As Christians, we'll often hear the word "warfare" as we interact with other believers. After a while, you'll hear well-meaning saints say, "That's the devil!" or "That's warfare happening right now." Have you ever wondered if the situation truly is something spiritual? Let's point out a few items.
1 - Understand that there is an unseen spiritual world
First, you might be surprised at the growing number of proclaimed Christians who do not understand just how spiritual the world around them really can be. From TV programs and social media content to newspapers and music, much of the world that tries to feed our minds have spiritual motivators. Even those who want to influence us that there is not a spiritual world are still, ironically, engaging in spiritual matters in their denial of spiritual matters.
Angels, demons, miracles, the universe, sun, moon, stars, politics, media, unexplained phenomena, and more are all part of what can be influenced and utilized by the spiritual components of our lives. While religions differ across the globe, they at least agree that spirituality has a part to play in humanity. Biblically, we know that our Savior didn't come just to shake hands with a few people and do some miracles. His entire motive for the plan of salvation was due to humanity's declined spiritual state. The world we can't see fights for the influence of what we can see. We know someone has a role in this process.
2 - Satan and his kingdom have a role
Satan, whose name means "adversary," is the head of the fallen angels who decided to go against God and were cast out of heaven. Scripturally, we cannot deny that while we as humans already have our issues battling sin, he is very much involved in humanity's decline. He bargains with God to hurt Job, he "stood up" in King David to make him take an ungodly census, He's the noted tempter of the Savior, his kingdom hindered the arrival of Daniel's angelic answers to prayers, and he is acknowledged as being Judas' influence in Jesus' betrayal.
And that's only what's been written; there's no telling how involved he is in the world beyond what we know in scripture. But what we do know is that he's here to steal, kill, and destroy, and he desires to keep us spiritually blind so we won't fulfill our God-given purposes. Denying spiritual evil is to deny the need for spiritual good. The consistency of spiritual war is part of biblical truth and must be respected.
3 - Not everything is spiritual
Now, here's the part that gets spiritual people in trouble. Being "over-spiritual" is the concept that makes Christians look crazy at the most inopportune times. That's why the scriptures also tell us that time and chance happen to us all and that it rains on the just and the unjust because some stuff is part of a moving world. A child scraping his knee while skateboarding is not spiritual; he just needs more practice. Not every car accident is spiritual; we need to stop texting while driving. Not every marital argument is spiritual; we are learning to communicate. Not every internet outage is spiritual; someone accidentally cut the cable wire. You get my point.
While we should be spiritually aware, not everything is spiritual. We are humans learning to live and grow in a changing world. While we are spiritually influenced in many cases, much more is simply people making good or bad decisions with the information and opportunities they have on hand. So how can we tell? There's a major factor to consider.
4 - The key factor to consider regarding warfare is timing
Despite what may be a popular belief that some of everything is warfare, the reality simply is that our adversary is too strategic to be random. A fender bender that stops traffic on a random Wednesday may be inconvenient but not warfare. However, if you're on the way to an assignment to pray for the city against satanic plots, that may be warfare. Your electricity going out may be inconvenient, but if it goes out in the middle of a deliverance service, that may be warfare.
Warfare is here for a set of purposes - To hinder, stall, halt, and eradicate the Kingdom of God and its advancement in the Earth. If you're not on assignment for the Lord, what's the point of warring with you? But if you're sent to help set people free and bring them to Jesus, warfare may be a normal part of your day.
Warfare is a hindrance to Kingdom advancement, but if it does nothing else, it confirms that you are on the right track and you are a threat to the enemy. Stay in prayer, discern wisely, keep pressing towards your purpose, and watch God get the victory through your life.