There are two equally extreme and dangerous attitudes about spiritual warfare.
One extreme spends so much time on the devil and what he is doing in the world that people end up being more impressed with him and more engaged in imagined direct combat than is healthy for any believer.
The other extreme, more typical for the western world than we care to admit, knows nothing about the enemy’s strategies and pretends we automatically have some sort of immunity from battle.
The Christian life is a battle and is lived in the vortex of Satan’s determined efforts to steal, kill and destroy everything good and godly about you and yours.
There is no immunity from that battle.
No matter how righteous you are.
“After all that Hezekiah has so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah” (2 Chronicles 32:1).
And when you look back through the previous chapters, Hezekiah has done a lot of good:
• Reopens the doors of the Temple.
• Purifies the Temple.
• Reconstitutes priests and Levites.
• Reestablishes all sacrifices.
• Calls the nation to Passover.
• Destroys all pagan altars.
• Did right before the Lord his God.
Surely all that should have earned Hezekiah some immunity from the enemy?
In the very next verse, Sennacherib invades Judah and sets up his headquarters in Lachish, one of Judah’s best fortified cities, next to Jerusalem.
Fortunately for Israel, Hezekiah’s first response is to go to Temple, in a posture of brokenness and humility to pray. He then asks Isaiah for a word from the Lord. His third response is to go into the House of the Lord and, in prayer, spread out the enemy’s letter of accusation before the Lord.
And God heard.
And God delivered.
None of us are ever immune from the enemy’s attack. So, it would be wise of us to always be vigilant…like Dean Sherman says, “To be aware of the devil’s schemes, but impressed with God. And don’t ever get those two confused.”
While remaining vigilant, put on the armor of faith, listed in Ephesians 6, so that after all, you may be able to stay standing.
But remember, the armor is a corporate activity. Ephesians is written to a local church, not an isolated individual.
The weapons are more effective in close relationship with the saints of a local church.
In the words of Ignatius of Antioch, written only some 70 years after Christ’s ascension, “Make every effort to come together more frequently to give thanks and glory to God. For when you meet together frequently, the powers of Satan are overthrown and his destructiveness is nullified by the unanimity of your faith.”