Spiritual Warfare and Preaching

Whenever the subject of spiritual warfare is raised, there is a danger of falling into one of two extremes.  On the one hand it is easy to become paranoid, “seeing demons behind every tree” and giving Satan far more credit than he deserves.  On the other hand, it is easy to become overly relaxed and essentially treat the spiritual realm as having no effect on our lives.  Yet if there is a realm in which we should be aware of spiritual warfare, surely it is in the realm of preaching.  Surely the enemy would love to disrupt or damage the proclamation of God’s Word, the presentation of the Gospel, the encouragement of believers and the praise of God.

Today I am merely going to scratch the surface of the subject.  Then in future posts I’d like to consider it further.  First of all, spiritual warfare and the preacher.  What tactics does the enemy use against us as preachers?  Here are a few, perhaps you have others to add.  One danger constantly facing us is that of pride, which leads to a lack of dependency on God.  Then there is temptation to sin – how often do we face waves of temptation in areas of vulnerability while preparing to preach, or the day after we preach?  Perhaps distraction is a tool of the enemy – things thrown in our path that keep us for the task at hand.  Then there are lies, the discouragements meant to bring down our high goals with their high prayers.

I’d like to pursue this subject further, but let me ask you – what tactics does the enemy seem to employ in relation to your preaching ministry?

3 thoughts on “Spiritual Warfare and Preaching

  1. I think you’ve covered the bases: pride, sins, distractions, and outside attacks.

    One I’ve become aware of in recent years is pressure to preach froth. I’m talking about J. Osteen-ish, feel-good, my-life-oriented, application-point-centered preaching. Several years ago, for example, while I was preaching an expository series, one of our elders suggested I begin preaching about more relevant issues, such as assisted living. Bless his heart, the old boy meant well.

    There’s no limit to the number of good ideas we can preach: the benefits of sacrifice, self-discipline, physical exercise, good nutrition, hard work, good manners, etc. Unfortunately none of these good ideas is the Gospel. There’s a real risk that preachers will crowd out the Gospel in giving the crowd what many want.

    The great thing about this approach, from the Devil’s standpoint, is that it doesn’t involve any obvious sins on the preacher’s part, including pride. The preacher, after all, is humble enough to give the people what they want. The only problem, from a Christian standpoint, is that the Gospel is lost in a lake of good ideas. And so no one preaches the Gospel, and everyone’s happy.

    At least you can argue with heresy. What makes good idea preaching so insidious is that it’s all true. It’s just not the Truth.

  2. As a Preacher that often preaches and teaches on obedience, lifestyle, being an example for Jesus..I find the enemy gets upset. Often he uses those unsaved loved ones to distract us when we preach the Gospel without respect of being “popular” or “politically correct”. I’ve been attacked by family and friends because I refuse to bend on God’s Word. This often times brings a natural grief because it’s your family. But if we recognize his tricks and understand that it’s the sinful nature that causes them to attack us then we can prayerfully seek God for covering and guidance.
    The Pastor is the spiritual “head of the church house” or under Shepard, if the enemy can break down the head, the body will fall apart.

    We should constantly beware of the enemies tactics. I agree, pride is one of satan’s most popular but he uses anything and anyone he can against Preachers because his ultimate goal is to stop The Gospel..

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