Are we really in a spiritual war?
Christ has defeated all powers of darkness (Col. 2:15). That is the foundation for our confidence as we engage in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:10-12). Though Satan is a defeated foe (Rev. 20:10) who must operate within boundaries set by God (Job 1:12), he is intent on disrupting God’s purpose as much as possible before his final demise. Satan does much of his work through demons, fallen angels who will also face judgment and eternal torment (Matt. 25:41).
How do Satan and his demons attack?
While demons should not be blamed for every sin, illness, or trial in our lives, Scripture teaches that Satan and his demons can enslave unbelievers (2 Tim. 2:26); deceive believers (2 Cor. 11:3); cause ailments (Luke 13:11,16); influence governments (Rev. 20:2-3); interfere with missionary endeavors (1 Thes. 2:17-18); produce counterfeits to the things of God (2 Cor. 11:14-15); plant doubts and distort God’s Word (Gen. 3:1-5; Matt. 4:5-7); tempt to sin (1 Cor. 7:5); and destroy devotion to Christ (2 Cor. 11:3)
How much influence can demons have over a Christian?
Rather than presenting demonic domination in simple all-or-nothing terms (free or possessed), the Bible indicates a spectrum of influence that demons can have over people, from mild seduction and sway toward increased control and open attacks. While Satan can have significant control over unbelievers (2 Cor. 4:4), it is difficult to know exactly how much influence Satan can have on Christians, though we know he can tempt (1 Cor. 7:5), torment (2 Cor. 12:7); and deceive believers (2 Cor. 11:3).
What makes us vulnerable to demonic attacks?
Though we probably all experience some degree of demonic opposition every day, Satan may be more concerned with us when we are actively advancing the Gospel. It also appears we can open ourselves to greater demonic influence if we yield to sin (Rom. 6:16; 1 Sam. 16:14-15); engage in occult activities (Deut. 18:10-11); or leave anger or bitterness unresolved in our hearts (Eph. 4:26-27).
What is the believer’s role in spiritual warfare?
Essential to battling all demonic attacks is first embracing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The vast majority of spiritual warfare is then fought by trusting in the Gospel (Eph. 6:11); repenting of sin and resisting temptation (Jam. 4:7); embracing scriptural truths and promises (2 Cor. 10:3-5; 1 Pet. 5:8-9), and praying in faith against demonic activity (Dan.10:12-13; Mk. 9:28-29; Eph. 6:18).
Can believers cast out demons?
Should we discern that someone is suffering from demonic influence or affliction, there is also biblical precedent for casting demons out of or away from that person. Though Scripture offers little clear instruction in this area, we can follow biblical models and act in the authority we have in Christ as believers by speaking out loud to that demon and directly commanding it to leave that person or place “in the name of Jesus” (as in Acts 16:16-18). Since a demon could always return (Luke 11:24-26), care should then be taken to walk closely with Christ so as to avoid giving any demon another foothold in our lives.