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Read:   Ephesians 6:10-13

   10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Some in the ancient world believed that stars were angels; we know better.  If you read Paul’s verses again you will catch the references.  Some in the modern world suggest that “spiritual forces of evil” are hokey, superstitious ideas; I disagree.  You can look at Paul’s writings and apply the insights to the rulers, authorities, institutions and forces of evil in our world – that works, but that is not really what Paul meant.

It is not easy to believe in “spirits” in our modern world; many want to suggest that our faith needs to develop beyond a superstitious worldview.  There are instances where that is certainly true.  Yet Jesus encountered demonic forces and took it seriously – that’s good enough for me.  Lately there have been shark attacks off ocean beaches.  Communities post “shark warning” signs when they sight them from the air.  If a surfer or swimmer were to say, “I don’t believe there are sharks out there, I’m going in the water” – he/she would not be safer by disbelieving, in fact they would be at greater risk.  The same is true of demonic attack.

I am not talking about demonic possession.  Christians have the Holy Spirit of God within them; our spiritual “house” or temple is occupied.  However, the demonic can cause spiritual “oppression” – they can egg your house, get on your lawn, TP your trees, and disturb your peace.  I am NOT talking about clinical depression, which has physiological causes and medical treatments.  I’m not talking about sadness caused from loss, disappointment, conflict, etc. – talking with a good listening friend or counselor does wonders for those feelings and problems.  The treatment for spiritual oppression/attack is prayer – a prayer of protection invoking the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus, and use of the “full armor of God”. Spiritual oppression is not common, but it is real.  Be wise.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob Nystrom