Spiritual warfare is real! There is a real spiritual entity commonly called the devil or satan. The enemy of our souls is right now planning, plotting, scheming and sabotaging against the child of God. Every attack of the enemy is in order to oppose the purpose of God. God has put His purpose in His people. We are “called according to His purpose”. The barbs and bombs, the bullets and ballistics may seem personal, but they are not ; they are spiritual and this is warfare.
And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel
(First Chronicles 21:1).
There are some salient truths concerning the art of spiritual warfare that come out of this one verse that I am impressed upon by the Holy Spirit to share with you.
- Satan is anti-Christ. The word “satan” means to oppose and to resist. He is the arch adversary of those anointed by God.
- The opposition of satan is not against God; it is against God’s people. God cannot be opposed by the devil. God cannot be resisted by demonic powers. All power belongs to God. Demons are subject to the name of Jesus.
To “stand up” means to make a stand and to hold one’s ground. Whatever authority or territory that is currently under the influence of the demonic will not be readily or easily relinquished by the enemy. It will require personal battles and prayerful victories.
When the enemy attacks God’s people he first assails their leader. God-called leaders are always under pressure. True spiritual leaders are constantly being “provoked”. Israel was the target. David would be the trigger. The word provoked in this Hebrew text has the meaning of inciting and instigating. The enemy incited and instigated a disobedience in David.
- What the enemy wanted in his opposition against Israel and in his provocation of David was to bring a holy nation into doubt, disobedience and deception. The act of numbering the people was an insult to an Almighty God. Would David trust God for the victory? Would he obey God even when it seemed unreasonable and unwise? Would he dare trust any other plan but God’s? David counted. He took a census and sinned. God would have none of it. God loves to be trusted. He will judge the high crime of unbelief.