C.S. Lewis says this in his introduction to ‘The Screwtape Letters’:
‘There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors’.
Corrie Ten Boom, who had a significant international ministry after the second world war, says this in her booklet ‘Defeated Enemies’:
‘Having faced fights “not with flesh and blood, but with spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil” (Eph 6:12 Phillips) in prisons during the war and, later when travelling all over the world; and having met so many people – even dear servants of the Lord – who, though surrounded by the powers of darkness, the devil and the demons, do not recognise them, and do not know how to deal with them, I decided, at the request of a missionary friend, to write down what I have learned, as a help for other children of God’.
We do have an enemy to contend with. The apostle Peter warns us that we need to be self-controlled and alert because “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8,9.The apostle Paul tells us:
“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
Demons have a real personality.
They have knowledge Mark 1:23,24
They can feel James 2:19
They have a will Matthew 12:44
They can speak Acts 19:15
These are some of the things they can do:
Entice James 1:14
Deceive 1 Timothy 4:1,2
Enslave Romans 8:15
Drive, compel Luke 8:29
Defile Titus 1:15
They can attack:
- Through the mind – e.g. unbelief, indecision, false teaching
- Through the will – e.g. pride, stubbornness
- Through the emotions – e.g. resentment, anger, hatred, fear
- From the outside – when we must resist them James 4:7, 1 Peter 5,8,9
- From the inside – when they need casting out Matthew 8:16, Mark 1:39