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.
— Ephesians 6:12
I realize that many people tend to think that screaming, yelling, screeching, stomping, and shouting are required to defeat the devil. However, these actions will accomplish nothing if those same people are not living a consecrated and holy life.
It is simply a fact that if we have deliberately or by negligence allowed sinful strongholds to secretly remain in our lives, then we have left gaping holes through which Satan may continue to insert his schemes into our lives. Negligence in dealing with these secret places may give Satan the very loopholes he needs to orchestrate our defeat!
This business of spiritual warfare is serious! We must do all we can to shut every door to our souls through which the devil might attempt to access our lives. Because this issue is so serious, we would do well to pay attention when the Bible offers us information about the enemy of our souls. The devil has destroyed too many Christians who were ignorant of his devices!
In Ephesians 6:12, the apostle Paul presents a divine revelation he received that describes how Satan’s kingdom has been militarily aligned. He writes, “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.”
Notice that at the top of this list, Paul mentions a group of evil spirits he calls “principalities.” This word is taken from the Greek word archai, an old word that is used symbolically to denote ancient times. It is also used to depict individuals who hold the highest and loftiest position of rank and authority. By using the word archai, Paul emphatically tells us that at the very top of Satan’s kingdom are powerful evil beings that have held their lofty positions of power and authority since ancient times — probably ever since the fall of Lucifer.
Paul goes on to tell us that below principalities is a second group of evil beings he refers to as “powers.” This word “powers” is taken from the Greek word exousia, and it denotes delegated authority. This describes a lower, second-level group of evil beings — demon spirits — who have received delegated authority from Satan to carry out all manner of evil in whatever way they desire to do it. These evil forces are second in command in Satan’s dark kingdom.
Continuing in his description of Satan’s rank and file in descending order, Paul mentions “the rulers of the darkness of this world.” This amazing phrase is taken from the word kosmokrateros and is a compound of the words kosmos and kratos. The word kosmos denotes order or arrangement, whereas the word kratos has to do with raw power. Thus, the compounded word kosmokrateros depicts raw power that has been harnessed and put into some kind of order.
This word kosmokrateros was at times used to picture military training camps where young men were assembled, trained, and turned into a mighty army. These young men were like raw power when they first arrived in the training camp. However, as the military training progressed and the new recruits were taught discipline and order, all that raw manpower was converted into an organized, disciplined army. This is the word Paul now uses in his description of Satan’s kingdom. What does it mean?
It tells you and me that Satan is so serious about doing damage to the human race that he deals with demon spirits as though they are troops! He puts them in rank and file, gives them orders and assignments, and then sends them out like military soldiers who are committed to kill. Just as men in a human army are equipped and trained in their methods of destruction, so, too, are these demon spirits. And once these demons are trained and ready to start their assault, Satan sends them forth to do their devious work against human beings.
Paul makes reference to this dispatch of evil spirits when he writes next about “spiritual wickedness in high places.” The word “wickedness” is taken from the word poneros, and it is used to depict something that is bad, vile, malevolent, vicious, impious, and malignant. This tells us the ultimate aim of Satan’s dark domain: These evil spirits are sent forth to afflict humanity in bad, vile, malevolent, and vicious ways!
Satan uses all these evil forces in his attacks against mankind. Nevertheless, we believers have far more authority and power than the devil and his forces. You and I have the Greater One living within us! As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we are loaded with heaps and heaps of raw power, for the Church has no shortage of power, nor is it deficient in God-given authority. We have more power and more authority than all these evil forces combined!
What we lack is order and discipline. We must learn to see ourselves as the army of God and to view the local church as the training center where we are taught to do God’s business. Then we must heed the call of Jesus and be dispatched into the dark world to preach the Gospel and to drive these evil forces from people’s lives. We must buckle down and begin to view ourselves as the troops of Jesus Christ!
Being organized and disciplined includes living a holy and consecrated life. There is no room for slackness in the life of a real Christian soldier. To deal with these forces that are being dispatched to destroy us and the world around us, it is required that we walk with God and listen to the voice of His Spirit. We must gird up the loins of our minds and fill our thoughts with the Word of God. Satan’s troops are serious — and if we’re not serious about our contest with them, it will only be a matter of time until they discover our weakness and strike with all their force to bring us down.
Determine to see yourself as a soldier in the army of God. Don’t allow anything to remain in your life that would hinder your fight of faith. Be disciplined, committed, and organized. Take advantage of all the weapons described in Ephesians 6:13-18. Then get ready to witness the awesome demonstration of God’s power in your life as you prevail against Satan’s rank and file!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, help me start seeing myself as a mighty soldier in the army of God. You have provided every weapon I need to prevail against the enemies that come against my life, my family, my business, my friends, and my church. I want to stand tall and firm against the wicked plots the devil tries to exert against people’s lives whom I love and need. Holy Spirit, give me the power and strength I need to successfully resist every attack and to drive all dark forces from my life and from the lives of those close to me!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I confess that I live a holy and consecrated life! There is no room for slackness in my life. I am serious about serving God as a real Christian soldier. I do everything that is required for me to walk with God and to hear the voice of His Spirit when He speaks to me. I am very serious about winning every conflict with evil forces. Because of my strong commitment to this fight of faith, I am more than a match for anything the devil tries to throw at me!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. What did you learn by reading today’s Sparkling Gem?
2. Do you see yourself as a soldier in the army of God?
3. Do you view your local church as a place for you to be trained, taught, and disciplined in order to become a better Christian soldier?