can, and he and his forces are at work all over the earth doing just that. The antidote for this is twofold. First, it is found in a flourishing, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ, King of Kings and conquering Lord! Second, it is in obedience to studying, understanding and implementing what the Lord imparted to us in His Word. So with that in mind, here is the reason we think this book is important, regardless of whether you are a single adult, grandparent, teenager, or are raising a family. There is a level of victoryspiritual powerthat many in modern Christianity are missing.
We believe one important reason for this widespread anemic condition is that Satans attacks often go nearly unnoticed in our lives and homes. We have become anesthetized to the Devils workings. Because of this, the sometimes subtle influences that seep through the cracks in our humanity soon root themselves as fixtures in our lives.
Many Christians shout "amen" when there is mention of the defeat of Satan, his workers, and his power. However, when we talk about personal responsibility and taking action in Spiritual Warfare, the chorus of "amens" subside into a murmur of "oh my" and "who me?" Understanding the very real threat the enemy presents to us daily is a matter of paramount importance to our families. However its certainly not what most modern-day Christians care to hear because it requires two key things: time, which we claim we dont have enough of, and action which we simply dont want to take. These authors have learned that when we stand up to preach about this in seminars nationwide that even the most astute churchgoers often find their feathers ruffled. The general reaction is this:
My home? Spiritual warfare in My home? You mean I actually have to do something, change the way I live or the things that influence or entertain me and my kids? No way! Im a good Christian. YOU are a radical! Just keep your nose out of my business!
Though its not often verbalized to us, experience tells us that this is, in fact, the way many folks react when confronted with the need to take action or make change.
Yes, this book may agitate some who read it. We know that. But our hope is that by exposing the issues, discussing biblical precepts and offering our insights and suggestions, you will benefit and the Body of Christ will be strengthened.
What You Dont Know WILL Hurt You!
For nearly twenty years, both of the authors have ministered on and written about Spiritual Warfare and how the home and family are affected. Weve seen many folks choose to be winners in this Warfare. For this we praise the Lord and are grateful that somehow we had a part to play in strengthening His church. Sadly, weve also watched many try to ignore the need to engage in the spiritual battle and subsequently pay the consequences. During those years of ministry in this area, we think weve found a key.
The late prolific apologist Walter Martin once quoted his mentor, Donald Grey Barnhouse, as saying, "Youve got to get the hay down out of the loft where the cows can get at it." We concur. Much of what weve read on Spiritual Warfare has seemed so unattainable to the average member of Christs church. Often it has seemed either out of reach or ominous, spooky, and threatening. So our goal is to take the wraps off Spiritual Warfare and to expose some of the deceptions that affect so many today. Were going to make it as simple and understandable as possible so that everyone reading can grasp and then implement Gods word on Warfare. We want to caution you that any commitment made to spiritual victory wont often be pretty, and it wont often be easy, but it will be worth it. Our prayer for the reader is that you and your household may go on to be the victors God has called you to be in Christ Jesus!
So go with us as we take a no-nonsense look at some important areas of Christian living that lots of folks would just rather not deal with. The need for spiritual warriors continues to rise and the battle is surely intensifying as we move on through these prophetic end-days. We pray that youll do more than just "amen" us and that youll examine your life and your home with fresh, biblical understanding. If you do, we can guarantee that you and your family will see a very real and powerful difference for eternitys sake.
One last thing . . . Our victory over darkness isnt just for our benefit. Its also for the good of others; for the good of the Kingdom of God. So if we enter into battle merely motivated by "self," then weve fallen into the trap of the world today. If well view the steps we take in Spiritual Warfare as acts of obedience to the Lord, well then be in position to watch God do some great and awesome things in our own lives!
Eric Barger & David Benoit
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