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For the Apostle Paul, he knew that every natural battle we face has a spiritual source behind it because he knew what his Scriptures (our Old Testament) taught about the reality of spiritual warfare. Satan was an angel created by God (Job 1:3) who is described as a cherub and the highest of all created beings (Ezekiel 28:14). Satan was not your garden variety angel, he held a very prominent position in God’s hierarchy, and with references to musical instruments made in Ezekiel 28 most scholars believe that Satan was in charge of the worship in heaven, a very prominent position indeed. Yet pride (Ezekiel 28:17) led him to lead an unsuccessful rebellion against God Almighty and the devil and his minions were cast out of heaven. Satan’s ultimate defeat has already been decided but time still remains on the clock because Jesus’ second coming has not yet happened. We’re now in the in between, battling against an enemy who knows his doom is sealed but isn’t going down without a fight. As the book of Revelation puts it,

“Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” Revelation 12:12

Those are the forces arrayed against us, the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms that Paul describes in Ephesians 6:12. Why does Satan attack us if his fight is against God? For the same reason divorced couples will use their children as pawns to hurt one another. The best way to hurt someone is to hurt someone they love. Humankind is the pinnacle of God’s creation (Psalm 8:5), His crown jewel of creation, being formed in His image (Genesis 1:27). God proved His love for us once and for all when He sent His son Jesus as a sacrifice to reconcile us to Himself. Knowing this, it makes perfect sense that Satan in his furious rage tries his best to destroy humankind with every weapon available to him. To hurt us is to hurt the heart of God. So we are caught in the crossfire of a war that has raged since the beginning of time. But as Paul writes in Ephesians 6:10-18, we are not left defenseless. But defending yourself against the attacks of the enemy will only be as successful as your ability to see those attacks coming. The first step to spiritual warfare is to see the spiritual behind the natural, to see the attacks of the enemy coming so you can successfully defend yourself and those you love.

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