Copyright 5/11/13 by Sarah G. Pemberton
In Part 1, I introduced the idea that the fear of being seen by others as paranoid, by merely being aware of the vast extent of Satan’s schemes against believers, is a fear led by a wrong focus.
But think about this deadly, demonic strategy: What more ingenious strategy to disarm one’s enemies than to convince them that you are not a threat to them, so that you can attack them when their guard is down? And how much even more brilliant, than to frame the blame of the attack upon anyone or anything other than yourself?
Is not Satan’s attempt to convince us that he is not a threat to us merely the same strategy by which Adolph Hitler convinced many Europeans that he would not invade them; the same strategy which radical jihadist Muslims attempt to use today against the United States – the strategy of convincing us that they are not a primary threat to our safety? Yet everything in their behavior reveals a two-faced strategy to use our own values against us – values of freedom, respect for other religions, races, and cultures, and the “political correctness” of not saying anything negative which could be perceived as *prejudice against any group or nation.
*[Prejudice, by the way, is simply pre-judging what you do not know. It has nothing to do with discernment based on clearly stated facts. And the Koran is clear in its goal of annihilating all other religions, either by marriage and conversion, or by violent conquest, commanding the deaths of all Muslims who convert to other religions as well. That statement is not a prejudice, but a fact from their own “sacred” writings. Moderate “peaceful” Muslims, therefore, defy their own religion. By contrast, Christians are commanded to use only weapons of a spiritual nature (salvation, love, peace, righteousness, faith, truth, God’s Word, prayer, praise) in taking the world for Christ’s Kingdom. Those who have sought to spread Christianity by violence directly violate the commands of the New Testament Scriptures.]
Similarly, Satan wishes to convince Christians, like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, that anyone who recognizes the evil of Satan’s schemes all around us, and even sometimes in us, is “overreacting” or “unfit for [spiritual] office.” Anyone who calls a demon a demon, based on the bad fruit it produces in a person’s life, is labeled an “extremist who looks for demons behind every bush,” just as those who recognize the blatantly flaunted strategies of Muslim terrorists are labeled as “religious bigots.” Likewise, not every German was in agreement with Adolph Hitler, yet Nazi Germany was a major danger to the entire free world. Similarly, not every Muslim may be in agreement with radical jihadist plots against the modern democratic, free, Judeo-Christian world; yet clearly there are many nations in the Middle East whose stated goals are to annihilate us and Israel. Likewise, not everyone in the world is necessarily demonized, yet many even who confess Jesus Lord remain under the slavery of various satanic lies and deceptions.
Pride will not allow “rational, educated” Americans to admit that the Bible warns heavily that we have an enemy who “prowls about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Pet. 5:8) Many Christians may accurately quote the verse, yet turn around and blame a pattern of evil on “coincidence,” or “life is just like that.” Another popular proverb among those of like mind is, “Don’t be so heavenly-minded that you’re of no earthly good.” Again it is stated as a reaction to extremes observed which can seem embarrassing to the Church’s reputation. But God’s word says, “Set your mind on things above, nor on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:2-3) Rather we should tell people, “Don’t be so worldly-minded that you are of no heavenly good,” for Paul tells us that our citizenship is in heaven, and it is That King to Whom we must give answer.
But may I suggest that the answer of Truth is simpler than most people imagine, yet it requires letting go of our own “practical” ideas of “balance.” The Truth is all about walking by the Spirit (Gal. 5:1-25), and, like Jesus, (Jn. 5:19, 30) only doing what we see the Father doing, and only saying what we hear the Father saying. (Pro. 16:1-3) It is about staying in such close communion with Christ and having our hearts and minds so fully focused upon Him 24/7 that it matters not how many demons or how much sin or evil we accurately discern in the world around us – we are so in love with Jesus, so preoccupied with worshipping and pleasing only Him, so focused on how enormous and good God is, that His glory completely overshadows the darkness of Satan’s plans and schemes of deception and evil. Very simply, it is a fact that if the whole world were filled with trillions of demons, it would not matter; for the holy angels of God outnumber the demons two-to-one (Rev. 12:3-4, 7-13), and God is infinitely, immeasurably vaster than all of His creation. (Job 1:6-2:7; 38:1-42:6)
So what if there really is a demon behind every bush? (Mk. 3:9-15) What if there are forty? On the one hand, if the Enemy of our souls becomes our primary focus, then we are defeated before we begin warfare, because we’ve given that Vain Pretender the “glory” he seeks. But if we go the other extreme and ignore him, denying that he is that dangerous, and adopt a nonchalant dismissal of the seriousness of evil in this lifetime, then we lay ourselves open to the most dangerous of all deceptions and wars – the war of demonic infiltration into a kingdom of naïve fools.
Spiritual warfare which embraces the fullness of Truth is 100% pure, passionate worship and obedience in relation to God and His Word, both in Scripture and in daily communion with Him, yet while maintaining 100% alertness to discern any voice – fear, worry, anxiety, anger, bitterness, unbelief, jealousy, unforgiveness, self-pity, lust, greed, rationalization, minimization, etc. – which contradicts His Word. There is no room for these evils to dwell for long where we are consumed with passionate worship, prayer, meditation on God’s Word, and on radical obedience to the Lord. And where old strongholds of evil may exist in our lives already, that radical pursuit of the Lord will expose and weaken those demons, preparing them for their swift eviction notice.
So what value is there, either, in claiming that a born-again Christian “cannot have” a demon? Such theology is only useful to the demons, giving them safe hiding places in unsuspecting Christians, who are led into a false sense of security that they are “immune.” If the demons weren’t cast out when you first got saved, they’re probably still there, especially if there are areas of your life where you still struggle to overcome habitual sin. If you command a demon to go and there is nothing there, then guess what? You’ve done no harm to anyone, but you’ve double-checked to make sure that all is well, like a cop on patrol at night.
“Balance” becomes a meaningless term for a believer, as if to imply one could ever have “too much” love for God, or “too much” wisdom in dealing with others, or with going against Satan’s lies. The only danger is to embrace one extreme, or just one aspect of God’s nature, to the exclusion of the fullness of all of God’s nature. If we are obeying God’s Voice over every decision all day, we needn’t worry about “off-balance extremes.” Even if what we do that day appears “extreme” to some, if it’s what God said to do, He will surely fulfill the other needs of our life later, as His timing is perfect for all things.
So don’t worry about whether or not there is a demon behind every bush – or 100 of them. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and you will also see the 200 angels behind and around you, helping you to win the battle against the 100 demons, so that all the praise and glory goes to the Name of Jesus, Who defeated every one of them upon His Cross, and by His resurrection.