demons and spiritual warfare

Do you ever think about spiritual warfare? I mean really think about it? Do you think the forces of good and evil are warring somewhere in another dimension where they can see and influence us but we can’t see them? Do you believe the biblical accounts of angels and demons and satan? What about Hebrews 12:1 “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” And if we can entertain angels without knowing it, might we also entertain demons without knowing it?

Is it just me, or is this a subject that none of us discuss because it makes all of us at least a little uncomfortable? How many of you have heard a sermon about this at church? If you’re from a protestant non-charismatic background (like me), how many of you have heard sermons about this at all? Except maybe in passing as something that occurred back in Old Testament times.

I’ve had the opportunity to read two books recently, both on the subject of demonology. One non-fiction, one fiction. One for class, one for fun. Both excellent.

rainforestThe first is Spirit of the Rainforest: A Yanomamo Shaman’s Story by Mark Ritchie. This book is not for everyone, but I enjoyed it because it transported me back to college when I was studying for a BA in Anthropology. Why anthropology? Because I love learning about other cultures. The way we think is largely based on what we were taught and the rules of the society where we live. If you grew up in a different time or culture with different parents, friends, and experiences, would you be the same person you are today? Seems to me the answer is no. But it’s an interesting question, isn’t it?

The Yanomamo are something of a time-warp culture. They are an aboriginal group of South American Indians who had no contact with the outside world until the latter half of the twentieth century. Their culture is violent and is based on retaliation so they are always at war. And they are poor, the kind of poor where life is a struggle just to survive.

What is most remarkable about this book is the chronicle of spiritual warfare from the Yanamamö perspective. With their strong belief in the spirit world, the Yanamamö interact with spirits in a way that Western society does not. The authenticity of the shaman’s stories allows the reader to learn about Yanamamö culture and the impetus for their actions. And you don’t have to read that far into it before you realize that the impetus for their actions is demonic in origin. Fascinating stuff. And amazing when God enters the picture.

The book I just finished today, I highly recommend if you haven’t already read it. Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee. What a ride!

At first, the book seems simple enough. There’s this demon and he wants to tell his story. To explain his view. To explain his perspective. And you almost feel sorry for him.

Then you’ve got the main character, the person the demon is telling his story to. The one that becomes obsessed with it so that this memoir becomes the most important thing he’s doing with his life.

And then you want to know how it all ends.

And when it finally ends, then you see what the story was really about. And THAT is why this is one of the most brilliant and well-told books I’ve ever read.

I don’t want to tell much more about the story than that because I don’t want to ruin it for you if you haven’t read it. But it is multi-faceted and will change the way you think about demonic influence, much the same way that C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters does.

SO, SPIRITUAL WARFARE. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

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9 thoughts on “demons and spiritual warfare

  1. You bring up a good point, Lisa. I don’t think most pastors would want to bring up Spiritual Warfare because it is a tough subject – something people need to hear but maybe aren’t prepared for how to deal with it?

    I read 3 books on the topic of Spiritual Warfare last year that ultimately changed how I look at LIFE and the VEIL. Not only is there GOD and the Angels in the invisible realm but the enemy and his minions as well. As a writer, the books have ultimately changed how I view my purpose on earth as a child of GOD and my connection to GOD’s Word. If you’d like to know what those books are I’ll be glad to share the titles. I also know of a fellow author who is a published Christian writer and he did a marvelous job creating a series of books that target the subject of Spiritual Warfare.

    I had wanted to write fiction based Christian Adventure or SW myself, but if you’ve read my blog post from last week….I really don’t know where God is taking me on my writing journey. All I can do is wait, see and remain in prayer for HIS leading.

    -Kenzel

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    1. I am interested in the books you read, and the Spiritual Warfare series you mentioned. I just finished James L. Rubart’s Spirit Bridge, and that’s on fictionalized spiritual warfare as well.

      I’m at a similar place to you with my writing. Hang in there and keep focusing on God. (Which it looks like you’ve already decided to do!)

      -Lisa

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      1. The books I read were: When The Enemy Strikes (Charles Stanley), Rules of Engagement (Cindy Trimm), and Purging Your House – Pruning Your Family Tree (Perry Stone). I think I also read Exposing Satan’s Playbook (Also by P. Stone).

        The fiction series I referred to is The Freedom Series by W. Franklin Lattimore. The first book is Freedom Fight. It was published a year ago but is about to be re-released. The follow ups (which as I understand are not officially published as yet) are Freedom War and Freedom Zone. They were my first foray into SW fiction. I will have to look into Spirit Bridge but I’m cautious about what books I read that delve into this genre.

        Back when I thought I was going to write a novel I believed it would be a fiction Christian Adventure. After I read the above topics on SW I realized I might need to at least include the sw aspect. And yes – you are correct. I’m going to wait on God for HIS direction.

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  2. I haven’t read either of these books, but I have heard of Tosca Lee’s. The Bible is very clear that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, etc. Jesus often delivered people from demons. I’ve personally had much teaching on the subject over the course of my life.

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    1. Susan – what is your religious background? Are you perchance charismatic? I could see charismatic churches being more open to teaching on spiritual warfare than non-charismatic churches.

      -Lisa

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  3. I remember reading Peretti’s first two books years & years ago and it being the first time I had ever thought of spiritual warfare in such a way.

    Spirit of the Rainforest sounds very interesting. The Yanomamo sound a bit like the Huaorani (Waodani). Have you read or heard of And The Word Came With Power by Joanne Shetler? It had some amazing spiritual warfare in it, also. Definitely something western society tends to downplay or try to avoid thinking about sometimes. I remember discussing this topic in my religious belief systems class (for my BS in cross-cultural studies).

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  4. I want to read both of these books. I’m Baptist and my pastor does speak about demons and we talk about them in Sunday School, but I agree most Protestant churches don’t talk about demons.

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