Maybe you’re like me, and you tend to approach situations logically.
Personally, this means that what I can’t see is often hard to believe…not that it’s impossible to believe—just that it’s more of a stretch.
That said, I do believe in God though I have never seen Him. And I believe in the spiritual realm, though I have never seen it - at least…that’s what I’ve always told myself.
I’ve learned that while I have always believed in the spiritual realm’s existence, until recently, I sure did not realize its extent.
For a while now, I have been going through a Bible study by Priscilla Shirer called Armor of God and I am loving it! My views on the spiritual realm have flipped 180 and I am so thankful for it.
Before the study, I always felt a bit weird to attribute anything to “the enemy.”
I didn’t see him at work, so how on earth am I supposed to know what he’s doing? Well, let’s just say that going through this study has changed everything.
Check out this verse:
Psalm 91:12 (ESV): “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”
Or how about this one.
I Peter 5:8 (ESV): “Be sober-minded, be watchful; your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
I have heard these verses before, but I never took them seriously enough to stop and think that we are not fighting battles of flesh and blood alone. Our struggle is “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV).
This study covers the book of Ephesians, specifically the act of putting on the armor of God in order to stand firm against the attacks of the enemy (Ephesians 6:10-18). The way Priscilla Shirer explained the spiritual realm didn’t come across as taboo or unreal. It finally clicked.
I love what she wrote in the first week of the study: “Everything that occurs in the visible, physical world is directly connected to the wrestling match being waged in the invisible, spiritual world.”
There is so much going on behind the scenes that we don’t see. And while we should never over-estimate the power the devil holds, Priscilla has taught me that neither should we under-estimate what he can do.
The Bible says that Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44) and this study quickly helped me to see the many lies that I am so prone to believe. Maybe you can relate.
Maybe you find yourself secretly disliking the person who threatens your chances of being liked, accepted or noticed—a person whose company you could otherwise see yourself enjoying.
Or maybe you have an off-kilter view of yourself. Maybe you’re trapped by pride, thinking you deserve what you have and more. Or maybe you wallow in self-pity and self-consciousness, unsure of your worth and abilities.
Satan loves when you believe the lies that cause you to think this way. And as Priscilla writes (as she compares Satan’s tactics against us to his tactics for Eve in the Garden of Eden), “Satan’s strategy against you is equally clever. He plans to zero in on your deepest insecurities and desires with the intention of showing you how you can bypass God to meet every single one.”
You want to be successful in your career? The devil will show you one way to get there, but I can assure you that integrity, hard work or some other necessary virtue will be lacking from the equation. He’s all about twisting the truth so it looks almost right in order to convince you that what’s lacking is no big deal.
In simple terms, he will discover what it takes knock you down, and that’s where his immediate attention will go. However, amidst all of that, Priscilla makes it clear that Satan is far from all-powerful, and there is a secret ingredient to victory:
Prayer: The slightly obvious, yet often overlooked component of the armor of God.
Of course, I can’t share every part of what Priscilla wrote—though I wish I could! I completely recommend purchasing her study if you are able. Her writing is amazing and I have learned so much!
But of course, whether you are able to invest in this study or not, I hope that you begin to recognize that there is more to this life than what we can see. Don’t be scared by it. Be aware of it.
Realize that I’m not saying we should sit around and blame everything on the enemy. We are responsible for our own decisions and he doesn’t make us do anything. What he does is this: He lies, tempts and deceives us into making decisions that lean us away from God and towards anything else.
So I encourage you to read through the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18 and pray over each piece of spiritual armor.
Pray for a life founded in truth and the awareness to look past the deceptions of the enemy.
Pray for security in your righteousness in Christ.
Pray for peace amidst the chaos of life.
Pray for a strong faith—a faith that will be your shield.
Pray over your helmet of salvation, knowing that because of it, you are a child of God.
And finally, pray that you would never lay down your weapon: the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God.
A few years ago, I heard that putting away your Bible is like laying down your weapon: the first sign of surrender (I think this came from Priscilla but I can’t find the exact quote).
With that in mind, always be in the Word, reading your Bible and praying. Then, you will be ready for any attack, temptation or lie that Satan throws your way.