"How to Meet the Enemy" (Excerpt) By John MacArthur
C.S. Lewis wrote:
There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall
about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is
to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.
They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a
materialist or magician with the same delight (The Screwtape Letters
[New York: Macmillan, 1961], p. 3).
Lewis was right.
Unfortunately, strands of both errors exist in today’s church. On the
one hand, some Christians are materialists who fail to understand that
the Christian life is a fierce spiritual battle.
One reason for a materialistic attitude is indifference. When your
world is an easy place to live in, it’s easy to forget that a spiritual
war is going on. It’s easy to forget that millions of souls in the world
are in the grasp of Satan. And it’s easy to forget that Satan always
takes advantage of Christians who are lethargic, indolent, or
spiritually stagnant. He loves it when Christians try to hole up in a
sanctified environment instead of fighting the battle. Yet that is
precisely the agenda of many churches today. People are trying
desperately to enjoy fellowship while remaining indifferent to the
Another reason for being materialistic is worldliness.
Too many Christians crave earthly, temporal pleasures instead of the
rigors of warfare. They seek a life of ease—a life of entertainment and
activities, never realizing their role in the battle of the ages. A
believer who invests his or her time and resources in mundane things
won’t understand spiritual warfare.
A Christian who had a
deficient view of God’s grace said to me, “The wonderful thing about the
Christian life is that basically you can do whatever you want.”
Believers are not handed a free pass to do what they want. They are
called to obey Christ, the Commander-in-Chief. In Matthew 16:24–25,
Jesus raised this call: “If any one wishes to come after Me, let him
deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes
to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake
shall find it.”