Many people do not know this, but there are five laws that govern the universe. These laws are timeless and unchanging. They cross from the physical to the spiritual. Ignore these laws at your own peril.
Law #1 – The Egg Law
When you are cooking and your recipe calls for multiple eggs, if you have a bad egg it will be cracked into your ingredients in such an order so that the eggs left in your container will be what is required by the recipe minus one. Written as a mathematical equation, it reads: E-C = R-1, where E=eggs originally in container, C=eggs cracked, and R=eggs in recipe. This is a heinous natural law that leads to the gradual destruction of the world due to the carbon being emitted by so many additional trips to the grocery store to buy a dozen eggs of which you only need one. Some have tried to minimize the effects of this law by cracking their eggs into a separate bowl before adding them to their ingredients. While wise, this only serves to save the other ingredients. You are still left one egg short.
Law #2 – The Parking Law
If a parking lot is filled with cars and there are only you and one other person walking to their cars, the other person’s car will be parked directly next to yours, on the driver’s side. There are variations to this law – many having to do with weather conditions. Often the other person will have a family who will begin their loading process just before you can access your door. A particularly odious twist is when that car next to yours is a mini-van with multiple children who need to have their multiple tushes buckled into multiple car seats. It’s a cruel world out there.
Law #3 – The Barbecue Law
This one is short and simple. The amount and timing of precipitation is in direct correlation to when I put meat on my barbecue. This is also sometimes known as the Car Wash Law.
Law #4 – The Tall Guy Law
When seated in a theater with your children, if a person enters who is over 6’5” tall, they will take a seat directly in front of your youngest child. This causes a frantic shifting of seats within your family, so that eventually your child will be enabled to see the movie while you spend the next 90 minutes contemplating male pattern baldness.
For those of you who are in this Tall Guy range, may I make a small plea? Recognize that your height is both a blessing and a responsibility. If you choose to go to a theater, the back row has been specifically designed for those over 6’. Seriously, if everyone was under 6’, the builders of theaters probably wouldn’t even include a back row. This space was created for you, please take advantage of it. If the back-row has already been taken up by other behemoths, then please, before you sit down in the normal people seats, look at the family sitting behind you. If there are children, then sit in front of a parent. It will still mean that us short dudes will miss the movie, but at least we won’t have to crawl all over each other shifting seats. Thank you.
Law #5 – The Spiritual Attack Law
This is a proportional cause/effect law. The amount of effort that the devil puts toward knocking you down will be in exact proportion to the level of “rip” you give about your faith. If you don’t give a rip about your walk with Christ – living a life of spiritually apathetic, lethargic me-firstedness, then I have good news for you. You don’t have to worry at all about the devil seeking to tempt you or trip you up. Why would he waste his time or effort? You’re doing a fine job messing up without his help.
However, if you decide that you’re going to take your mission seriously – that you are going to strive for holiness, doing all you can to live a life of God-first-others-second-me-third-ishness – then fully expect the enemy to level both barrels at you and unload. Then you’ll be a real enemy to him, not just an enemy-in-name-only. When you are living a living sacrifice kind of life (Romans 12:1-2), God will use you to change the lives of those around you, and that’s something that the devil just can’t abide.
There are a few things that we need to know about this enemy. First, he is real. There is a belief that some have that the devil is just a literary embodiment of evil. He is a doctrinal creation developed to represent the antithesis of God. Every hero needs an enemy. For God to show what a Good Guy He is, He needed a bad guy. Enter Lucifer, Satan, the Angel of Light and/or Darkness. If you want a little more information on his reality, here’s a good, short article (https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-q-and-a/faith/what-the-bible-says-about-the-devil). Suffice it to say, Jesus would have been quite surprised if, after those 40 days of temptation in the wilderness, He realized that He had spent the whole time sparring with a literary device.
Second, the devil is not alone. He’s got his own band of merry little minions that are seeking to do his bidding. These minions are necessary because Satan is not omnipresent, nor is he omniscient. In other words, he can only be in one place at a time and he only knows what he can learn. So, when we talk about the devil attacking us, we are doing it in the collective sense. When we say that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei can’t wait to build some nuclear weapons to drop on Saudi Arabia and Israel, we don’t expect him to actually build the weapons and press the red launch button. He has minions to do that. However, as Supreme Leader of the nation, his is the twisted mind that is leading the process.
The Bible talks about these minions, saying our struggle is “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12) There have been books written and doctrines created and even more books written about what all these demonic forces look like. Admittedly, it’s kind of cool and scary to speculate about these things. However, we’ve got to make sure we remember that it is all just that – speculation. Biblical detail about the demonic hierarchy is frustratingly scant. Unfortunately, because it is intriguing, we can get so caught up in the trees of imagining titillating details that we miss the enemy in the forest. There are really only four things that you need to know about spiritual warfare: 1. The devil and his forces are real; 2. They are organized; 3. They are powerful; 4. They are coming to get you.
That’s a scary prospect, and we need to be scared. When the enemy attacks, we have no possibility for victory – alone. However, with God fighting our battle for us, we have no possibility for defeat.
That’s what leads us to the third and final truth that we need to know about our enemy – he doesn’t stand a chance against God. Creator will always defeat created. “The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) God wins – He always has and He always will. He just doesn’t get tired of winning.
God has readied us for this spiritual battle that we’re facing. Ephesians 6:10-17 compares these preparations to military armor. Using the images of belts, breastplates, shoes, shields, helmets, and swords, Paul encourages us with the pragmatic strength of truth, righteousness, the Gospel, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. These are the tools He has given us to withstand the onslaught of temptation, doubt, indifference, division, and all the other arrows that the enemy lobs at us. However, even with this wonderful armor that He has blessed us with, we can still very easily be squashed like a pill bug under a ten-speed.
This is why Paul immediately follows the armor list by saying, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18) This is not a new topic he’s bringing in. He’s not saying, “Okay, now that we’ve finished the spiritual warfare portion of this letter, let’s move on to prayer.” This is a continuation of the warfare discussion. He’s saying, “It’s great you’ve got this armor. Now step back and let God energize it for you.” Without the Holy Spirit empowering the belt and the breastplate and the shoes and the rest, we’d be like Luke Skywalker if he forgot to plug in his lightsaber overnight. When Darth showed up and Luke’s button-push just brought about a click instead of a “waaauuuugggghhhh”, he’d end up losing more than just an arm.
When we decide that we’re going to throw all in with God, we’re declaring war against the devil. We can’t take that lightly. Jesus’ brother, Jude, tells us that not even the archangel Michael dared go up against the devil without calling on the Lord’s help (Jude 8-10). The devil is a formidable enemy, but he is not all-powerful. We can have victory over him and his horde, because we’re not fighting the battle. As David told Goliath and his Philistine minions, “The battle is the LORD’S, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:47) We may not understand how spiritual warfare works. We may not have much more than a speculative view as to what the demonic hierarchy looks like. The beautiful thing is that we don’t need to know. All we need to do is pray and ask the Lord to give us the strength we need for the battle. He will take care of the rest.