War Against the Soul

by Stuart Briscoe

Benjamin Franklin in his famous “Poor Richard’s Almanac” commented that “A little neglect may breed mischief;” and illustrated his point by saying, “For want of a nail, the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, for want of a horse the rider was lost, for want of a rider the battle was lost, for want of a battle the kingdom was lost.”

His aphorism, as well as illustrating the dangers of a “little neglect,” can also be used to demonstrate that often the great battles are won or lost, not necessarily because of planning by the generals in the situation room, but by the effectiveness of the solitary man guarding his position and fulfilling his role on a lonely hill.

In recent years great emphasis has been placed on the fact that human beings live in an environment that is the scene of a titanic struggle between the forces of good and evil.

Paul taught the Ephesian Christians that they were not to regard their struggles purely from a human point of view, but to recognize, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12). 

At the time, Paul was in prison at the mercy of the Emperor awaiting trial which would eventually lead to his execution in Rome. So while he was struggling with the deprivations, indignities, discomforts and uncertainties of life in a Roman prison, he saw his struggle as more than that,  it was not all about flesh and blood. He recognized he was involved in spiritual warfare.

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