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The Battle

21 February 2010 88 Comments

Spiritual Warfare.  Most Christians in the West hear that term and instantly think of crazy over-the-top charismatics, or some witchdoctor sitting in a smoke hut communing with the dead.  However, here in Africa, Spiritual Warfare is common jargon among Christians because it is something that they face literally everyday.  Here, it is more common for people to seek the help of a witchdoctor than it is to see a medical practitioner.  People face spirits everyday.  This week we have been working in Bugobi, Uganda, a small bush town.  Within a few hours of being here we learned that it is a common practice for parents to commit their newborns to the service of demons within hours of their birth.  Children wear amulets and bracelets demonstrating their pledge to evil spirits.  There are also people who practice child sacrifices in order to appease the evil spirits.  Literally everyone is walking around under spiritual oppression and the Christians are bright lights amidst a very dark environment.  The people here worship demons and believe that any health and wealth they have comes from them.  In as much as the people worship demons, they are also terrified of evil spirits.  They have many rituals and practices in order to keep the evil spirits away.  They are in such bondage and deception that they do not realize that the thing they worship is the very thing they are afraid of.

As Christians, we have to daily put on the armor of God.  We are in the middle of a battle here, and at times we can literally feel the enemy at our heals.  The first night in Uganda, we knew something was wrong.  Many of us were plagued by the spirit of fear and were oppressed at night.  Last week I slept a total of about five hours.  We could hear people screaming at night, and their chants drifted in with the wind.  The enemy was fighting very hard to get us to leave.  However, we are not children of the darkness, but children of the Light. (1 John 1).  We don’t have to walk in fear because there is no fear in Christ Jesus.  I never thought I would become one of “those” Christians, but I constantly find myself rebuking the spirit of fear.  Yesterday I found myself casting the spirit of infirmity off of my teammate who was feeling sick.  It is common for me to begin a praying for someone on the street, “I rebuke every spirit of witchcraft on this person, you have no power here.”  In Africa, everything is spiritual.  Illnesses are very rarely just illnesses, depression is very rarely just because some one is having a bad day.  Oppressive spirits run rampant here and we can see as people walk around plagued by them.  It makes me wonder how much of the Western world is under a different sort of spirit.  Here, things are so active because the people are used to that culture.  In the West, it seems as though people are perfectly content under their lethargy and spiritual dryness.

As much as it kills my skeptical, Western spirit to admit it – Spiritual Warfare is alive and well…both in the bush of Africa, and in the business world in America.  Though we are battling different spirits, evil forces are at work all over the world.  Jesus even says, “If you are not for me, you are against me.”  People all over the world are buying into the lies of the enemy and following evil spirits rather than the Truth and Light.  As Christians, it is vital for us to not only be equipped for battle, but to actually fight.  God says that he has given us the keys to the kingdom, and he has dressed us for battle.  The battle is his, and he has put us on the front lines.

Whether we are casting out demons in Africa or battling spiritual deadness in America…the battle is alive and well.
It is time for the Church to rise up and fight.


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