// on spiritual warfare and The Usual Suspects

I am sitting in Starbucks with a vanilla latte, listening to Ray LaMontagne. All thoughts of a spiritual realm seem a long way away; a little bit strange, honestly, and certainly not something to be talked about in polite company…

Of course, that’s not to say that it’s not there.

It was Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects who uttered the memorable statement that “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”, and me, i couldn’t agree with him more. I never used to believe in spiritual warfare, not really- i thought it was just a Greek way of explaining the ways of the world, something we had to get through before we could start interpreting the Bible properly. But, whether i like it or not, the last few months have made me believe in spiritual warfare…

Because I simply can’t explain everything away rationally. I can’t explain why i, along with a lot of others, find their minds racing when they step out of Oxford station. I don’t know why men who have seen African revivals find it a challenge to pray in this city. And I can’t account for what it is that just caused me to confront one of my colleagues about a whole series of issues that didn’t actually exist. I don’t have answers for the issues that won’t get sorted, for the people who just seem like they can’t be fixed, even though we have a God who declares “behold, I am making all things new!”

You can call me crazy for saying all of this, and i wouldn’t entirely blame you, but i do know this much- if there’s a spiritual realm, and a God who speaks and works within that, then there’s damn sure a dark side to it too.

Sure, i know that, as Peter wrote, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world”, too, and that’s a great encouragement. But it’s also a profoundly discomforting realisation that there is something out there that does not want you to be speaking up and working out the Kingdom of God here, don’t you think? That Paul wasn’t kidding when he wrote of how “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”…

Friends, i don’t say any of this lightly, or even easily. I can’t explain it well, i don’t fully understand it, and honestly, i always thought it was for crazy people. But i know what i’ve seen and what i’ve experienced- and not just me, either- and i’m all the more prepared to pray like i’m in the midst of a battle. Rationally, it may not seem to make sense, but neglect it at your own risk.

Like i say, “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”.

It’s also the most dangerous.

Let’s not be blinded by the lies. There is more going on here than meets the eye.

Posted by Wordmobi

  1. and as I work my way through book 2 of Pullman’s trilogy, I have a feeling I know why he chose Oxford for his backdrop…

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