This is an introduction to a conference on spiritual conflict and the role it has in counseling in a faith based setting.  This conference will be taking place in the DC area on April 1 and 2.  For more information you can comment below or send me an e-mail at seijiyamashita(at)tapestrychurch(dot)org.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this crazy thing called “Spiritual warfare” lately.  I know that people tend to fall into two categories when it comes to this topic in which either EVERYTHING is a scheme of the Devil working against us or there is absolutely no such thing and it’s ultimately an excuse that Christians use to explain away their problems and difficulties.  Personally I advocate a slightly more balanced approach to Spiritual Warfare in which we are required to discern the nature of our conflict.  So let me offer a couple of thoughts on this topic.

  1. There is a being called Satan.  He rose up in rebellion against God in a contest to receive worship and having failed was cast out of heaven and consigned to earth where he now works to build a counterfeit kingdom against the Kingdom of God in his continued effort to usurp God’s right to receive worship.  This is why I’ll often refer to spiritual warfare as Kingdom warfare.
  2. Satan is a created being.  God created Satan which means that God has lordship over Satan.  There is no question that Satan can mount a successful fight against God, this is not a case of Lex Luthor vs Superman or Batman vs Joker.  This is not a fair fight.  God has sovereignty over the devil, over our spiritual enemies.
  3. Our concern is NOT to temporarily subdue the enemy for a season. Let me make this perfectly clear. God’s power, God’s sovereignty has put us fighting from a place of victory.  We are condemned to win.  In Christ we can’t help but overcome.

In light of this we are tempted to ask the question “why?” Why if God is soverign and powerful does warfare exist?  Why do we have to struggle against a spiritual enemy as well as the world AND our own flesh.  I mean I don’t know about you but my flesh and the world are plenty enough for me to fight against most days without the added weight of a spiritual adversary added on.  But it doesn’t help us to ask “why.”  Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to really look into spiritual warfare and answer two questions: what does spiritual attack look like? And What do we do about it?