Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Enemy of Joy

Today begins a three-part series on a topic that might seem strangely out of place in a blog built around the theme of Joy.  What does a discussion of demonic powers have to do with joy, anyway?

The discussion would be a real downer if it weren't for the victory Jesus won over Satan when He died on the cross and rose again. That victory made joy possible for us. Without it, talk about joy would be nothing more than wishful thinking or a cruel false promise. Jesus' victory is real, and we can live in freedom and joy because of it, but we need to be informed about and aware of our spiritual enemy, or that joy will remain shrouded in darkness for us.

Satan’s demonic forces are active in our world.  They operate with strong authority, at the present time, in all systems of human government and society, deceiving influential people, encouraging human greed and selfishness, and promoting violence and destruction, especially against defenceless and vulnerable people.

Demonic spiritual forces affect individuals as well as world systems.  Some of us suffer more extensively at the hands of the enemy than others, depending on our life experiences and family backgrounds.  Life experiences may be either negative things that have happened to us without our consent, or the result of bad personal or moral choices we have made.  Often they are both. 

In any case, Christ died to deliver all people from the bondage of Satan’s rule.  Those who acknowledge their need for that deliverance and receive Christ as their Saviour and Lord are given the legal right to live under Christ’s authority, and receive freedom from Satan’s rule.  However, this freedom does not come automatically when we receive Christ.

Demonic forces continue to operate, without authority, in the lives of many Christians.  Though Satan has lost the right to rule in a Christian’s life, he can continue to “squat” in the territory until he is evicted.  We need to understand the power of the cross and the resurrection, and we need to know how to lay claim to Christ’s victory, or Satan will run roughshod over us.  He has no scruples!

Many Christians are at a disadvantage in that they don’t even realize that Satan’s forces are active players in their lives.  They don't recognize spiritual attacks when they come.  It’s important for us to understand how the demonic operates, as well as how to live victoriously over it. 

If you've been suffering intense spiritual or emotional pain and you're not sure what's causing it, you may be in the middle of a spiritual war without knowing it.  I hope these blog posts help you find the freedom Jesus died to give you.  As you discover that freedom, you'll be able to enter into a deep joy and peace that will bless you in ways you might never have imagined. 

This is the life God wants for you.  God bless you as you seek to find it.

Look for the next post on Friday: How Satan Operates

1 comment:

Kirra said...

Great post. I think a lot of people are unaware of spiritual warfare.