I do not remember at any time in my early years being taught about Spiritual Warfare. And, although it is a popular topic today, I still find myself enormously uncomfortable with the subject. It may be the terminology that really gets to me: Spiritual Warfare harkens to pictures of Milton or Hesiod with the hosts of heaven riding down in chariots to meet the armies of darkness and route them back into a fiery abyss. To draw upon such images in considering my own life would be to let imagination overwhelm my reality. I am not suggesting, however, that no cosmic conflict exists. There is certainly a struggle for power in this world, but our pop-cultural “demonization” of every facet of evil may have blinded us to the Powers that are at work in our daily lives.
In this world there are certainly many places one can go and encounter the evidence of very immediately manifested spiritual powers, but I would suggest that, in many of our lives, the Powers and Principalities of this world might work in a far more subtle and dangerous way. A deceptive way.
Walter Wink contends that the Powers that Be work best in secret, when those whom they might deceive are convinced that all is as it should be. They would seek to convince us that “the system” is the best way and we must maintain the status quo, the Institution. The Principalities and Powers can often be behind the Office, the University, the State, the Family. They are the forces which we have such a difficult time recognizing or naming, but we feel their demands for allegiance and hear their siren songs. It is Christ who unmasks the Powers and displays them for what they are: fallen, in rebellion to the Kingdom of God. Within the next few posts, I would like to comment on the ways in which I am beginning to see these forces unveiled in my own life. For an expanded reflection on the Principalities and Powers click here
The next post in the series can be found- The Powers that Be: Connectivity