Summary: We have been redeemed from the curse of law, we have been set free, but we still are in a constant battle.
We have been redeemed from the curse of law, we have been set free, but we still are in a constant battle. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
The text doesn’t say that we do not wrestle against anyone or anything, because we surely do. Why do we have to be in this battle? God has so chosen that we show the exceeding riches of His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus, as Ephesians 2:7 says. The devil doesn’t want that to happen, so he, and the demons under his authority, are constantly coming against us to try and keep us beat down, so that the riches of God’s kindness toward us in Christ Jesus doesn’t look like all that much to those who observe our lives. He also wants us to doubt the truth of it. Just this week, I learned about one of my dearest friends in ministry, whom I’ve not seen for some time, that he has gotten away from living for the Lord, saying that God disappointed him in a crucial area of his life. He went to a church and was treated very badly by some people who took issue with his preaching. The Lord never said that wouldn’t happen. As a matter of fact, He said that would happen. Here is what Jesus said: John 15:20-21: “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” The point is, the devil wants to destroy confidence in God’s goodness, whether it be your own or those who observe your life.
We are in a battle, but the war has been won from the beginning. Genesis 3:15 is a prophecy to that effect, where the Lord said to Satan, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” We are told in Genesis 1:26 that God gave man dominion over every living thing, and Psalm 8:6 says that God gave man dominion over the works of his hands and has put all things under his feet. When Adam and Eve sinned they gave that dominion over to Satan. That’s why John12:31 called “Satan the prince/ruler of this world.” That’s why in Luke 4:6-7, when Jesus was being tempted, and Satan said “all this is mine to give to whomsover I want to,” Jesus didn’t rebuke Him for lying. But, when Jesus came up out of that grave on the 3rd day, He had taken back everything that the devil stole. Jesus took the authority back, and in the Great Commission, He extended it to all believers. (Go ye therefore means go in My authority.)
It is not flesh and blood, in other words, it is not people. People may unwittingly become pawns in the hand of the enemy, but they, themselves, are not the enemy.
It is also not with the spirit of someone who has died and has returned to trouble you. Luke 16 tells us that there is a great gulf fixed and nobody can return from the dead to communicate with those on the earth. I don’t care what experience you think you’ve had, or what movies you’ve seen, let God be true and every man a liar.
These battles that we encounter are with the demonic forces of Satan. Surveys have shown that many people who say they believe in the reality of Satan, say they do not believe in the reality of demons. Satan is not omnipresent. Therefore, he uses the demonic host, i.e., demons, to cover the earth, tempting every individual. So, demons are real. Principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness all speak of this demonic host.
The Battle Ground
The text says it is “in high places,” which is more literally, “heavenly places.” This means in the spirit realm. It is the same word that was used in Ephesians 2:6, where the Bible says, “He made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Now, if the battle were only somewhere over the rainbow, we would not be all that bothered by it. I submit that since it means the spiritual realm, the battle takes place within us. It takes place in the deep recesses of our minds, the very seat of our soul and spirit.