Warfare: The Real Battlefield
by Sam Williamson
Two friends and I host a weekly podcast on
various spiritual topics. Last month we planned to
discuss (I kid you not), How to Recognize
Spiritual Assault. Schedule conflicts and
illness forced us to cancel our two previous
podcasts. We didn’t want to call off a third.
That was the situation four hours before the
podcast. This is the story that followed:
- Late in the afternoon, my wife and I had a
tense discussion. I missed much of my podcast
planning time, leaving me irritated,
distracted, and unprepared.
- Our dinner reservation was changed from 6:00
pm to 7:00 pm, leaving me little time for
conversation with friends, and even less time
- The closest parking spot was several dozen
blocks from the restaurant, and I arrived five
- As I left the restaurant, a torrential
downpour greeted me, and I splashed and waded
the six blocks back to my car.
I began the call in a frenzied, intense, and
distracted state of mind. Do you recognize the
frontlines of the spiritual assault?
- Three different traffic jams—three!—delayed
me further. I arrived home with two minutes to
spare, soaking wet, and freezing. And further
irritated, distracted and unprepared.
It’s Not What We Normally
When I later reviewed that story with a friend, he
exclaimed, “Whenever I speak on spiritual warfare,
the same stuff happens to me: my wife and I get
into a fight, my car breaks down, the sound system
shorts out, and I’m an emotional wreck. We’ve got
to pray against Satan’s evil orchestration of
But the inconvenient incidents weren’t my problem;
they were just its triggers. What left me bleeding
on the battlefield was the bullets of twisted
The book of Job may be the best spiritual warfare
manual ever written. In it, only seven verses
describe Satan’s evil orchestration of events:
marauders, natural disasters, enemies, weather,
and illness (Job 1:14-19 and 2:7). That’s it, seven
verses out of forty-two chapters.
The rest of the book of Job reveals the distorted
thinking of Job, his wife, and his friends. The
book of Job concludes with God revealing himself,
and it is God’s self-disclosure—clear thinking of
true reality—that brings the healing Job needed.
It’s the Lies That We Buy
That Kill Us
Scripture emphasizes Satan’s messages not his
physical power. He’s called: a liar, the
father of lies, a deceiver, an accuser,
and a blinder of our minds. Scripture
doesn’t call Satan the demon of thunderstorms, the
terrorizer of technology, or the evil spirit of
He may cause some of these, but he always
lies about them with false interpretations.
Satan’s objective is to convince us of untruths
about God (and then others and even ourselves).
Satan’s plan with Job was to get him to “curse God
to his face” (Job 1:11). It is our false beliefs
that make us act in fear, rage, timidity,
domination, misunderstanding, and oppression.
I Could Have Handled That
The changed reservations, poor parking, and bad
weather triggered inner responses of unneeded
intensity, distraction, and forcefulness. I
thought: “Why does this always happen to me? At
the very worst times? Now I’ve got to make this
call work, even though I’m unprepared.”
What if, instead, I believed that God works out all
things for the good? Even poor podcast prep.
I would have made the call with peace not frenzy (Success
doesn’t depend upon me), and curiosity not
distraction (What is God up to?). Everybody
would have had more fun. Including me.
Instead of cowering in thunderstorms, we can sing
in the rain as we wonder, “What great marvel is
God up to now?”
P. S. Plato urges us: “Be kind, for everyone you
meet is fighting a great battle.” If you are
breathing, you are under a spiritual assault. The
question we face is not, “Are we under attack?”
but, “What is the heart of the attack?”
And the only cure for spiritual warfare is found
in hearing Him. To nurture that conversational
relationship with your Father, I suggest you read
Hearing God in Conversation.
Williamson has published numerous articles
and has written two books.
He has a blog site, www.beliefsoftheheart.com,
and can be reached at
God in Conversation: How to Recognize
His Voice Everywhere, by Samuel C.
Williamson, published by Kregel
Publications, 2016, available from Amazon
illustration (c) by Kevin Carden