I’ve studied and written about spiritual warfare for more than 25 years, but I never dreamed I’d be considering the enemy’s schemes in a global pandemic. That’s where we are, though, and here’s where I see the enemy’s arrows hitting home:
- Fearful worry. Fear can be crippling—and fear of the unknown can be just as disconcerting as fear of the known. Our God, though, doesn’t give us a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7). We must be wise in our decisions, but it’s the enemy who captures us with anxiety and trepidation.
- Addictive habits. Stress often causes us to turn in the wrong direction for diversions. I’m particularly concerned about pornography, as it’s simply easier to chase that desire when you’re stuck in your house and separated from people.
- Marriage strife. The same enemy who influenced Adam to turn on Eve in Genesis 3 is still at work today (see this post to review how he often attacks). Now forced to spend all their time together, some struggling couples are that much more in trouble. Sadly, their children often bear the brunt of their division.
- Pastoral discouragement. This battle has typically been a recurrent one for many pastors (see the posts here and here on Christians and the “dark night of the soul”). This crisis, though, is forcing us to face situations we’ve never faced—like doing church without meeting together. Pastors who worry about their church’s future can easily fall into discouragement.
- Selfish arrogance. At the risk of offending someone, that’s how I view those who simply ignore the guidelines and potentially expose themselves and others to this virus. This situation has required us to deny ourselves—and that’s part of what it means to be Christian.
- Isolated Christianity. My experience is that most churches are rallying together, even while they’re meeting virtually. I’m not naïve, though, to assume that the enemy won’t take advantage of the length of this crisis. Some will fall away from their church—and isolation will make them more vulnerable to the enemy.
- Evangelistic apathy. Frankly, most believers have been dealing with this reality since before this situation. I recognize that many believers see this crisis as an opportunity to share the gospel (and I agree), but seeing the opportunity and taking advantage of it to talk to a non-believer are two different things. The enemy is not alarmed when we talk only among other believers about the opportunity we now have.
I’ve previously challenged us to be sure to pray for our pastors, who are particularly in the sights of the enemy. Take time today to pray for:
- Your pastor(s) and other ministers in your area
- At least one non-believer
- An older believer who may be among the most vulnerable
- Medical workers around the world
- Government leaders