June 24, 2024



How do we interpret the increasing evil around us? The depraved thinking that shouts wrong as right? The diabolical deception wrapping its tentacles around our children? The sexual depravity that is not only openly practiced but promoted, applauded, and exported? The rapid rise of violence and crime? Once beautiful and orderly cities spiraling into anarchy and chaos?

Ponder everything you see around you in its worst forms. Do you wonder why these things are happening? Things that were unheard of in our nation 50 years ago?


Our only hope in addressing and reversing this decline is to make the right diagnosis and remedy. If you seek to explain this godlessness, you might point to people, government, media and entertainment, the breakdown of the home and education. But you would be missing the real issues. These are the surface manifestations of a deeper, more diabolical, and determined Driver.

The Apostle Paul, under God’s inspiration, gives us a 2,000-year-old answer that is dead center.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

Dissect that sentence carefully for your understanding depends upon it. We are not in a battle against mere human forces. The ones who pull the strings of this great dilemma are from a lower realm. There is an unrelenting army of evil that is waging war against God and all He represents, led by His ancient enemy, Satan himself. He commands …

RULERS: They have the authority to accomplish deadly plans and they have realms over which they reign.

POWERS: They have a sphere to dominate and the power to do it. They are not weak and insipid but formidable enemies.

WORLD FORCES OF THIS DARKNESS: These are not merely local demons restricted to just your small neighborhood (although they are there). They are overseeing large areas of the entire world, bringing darkness wherever they work. It is a well-coordinated strategic attack, using everything at their disposal. They command people and policies, plans and resources. Much is at their disposal.

SPIRITUAL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS IN HEAVENLY PLACES: A great cosmic battle is raging. Satan has waged this battle since his fall from heaven, and it is unending. It is headquartered in the unseen realm but waged upon this earth. Satan and his hosts are 100% evil and are relentless in their attack upon God and all He represents. Their nature drives them to steal, kill, and destroy with no mercy.

While we may notice only the seen world, this battle in the heavenly realm is just as real as the earthly. Many dismiss this evaluation as fictional and childish, perhaps even comical. This is just as Satan desires. We must look deeper with Biblical insight and spiritual eyes. Wise men and women of God know that the true followers of Christ are both the objects of Satan’s attacks and the warriors in the King’s army.


Paul alerts us to this warfare (and the reason for the darkness) and gives us all the necessary equipping to engage successfully. We need not lose hope or fade in the battle. The ultimate victory was guaranteed at an empty tomb, but will not be fully consumated on earth until the end when all the purposes of God for this world are finalized. Until then, we must ...

Be strong in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10)

We do not wage this on our own. Our great Savior has placed His Spirit in those who believe. “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). But we must not rely on our own strength but on God’s. When we humbly turn to Him to empower us, we have an inexhaustible supply for every battle.

Be clothed in His armor (Ephesians 6:11-17)

Paul describes piece after piece of armor as ours to use. Truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, and helmet of salvation can be utilized to protect us and provide weapons of warfare that are “mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). We need not stand in the nakedness of our mere humanity, but clothed in God's powerful armor.

Be constant in prayer (Ephesians 6:18)

Our greatest offensive weapon (the one that will be used to win the day) is Word-driven prayer. ALL kinds of prayer, at ALL times, with ALL perseverance for ALL the saints.

Why is prayer so effective? Prayer brings God into the equation, enlists the resources of heaven, and does what God can do. Satan’s hosts are completely defenseless against God’s intervention. This is why Satan and his rulers do not fear us … until we begin to pray.

Sadly, many Christians and thousands of churches do not utilize the only weapon that will defeat the enemy. They wonder why they’re failing. Why the world is seeping into the walls of the church and the lives of the next generation. It is nothing less than a tragic naivete about the real battlefield and the application of the right means of warfare. It is like trying to fight a battle with the country of Russia by showing up on the plains of Kansas. We’re not even on the right battlefield.

Be bold in our witness (Ephesians 6:19-20)

Paul’s final request was that they would pray for him in the great mission. The one task that would bring advance for the kingdom of heaven is the unwavering, relentless sharing of the good news of Christ.

Pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness they mystery of the gospel. (Vs. 19)

This is the great agenda that will bring light into the darkness and rescue enslaved humans from the domains of darkness. We are not to merely stand in a defensive posture, but move forward with the the Divine utterance of the gospel in our mouths and the bold opening of our mouths, advancing the kingdom of God.

The only thing that reverses the course of men and the societies they lead is spiritual change from within—the Spirit-wrought transformation that comes as men and women, boys and girls, from every tongue and tribe and nation and people hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and believe by God’s grace.

This is not merely Paul’s task but ours. We are on the front lines of this mission, right where God has placed us. And it is the great privilege and responsibility of our lives every day to serve our King until we are gathered safely home.


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