About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
This is the supremely ultimate war, the conflict overarching all others. It is God’s war against Satan and his subordinates. And in this war, God has called you and me to be His soldiers. What a privilege!
And yet—so challenging! And sometimes scary. Our battle isn’t against people with human bodies, but against invisible spiritual enemies who bitterly oppose us—vicious, murderous warriors in Satan’s army. We face a ruthless foe who prowls about like a lion, grimly committed to defeat and devour us. As part of the conflict, we must also confront this world’s system with its subtle corruptions and never-ending pressures, while we contend as well with our own indwelling sin which so easily ensnares us. How overmatched and endangered our faith can seem at times!
But we know God’s promise: The strength He offers us is so overpowering that we can be not only conquerors but “more than conquerors”…“we overwhelmingly conquer” through our Father who loves us (Romans 8:37, NKJV, NASB). We read that He “gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” not only victory over eternal spiritual death but victory to live and reign as kings in this life (1 Corinthians 15:57; Romans 5:17).
But how can this be real in our own experience? How can we actually live each day in the dynamic triumph God offers us in Christ?
The goal of this book is to help you answer that question for yourself in God’s presence through prayer and praise, and through an overview of critical truths from God’s Word concerning the power and victory that are ours. I want to help you develop a balanced and positive approach to your spiritual warfare, an approach that will increase your skill in resisting Satan’s purposes and promoting those of our triumphant Lord. Another goal is to help you not to honor Satan through being preoccupied with him and his helpers.
This Book’s Arrangement
Any form of sincere, believing prayer will direct God’s power into our lives and situations, and this is especially true of prayer blended with praise. Part I in this book includes thirty-one daily portions of prayer and praise. These will help you reflect and build on the rich treasures of truth God has revealed regarding spiritual conflict and triumph.
These days of prayer and praise are designed to help you lift your soul to God with greater freedom to sense His presence and count on His power. I pray that this will fortify you to overcome Satan in new ways, both in your life and in the lives of others.
Meanwhile, as we continue running into our own skirmishes and struggles—for all of life is a part of the great overarching spiritual conflict—we do well to ask ourselves again and again, What is this war all about? Why am I wrestling, agonizing, in this current battle? To help you keep this big picture in focus, in Part II you’ll journey through foundational truths in Scripture about spiritual warfare and victory. These truths can guide you in keeping your response to this battle positive rather than negative—in focusing chiefly on God rather than on Satan.
Behind these Words
The truths in this book have been tested for years, for decades. I’ve found them to be indeed reliable in my personal needs and struggles. And I’ve seen them help others defeat the powers of darkness through our Lord Jesus Christ—through focusing on His grace and glory as the one true Victor and Conqueror.
These truths flow from digging into God’s Word—from daily searching it, soaking in its truths, and meditating with praise on Jesus as Victor. During my years as a widow in the 1960s, I began to put some of these truths on paper in a study called “Jesus Is Victor.” Later, my second husband Warren and I did considerable searching into the Scriptures on the subjects of spiritual warfare and strategic prayer. We further developed and used these truths during our decades as missionaries in Asia, including Warren’s six years with cancer before the Lord called him Home in 2001.
We learned, for example, that warfare against Satan is far more than the obvious battles against demonic oppression, active demonism, Satan worship, and the occult. In every situation of our lives—in times of obvious blessing or in times of trial, large or small—God has a purpose in mind, and so does Satan.
Basically, Satan always wants to bring about the opposite of what God has in mind. God wants to draw us closer to Himself; Satan wants to draw us away. God wants to strengthen our faith; Satan wants to weaken it, bringing in doubt and destruction. God wants to purify our character; Satan wants to corrupt it. God wants to liberate us from worldly values; Satan wants to entangle us, to whet our appetite for the things that grieve God and dilute our passion to honor Him and please Him. God wants to increase our love for people and our readiness to forgive offenses; Satan
wants to nurture bitterness and resentment. So our whole life is part of the battle between God and Satan.
We also learned that the primary goal of our warfare is not to defeat Satan. Our chief goal as soldiers of the King is to further God’s gracious and glorious purposes in this world—to help fulfill His longing for a vast family of children conformed to the image of His Son. In pursuing this goal, we must resist Satan and bring Christ’s power to bear against him as he seeks to frustrate our Father’s purposes. But even as we resist him, even as we wrestle with his invisible powers, we’re to be preoccupied not with our enemy but with our victorious Lord and His purposes.
In this battle, one main task is to pray. Another is to share the good news of the reconciled life and the victorious life. Whether in large or small ways, we’re to work with our Father as He rescues people from the domain of darkness and transfers them into the kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). Then we can watch for opportunities to help new citizens of the kingdom adjust their lives to the ways of their new spiritual culture, and to equip them for their part in the battle.
What about casting out demons? This is an important ministry, and I pray that God will continue to raise up mature believers equipped to help demonized people find deliverance. But this is not our main task. I see Paul as our model in this. His main thrust was proclaiming the gospel and building up those who had come to Christ, and now and then he cast out demons.
In all our warfare, our chief focus should be on God and His gracious purposes, not on Satan and demons and their evil strategies. We need to know what God tells us about our enemy and his methods, and we must learn to stand against his purposes. But far more, we need to grow in our knowledge of God and of His directions for our warfare. This book will guide you as you seek to do this more effectively and more constantly.
By no means am I an expert on spiritual warfare. I have learned much—and still have much to learn. In my years of missionary service I was never actually in the front lines of an initial thrust into resistant enemy territory. But especially in Asia, Warren and I gleaned a lot from frontline soldiers about spiritual warfare, including such things as demon expulsion and the occult. This book doesn’t attempt to cover thoroughly all the ways Satan seeks to invade people’s lives. Rather it seeks to lead you into positive ways that you can overcome him.
I pray that God will use what is shared in these pages to deepen your experience of the One through whom we can win overwhelming victories. We can truly say with confidence, “Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies” (Psalm 60:12, NKJV).
From the Trade Paperback edition.