Beware of Minimizing the Battle with Satan & His Demons

*This series of articles on spiritual warfare are chapters from a book that I started writing in 1999, but have not yet published.

In Ephesians 6:10-20, we were told by Paul that our primary battle would not be with flesh and blood, but rather, it would be against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high (or heavenly) places. Three times in this passage, we were told to stand against the forces of the enemy. Let’s take a look.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. [11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. [12] 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. [13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. [14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; [15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; [16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. [17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: [18] Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; [19] And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, [20] For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:10-20).

Now for years, I have heard ministers try to downplay the role of demons in the lives of Christians by saying that our main struggle is with our flesh nature. They say that demons are of little consequence when believers fall or run back into sin or depression. This is not to say that there is not a serious conflict going on between our old, sinful nature and our new, born-again nature, but these verses in Ephesians let us know that the principal battle is “not against flesh and blood.”

The perfect example of this conflict is what happened in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve did not have a sin nature, thus it was the entrance of Satan and his crafty manipulation that convinced Eve disobey God. He toyed with her mind and she yielded to Satan’s evil reasoning. It was not lust or a sin nature that got Eve to sin—it was listening to the Devil. And Paul confirmed this in 2 Corinthians 11:1-3. I believe that the Garden experience would have been very different for Adam and Eve without the temptation of the devil.