I’ve done spiritual warfare before, but only through the glass darkly. A visit with some folks at Lighthouse Ministries International let some more light through. “…[God] raised [Jesus] from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenely realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given… And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:20,21 & 2:6). God has given us authority over Satan and his demons by placing us with Christ “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion.” This is evidenced in Luke 10, where Jesus sends out seventy-two “nobodies” and they return, exclaiming “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name” (v. 17). If they had authority, how much more so we, for whom Christ has already died and risen, and with the Holy Spirit! “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). When we rebuke the devil, we should speak directly to him or his demons, as Christ did. For example: “Satan, I have been given authority by God the Father through my Lord Jesus Christ over you and your demons. In the name of Jesus, I command that you leave Sandra. I bind your tongues, that you may no longer speak lies to her. I bind your hands that you may no longer tear her down. I cast you out, that you may no longer hold her captive. I command you to leave her alone… NOW!” We are to be confident in our authority in Christ. This is a faith issue. I’m currently going to war in my own life to defeat my pet Lizard.

I must choose which nuggets from The Divine Conspiracy to blog each day, though I wish to choose them all. Today I am struck by how Willard once again shows a teaching of Jesus to be of immense practical – not just “righteous” – value. Let’s say someone is angry with me, and slaps me. I turn the other cheek, and what can he do? Keep on slapping? For how long? “Our tormentors… count on our resistance and anger to support their continuation of [persecution]. If we respond as Jesus indicates, the force of their own actions pulls them off their stance and forces them to question what kind of people they are.” The angry reaction they were counting on to justify and fuel their continued anger did not arrive. “As anger feeds on anger, so patient goodness will normally deflate it.” Of course, “turn the other cheek” is not a law, but rather an illustration of Kingdom living. We must make a decision in all circumstances, and not pass blame for our actions and their consequences to God by rigorously following his principles as dogmatic law.

No, I haven’t been honestly trying Schwab’s practice yet.