Spiritual Warfare–It’s All In Your Head?

I heard a sermon this morning that really made me think.   

It made me think about spiritual warfare.   If you’ve read anything I’ve written in the past, you know that I’m a firm believer in the fact that we are in the middle of warfare.   

The pastor talked about experiences he’s had worshipping near witch doctors in Africa and being woken in the middle of the night to extremely vocal and graphic voodoo ceremonies in Haiti.   He told the story of a friend raised in a very bad part of Muskegon Heights (those of you in Michigan will know a bit about where that is) and he read a rap that his friend wrote while sitting across from the house that he grew up in in that very bad part of town.

What was the similarity to all of those situations?   It was a battle for the mind.   Satan is fighting for the minds of God’s people.

Because he knows that if he can win the minds of God’s people, then he will win God’s people and that’s his ultimate goal.

So, is spiritual warfare all in your head?   Well, not in the way that we typically say it is, but from the standpoint that it is Satan’s primary point of attack, it is in your head.

That means that Satan is fighting against our feelings of self worth.   He’s trying to make us feel full of shame, self doubt and disbelief.

That means that Satan is fighting against our belief that God’s got this.   God has “this” under control – and we need to believe that.  No matter what “this” is.

That means that the most important thing we can do is make sure that we continually rely on Jesus for the cure (see http://tomvanderwell.net/2014/04/accept-the-cure/).   But we also need to be aware of the condition of our minds and how the fight is going. 

Are we feeling the strength of God in our minds so that we can withstand the attack of the devil?   Or are we cluttering our minds with things that make it easy for him to find his way in?

Are we aware of what’s going on in our minds and how the love and forgiveness of Jesus counteract the negative feelings, the shame, the struggles?

Are we aware that helping others (or getting help ourselves) to make sure our minds stay strong against the attacks of the devil is not only “okay” it’s, frankly, God’s way of providing us some of the strength we need to combat the devil.

Get the devil out of your mind, keep your mind strong and focused on what God wants and anything else that Satan throws at us can be handled.

So, yes it is all in our heads – and if that’s the battle ground, then we need to rely on God’s strength and the help of others to fight back.

And we need to do what we can to help others fight that battle too……


3 thoughts on “Spiritual Warfare–It’s All In Your Head?

  1. Michael

    My wife wants a divorce. She has convinced herself, or someone else has, that God does not look down on divorce, but rather the “putting away” of a wife, i.e. with no means of support. Ergo, if she has a way of supporting herself, then – ta-da! – we don’t need to stay married. For the moment, it seems Satan has won the battle for her mind, even to the point of convincing her that her relationship with God is better than it’s ever been. I’m still holding on to “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

    1. tomvanderwell Post author

      Michael – I’m sorry to hear that. It has to be very hard. Hang in there and keep holding on to the promises of God. Tom

  2. Judith Heaney

    Well put, Tom. It really is all about the mind, and, of course, we know that we have the mind of Christ so the battle is his and not ours to fight against the evil one. And you make a good point about staying focused on God and renewing our mind so that we can withstand the attacks.

    I heard Charles Stanley once do a sermon on putting on the armor of God and it was really cool the way he described putting on each piece and why.

    The battle is real and the Victor is Christ. But the day-to-day is still a fierce battleground to separate God’s people from God.

    Thanks for this thoughtful post.


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