Though the idea of battling the enemy might seem archaic, spiritual warfare is a very real thing in our modern world. Every day, we battle against Satan’s attempts to destroy our relationship with God. Pope Francis in a homily earlier this year warned Christians, “We too are the target of attacks by the devil because the spirit of Evil does not want our holiness.” He told worshipers: “The devil is here… even in the 21st century! And we mustn’t be naïve, right? We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan.”
Spiritual warfare is the topic of Jermaine Gadson’s newly released book, Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy. It seeks to “equip people with the information and inspiration they need to overcome the various obstacles that are placed in their lives by the forces of darkness.” Temptation, fear, lies, and even everyday setbacks can sabotage our faith. Satan attacks not only our fellowship with God, but also our fellowship with others.
The Word of God emboldens us in our battle against Satan. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he talks about the armor of God:
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
In the conclusion of Gadson’s book he reminds us that Satan has already been defeated, but that we must stand in our rightful place of victory to ward him off. “The devil’s only hope against you is if you are ignorant-ignorant of his existence, ignorant of his presence, ignorant of his limited power and ignorant of his certain defeat. So, whenever you sense the devil seeking to rear his ugly head against you, just take a swing at him with the Word, and remind him that he is only a worm under the heel of your heavy steel-toed boots. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy, but we are not ignorant of his devices.”
My daily prayer is that we submit ourselves to God. When we abide in Christ, Satan has no power over us.