One of the biggest questions I get from American Christians when I get back from the third world is “Why don’t we see evidence of the demonic here in the states like you do in Africa?” My answer is always, “Satan and his demons are very active here but our culture doesn’t have a biblical worldview and the church doesn’t understand spiritual warfare.”
With the advent of social media, over-the-top pop culture and a video camera in every hand, demonization in the Western world is rather apparent, is it not?
Consider just a few items:
- Have you seen the video footage of violent flash mobs in Chicago? These are random, senseless, explosive and brutal acts of violence committed against complete strangers by mobs of young people, mostly minors. (FYI … the youth are especially susceptible to demonic influences.)
- How about the rapid increase in teen suicides linked to social media bullying?
- Heroin is on the rise—big time. Young folks, mostly.
- The music industry is absolutely given over to the demonic. It’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s a fact.
- Or how about this show that I watched for 8 minutes yesterday. In that 8 minutes there were 15 references to unbiblical sex and five actual illicit sexual encounters (one orgy, three cases where strangers had sex with each other and one encounter where an old fling got reflung.) That was eight minutes. Keep in mind, this show has a 13 year old as a costar. He’s been on the show since he was eight.
Man, I could go on and on. Here’s my point: man is very evil all on his own. No doubt. But it’s not just man doing this stuff. Satan and Demons have quite a bit of influence, too.
I’ve heard it said that it’s not healthy to be overly concerned with the devil. Agreed. But it’s absolutely detrimental to the soul to be clueless about him. I’ve heard it said that it’s not healthy to believe that there’s a devil around every corner. Agreed. But it’s absolutely detrimental to ignore the devil on your corner.
The Bible says that Satan can take people captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). The Bible describes the enemy’s devices as snares (1 Timothy 3:7). This means that we can be held by Satan’s power against our will. The Bible also says that we can be blinded by Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4). This means that we are incapable of even seeing how to get free. To make a theologically long story real short: when we bit off on sin, we also got the hook. Satan holds the string connected to the hook. We became his slave (Ephesians 2:2). Of course Jesus gives us freedom from this. Of course, but…
For those outside of Christ … all bets are off. Satan can do whatever he wants without any opposition whatsoever. But Christians can be demonized, too. And though we can’t be completely possessed, we can be harassed and/or severely internally influenced by demons. And that’s where spiritual warfare comes in. There’s a way to handle this stuff—but we first need a Biblical worldview that acknowledges Satan and demons and their influence (or control, even) in our lives. Then from there we can truly get free and stay that way.
All my rambling to get to this—read this book: Straight Talk about Spiritual Warfare.
There are a lot of really weird (and unbiblical) books on spiritual warfare; this is the best one I’ve found. I say it’s the best because it’s written from a thoroughly biblical point of view. And the author (a great guy named Dr. Jeff Stam, who I had lunch with recently) is a down-to-earth, biblically-rooted pastor who started a ministry called Set Free. This ministry practices in real life the theology and principles of the book. He’s been there and continues to do that when it comes to satanic/demonic influences in the believer. Real stuff. Read this book. It’s awesome.
If you have reoccurring, uncontrollable sin or bondage (incessant anxiety, lust, fear, etc.) in your life—and you’re a believer—know that there’s freedom to be had. I would strongly encourage you to read this book. You can also contact me and I can point you in a direction for ministry help (or our church can possibly help you directly). If you’re not a believer in Jesus, you need to repent and receive Christ. You can contact our church about doing this as well. Either way, no matter what side of the cross you’re on, freedom is found in the man, Jesus, who died on the cross and rose again to new life!