Why It’s More Important Than Ever for Every Christian to be a Practicing Student of the Bible (Part 2)

Mark Furlong
4 min readJan 24, 2024

The fundamental issues in winning spiritual battles.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The Bible emphasizes the reality that we are in a spiritual war.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:11–12, ESV)

In God’s beautiful world, there is also darkness and spiritual forces of evil. All of us have experienced its results, and every Christian is aware of the ongoing battle with it.


This passage also makes clear the devil has schemes.He has intentional plans and tactics he uses to rule our lives. The temptations and battles we face are not random; there is a strategy behind them.

Though the enemy has many ways to tempt us and attack us, I’ve found in my life and in helping others, if I get to some of the core temptations, core issues, I have a better chance of winning the battle.

It clears out the fog, the confusion, and I know better how to respond and win.

The Enemy’s Most Fundamental Goals and Tactics

Satan’s goal is to be God. He wants to rule, especially on this planet.

To a limited degree, he has been successful. 2 Corinthians 4:4, ESV calls Satan “the god of this world” who “has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Satan has the power to actually blind the minds of unbelievers so they will not see how things actually are. It amazes me how people can speak with great conviction, absolute nonsense. They convince themselves that what they are saying is right.

The most important “blinding” is keeping people “from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God.” Seeing Jesus as Lord and Savior, then receiving Him as such is the most important step a human can ever take.

If we don’t see Jesus and the Gospel, we can’t receive it. We have to “see” it in our minds and heart before we can experience it. But it does not stop there.

Not God’s Will

So much of what is happening in our world does not express God’s nature, plans, or desires. Murder, injustice, abuse, hatred, depression and every other form of “darkness” are not God’s will. 1 John 1:5b, ESV says, “God is light and in Him there is no darkness.”

Jesus also said “The thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy”, whereas He came that we would have life and have it abundantly, in abundance, overflowing.” (John 10:10, ESV)

Our creation reflects the image of God, and Satan harbors hatred towards Him. Satan's desires revolve around ruling and his nature embodies that of a liar, deceiver, thief, killer, and destroyer.

The Most Important Battlefield

What is essential to realize in order to win these spiritual battles against an experienced, ruthless enemy is the most important battlefield is our minds.

Not all of Satan’s attacks are in the mind. Jesus attributed much sickness to Satan and much of his ministry was getting demons off of and out of people.

Not all temptation is a direct demonic attack. We deal with the force of sin every day. James 1 says that our own lusts tempt us. Not every temptation is a direct demonic attack. Sin in the world and sin in us give us plenty of temptation.

But at the root of it all, is based on a specific strategy Satan used successfully in the Garden of Eden and that he still uses today.

It is basically a truth war.

What we believe to be true is the most important factor in how we will think and act.

God obviously knows this, so does Satan.

Satan knows if he can deceive us, blind us,so that we do not believe God’s words are true, that instead we believe contrary words to be true; he has won the battle (at least, until we repent and believe God’s words).

Jesus said it so clearly, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32, ESV) What kind of truth is Jesus talking about? It’s found in the previous verse,

John 8:31–32,, ESV:“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

Truth and Freedom

God’s word is truth. God’s truth sets us free. The more we have Jesus’ words abiding in us, remaining in us, the freer we will be.

Satan’s words are lies which result in destruction and spiritual slavery..

In part 3, we’ll dig into Luke 8 and in Part 4, Genesis 3, the original temptation, and learn how to overcome these deceptive tactics.

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Mark Furlong

Author, Coach Helping busy, active people know and live ALL of God’s purposes for their life: the COMPLETE life. www.TruVineMission.com,