Saturday, January 4, 2014

Spiritual Warfare

What do you think of when you hear the term, "spiritual warfare?" I suppose, in the context of movies or novels, I think of supernatural beings battling it out with our necks on the line. I think of books like Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness where angels and demons fought over living souls while Christians prayed.

But I wonder if those stories dismiss the more real, present and insidious warfare that takes place every day.

I wrote The Fold, to explore how wolves, in the metaphorical sense, creep into churches and entice us at our most primal, fleshly level to leave a humble faith. When a pastor listens to his ego and starts thinking of the congregation as "his followers" instead of the disciples of Christ, that's at the heart of the spiritual war. At times where a husband stands up arrogantly to his wife and asserts his authority from scripture, instead of emptying himself in love after the pattern of Christ, that, too, is a battleground of fierce fighting.

Maybe we prefer to think of the evil that happens in the corridors of power because it's farther removed. We can sit back and assess the state of the world and decry its decline, ignoring the skirmishes and struggles we surrender to each day.

I think our spiritual war, which stems from our sin nature of self-destructing lust and pleasure-seeking, acts like a virus against which there is only one cure. I explored this in my novella, RESISTANCE. So many people, even the ones who know they're sick, don't want a cure. And those of us who have the cure, for some reason, yearn for the sickness again.

It's perverse, this spiritual war.

But the good news is that the outcome is set. God is sovereign and works through the depravity like a chess master works through every move of a skilled opponent so that the moves actually advance his purpose. I deal with this masterful plan in my thriller, The Next Chapter.

I believe that one day, the war will be over. The Lord will return in triumph, as I depict in The Last Christmas. At that point, there will be no more war. And no more tears.

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