I’ve often heard it said that the battleground in spiritual warfare is for our minds. That’s certainly true, although I’m not convinced it’s the whole truth.
Jesus tells us that our enemy is a liar (John 8:44), that he seeks to steal, kill and destroy (Jn 10:10). This can certainly affect our minds. For example:
- He destroys our peace–we suffer from anxiety and fear
- He steals our joy–we become depressed
- We believe his lies–we suffer from low self-esteem and guilt
What gives him the opportunity to attack us in this way? I find it useful to think of five main categories of opportunity for Satan to gain a foothold in our lives, for convenience, although somewhat contrived, all beginning with an “S”:
- Sin–three sections here:
- Our own sin–for example, we don’t deal with anger in a godly fashion. We can go from the occasional sin to becoming an angry person, to having anger dominate our life (Ephesians 4:26-27).
- We have been sinned against–for example, all kinds of physical, emotional and spiritual abuse, Another example: a baby is born to an unmarried mother, As he/she gets older, she may suffer from rejection. It wasn’t her sin, but a parental sin that allowed the enemy in. When this door is closed, she can be set free.
- The effects of sin being passed down from one generation to another. We can inherit a tendency to certain traits such as depression, alcoholism etc.
- “Seance”: Any contact with the occult–ouija boards, fortune tellers, illegal drugs that affect the mind and thinking
- Shock: A sudden surprise can give the enemy a foothold. For example, one day I returned from the store and surprised a burglar inside our house. For some time I experienced fear whenever I unlocked our front door. Natural? Yes maybe, but it disappeared when we prayed against it.
- Siege: It says in Daniel 7:25 that Satan wears out, or oppresses the saints of the Most High. We all know what it’s like to feel under pressure for a prolonged time. Finances are tight, there’s a painful medical condition. Satan takes the opportunity to undermine in every way.
- Subtlety: Satan can attack our minds in ways we don’t recognize. For example, we are fascinated by a TV program we would never choose, simply because we’re too lazy to change the channel. It leaves us feeling contaminated.
Praise God, He has given us spiritual weapons to fight against Satan, and we know we are on the side of victory. We’ll cover our weapons in a future post.
But where else can this warfare take place?