What is your idea of “spiritual warfare?” If you’ve ever read the novel, This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti, you might think of huge angels and their evil counterparts, giant demons, fighting battles over you, unseen, in the atmosphere above you and even on the earth around you. Are there battles raging overhead, in the spirit realm, that you aren’t aware of?
You have probably noticed the trend in young adult fiction today toward spiritual beings, often the dark kind, along with angels and the newest trend, “fallen angels.” Angels aren’t new, however. Do you know that there are over 300 references to angels in the Bible?
What about spiritual warfare? How does it affect us? In Ephesians, you are warned to “Put on the armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground …” Ephesians 6:11-13a.
In our novels, we can bring angels into our stories and make them visible, at least to the reader. But in real life, what does it actually look like to “stand against the devil’s schemes”? Did you even realize that the devil HAS schemes? Perhaps the devil’s schemes are also hardships and bad circumstances, disasters and crises. 2 Thess. 3:2 says, “And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.” The devil also uses people to carry out his schemes. Perhaps spiritual warfare looks like someone doing something bad to you, when a bully singles you out for torment, an authority figure punishes you when you’re innocent, or a friend betrays a confidence. When that happens, you will know that the devil has aimed his “schemes” at you, also called “flaming arrows of the evil one” in Eph. 6:16.
But the Bible warns us that our fight is not against people, “flesh and blood.” It’s against “the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Hmmm. That really could make for a great novel.
And the best part would be the ending. We are the victors. God will always win in the end, because he has made us “more than conquerors” in Christ Jesus. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.
Who is writing your story, the novel of your life? Ask God to write it, to make you come out on top at the end. He is able to do it, and he is willing.
So what do you think about spiritual warfare in novels? Do you like reading about it? Have you ever recognized spiritual warfare in your own life? Did it come at a time when you were starting to grow closer to God? Let’s hear your thoughts on the subject!
Melanie Dickerson’s first novel, The Healer’s Apprentice, releases on Friday, September 3rd. She writes romantic fairy tale retellings set in colorful medieval times, and she always slips a tiny bit of spiritual warfare into her novels. After all, good must triumph over evil.