Winning the Daily Battle with Satan
(Revised Edition 1999)
By Dr. Ray C. Stedman
Introduction: The Battle is the Lord's
IT WAS A WARM, QUIET SUNDAY MORNING on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The date was December 7, 1941. Out of a clear blue sky, swarms of growling aircraft descended. Suddenly, all around Pearl Harbor, ships erupted into flames and billows of oily black smoke. Within those ships, men died without a moment's warning some even asleep in their bunks.
Aboard the cruiser New Orleans, a chaplain named Howell M. Forgy helped a group of crewmen break into a locked ammunition storeroom so the ship could mount a defense. Once Chaplain Forgy and the other men got inside, they discovered that the ammunition hoist was out of commission. So Chaplain Forgy and the other men formed a human chain, like a bucket brigade, passing the heavy artillery shells from man to man up to the gun deck.
The shells were heavy and the work was hard and discouraging, and it had to be carried on amid the smell of smoke and the sound of human screams and roaring planes and exploding bombs. Chaplain Forgy saw that some of the men's arms were weakening and their faces showed signs of hopelessness. So he pasted a broad smile on his face, slapped the back of the man next to him, and shouted, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!"
This story was later retold, and the chaplain's words became the opening lines of a popular wartime song that lifted the spirits of an entire nation at war.
You and I face much the same situation today. We are under heavy attack a spiritual and moral attack and the devastation of this spiritual war is all around us in our society, our government, our universities, our entertainment media, our neighborhoods, our families, our churches, and our own lives. There are wounded people all around us, and we ourselves have been pierced by the fiery arrows of our enemy. To survive and to win, we must mount a strong defense and engage the enemy in battle. We must learn to "praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!"
And who is this enemy who is trying to destroy us?
Behind the confusion and fog of the battle is a crafty, powerful, and devastatingly real spiritual being whom our Lord Jesus has called "the ruler of this world," the devil. Despite the current surge of interest in the occult, New Age beliefs, and satanism, there is still a shocking ignorance on the part of Christians everywhere as to how to deal with the devil and his schemes.
It is time we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ accept the fact that life is warfare, and that we are engaged in a life-and-death struggle. The forces we face are not flesh and-blood enemies, nor are they human agencies. But they are as real as any enemy who ever wielded a sword, a gun, or a flame-thrower. Our enemy is legion a deadly pantheon of spiritual hosts of wickedness. Though invisible, forces are utterly dedicated to our destruction.
These forces operate under the authority of the one who is the father of lies, the prince of darkness, the devil himself. Only by recognizing him as real, as the Scriptures clearly declare, can we begin to understand the reality around us. Only then can we truly live life as it really is. Only then can we comprehend the vital necessity of putting on the whole armor of God which, far from being merely a figure of speech, is in fact Christ Himself.
In our own strength we are utterly helpless to face such a powerful enemy as the devil. In fact, true victory in spiritual warfare demands that we acknowledge our helplessness and weakness. God has given us three specific steps that enable us to be conquerors:
First, we are to lay hold of the complete protection of Christ, what the Bible calls the full armor of God.
Second, once fully armed, we are to pray. Effective prayer is the result of actively putting on the armor of God.
Third and finally, in the face of Satan's attacks, we are to stand firm in our faith with the certain knowledge that the battle is the Lord's. Our faith in His victory a victory that is already accomplished on the cross is what overcomes the world.
The purpose of this book to help you where help is most needed: in the day-to-day conflict where our enemy continually attacks us in the form of open hostilities, subtle temptations, festering worries and resentments, gnawing fears, bitter disappointments, and that vague and nameless depression of spirit that so often attacks us and robs us of peace and sleep at 3:00 o'clock in the morning. Here is where the great spiritual issues are really won or lost and where the great resources of Christ are more needed than at any other time.
Ray C. Stedman
Author's Note: I gladly acknowledge my great debt to the fine series of studies by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Ephesians 6, published serially in The Westminster Record; and to the pastoral staff of Peninsula Bible Church for their unfailing encouragement.
First Edition, April 1978 Second Edition, January 1980. Internet, February 19, 1999. Corrections, October 29, 2002. Online edition, January 26, 2005.
Spiritual Warfare Original edition @ 1975 Ray C. Stedman. This edition @ 1999 Elaine Stedman. All rights reserved.
Discovery House Publishers is affiliated with RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49512
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Unless indicated otherwise, Scripture is taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. @ 1973,1978,1984, International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Originally published: Waco, Tex. : Word Books, 1975, in series: Discovery books. ISBN 1-57293-044-6 1.
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