"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
But against the rulers, against the authorities,
Against the powers of this dark world and against
The spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms"
Have you ever had a change of thinking, a paradigm shift, or a wake-up call? Lorie Hartshorn, author of "Finding Freedom" and Director of Better Today Consulting recently visited the Crossroads centre to talk about the reality of Spiritual Warfare in the home and how circumstances in her family led her on a "quest of learning".
Using the visual aid of a home, Lorie paints a vivid picture of how we can be Christians, filled with the Holy Spirit, yet still be struggling with the influence of enemies within our lives.
According to scripture, we have three enemies that can have influence in our lives:
Our first enemy is the broken world we live in. Some circumstances we face in life happen to us because of this broken world.
Our second enemy is our flesh. James 1:14 says "But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed". There is a struggle and battle within our flesh, and at times the struggle results from our own sinful nature.
Our third enemy that can have influence in our lives is the devil himself. In this world we are living in, we are at war. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us to "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour".
But how much influence can the demonic really have on a Christian?
We must first understand that as a believer, Jesus owns your home. When you say yes to Jesus, you are covered in the blood of Jesus. That's how God sees you and how the enemy sees you as well. The furnace in your home symbolizes the Holy Spirit and His power within us. The flame is lit upon our salvation and is our power source as a believer.
Ephesians 4:30 says "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption". What exactly does this mean? Scripture tells us in Ephesians 4:27 "Do not give the devil a foothold". Do not give the devil an opportunity. If we crack open the door to our home and we give the devil opportunity, as a believer, he could have influence on us. Jesus still owns our home, but cracking open your front door allows ulterior influences to sneak in. Be alert, be of sober mind.
Don't give him a place, a territory, an opportunity; give him no occasion for acting. Don't crack open the door.
The example of influence given in scripture is anger. Anger alone can open your door to what the enemy wants to do in your life. Bitterness, rage, there is a long list of things that can give the enemy a foothold (see Ephesians 4).
Again, we need to keep in mind that Jesus still owns the home and the Holy Spirit is still within us. You can't kick God out of the house He chooses, He will never leave us, however when we say yes to the enemy, we quench the Spirit's power in our life.
Satan and God can and always have been in the same place.
We need to get rid of the mentality that Satan just bounces off this invisible shield we have surrounding us because we are Christians. Another cause for stumbling is being told "Don't give the enemy too much attention", yet this mentality can lead to a lack of alertness in our lives. We are told to be alert and be of sober mind (1 Peter 5:8) and Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the full armor of God so we can demolish the enemy's schemes against us.
How Can Christians Respond to Demonic Influence?