Spiritual warfare is a subject that stirs opposite responses. At one extreme we can become paranoid and give Satan credit for every little difficulty, whether the forces of evil were involved or not. At the other extreme we can easily become complacent and act as if the enemy is impotent around someone such as me. Both extremes are unhelpful.
If there is any arena in which spiritual warfare may be a factor, surely it will be in relation to pulpit ministry. The enemy would love to disrupt or damage the proclamation of God’s Word, the presentation of the Gospel, or the encouragement of believers. The worship of God really does get under the enemy’s skin.
So what tactics does the enemy use against us preachers? Here are a few to prayerfully consider:
- Pride. Visible, respected, influential . . . pride is an ever present trap for the preacher. Without fanfare it slips in, we start to believe our self-fanfare and before you know it, we live with a painful lack of dependency on God.
- Temptation. During preparation, perhaps during interactions at church, perhaps the day after. Waves of temptation can feel relentless. Pride, lust, anger, discouragement, etc.
- Distraction. Not every interruption is an overt spiritual attack, but it is amazing how often we can face a pastoral or family crisis at the most inopportune moment.
- Accusations. It doesn’t take much in the way of accusation or lies from the enemy to wear down our heaven-high prayers and lofty ambitions for a sermon.
What attacks do you recognize to be spiritual in nature? When do you often feel attacked?