What, or who, do we fight against daily?
Many Christians might not know how to answer this question. Some will say that we are fighting against sin.
We are fighting against sin. We are fighting against our fallen nature.
But we are also fighting against a fallen angel and his minions.
The Church is fighting against the devil. So we understand what the Church is up against, here’s a quick crash course on what angels are according to the Bible.
Let’s just say Ezekiel, one of the biblical prophets, did not describe angels as flying babies:
“As I watched, a great stormwind came from the North, a large cloud with flashing fire, a bright glow all around it, and something like polished metal gleamed at the center of the fire. From within it figures in the likeness of four living creatures appeared. This is what they looked like: They were in human form, but each had four faces and four wings, and their legs were straight, the soles of their feet like the hooves of a bull, gleaming like polished brass. Human hands were under their wings, and the wings of one touched those of another.”Ezekiel 1:4-8, NABRE
Angels are also creatures distinct from humans. They were created by God as purely spiritual, so they have no bodies (Judges 13:19-21, Tobit 12:19). Theologians from St. Augustine to St. Thomas Aquinas debate on when angels were created. However, they appear to humans multiple times in the Old Testament.
Angels are purely spiritual. They aren’t restricted by the material brain. This makes them extremely intelligent.
What went wrong?
Nice job for still being here.
Now, angels in themselves aren’t bad. So what went wrong in the story? Why is the Church waging a spiritual war against demons?
In the Bible, not only did mankind fall when Eve ate the forbidden fruit, but some of the angels also fell. Revelation 12 discusses the fall of the angels by starting with the first instance of spiritual warfare:
“Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.”Revelation 12:7-9
After the devil and its angels are thrown out of Heaven, a loud voice says the following.
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
Now have salvation and power come,
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.
For the accuser of our brothers is cast out,
who accuses them before our God day and night.
They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
love for life did not deter them from death.
Therefore, rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them.
But woe to you, earth and sea,
for the Devil has come down to you in great fury,
for he knows he has but a short time.”Revelation 12:10-12, NABRE
Finally, St. Paul reminds us who our true opponents are.
“For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.”Ephesians 6:12, NABRE
the key to winning
Here’s the good news.
Christians are on the winning team!
Our general, Jesus Christ, won the war for us on the cross. He undertook horrific pain, beating, spitting, mockery, and Roman crucifixion to win us from the clutches of Hell.
I will present to you the paradox of the Christian journey, the key to winning the battle against the demons, the key that Jesus teaches us to use.
We win the battles not by our own power, but by surrender to God.
This is what makes the difference between losing, over and over again, and winning, one step at a time.
The demons lost the war the moment they chose to fall. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can fight without God.
Now, fellow soldier, meet your allies in this spiritual war.
Your Lord and Savior is fighting alongside you! When you are tempted to sin, surrender to Him. Pray, “O Jesus, I surrender myself to You; take care of everything.”
Truly surrendering to Jesus always gives you a way out of temptation. I know this from experience. No matter how irresistible the temptation is, it always works.
You cannot fight this war without Jesus. The other allies are optional.
The devil despises Mary because Jesus, who defeated Satan once and for all, came into the world through her. Ask her to pray for you when you are struggling.
However, you don’t have to believe in saint intercession to have Mary as an ally. Consider what she would do in a given situation to help avoid sin.
Go St. Michael!
The angels are powerful allies. They defeated their fallen foes through the power of God.
If you can, pray the St. Michael chaplet daily. This chaplet was approved by # in # and was given by St. Michael to Servant of God Antonia d’Astonac, a Carmelite nun. Those who pray the chaplet daily are believed to be assisted by the (good) angels throughout their lifetime.
…and The Saints
Ask your patron saint to pray for you. Look at their life as an example. If the idea of saints makes you uncomfortable, you could take moral lessons from their lives.
Conclusion: Why do we pretend satan doesn’t exist?
In 2008, the Barna Group conducted a survey by telephone. It asked 1,871 randomly selected adults who considered themselves to be Christians questions about their faith.
According to their survey, four out of ten self-described Christians believe that Satan does not exist.
In 2019, the general superior of the Jesuit order declared that the devil was not real.
The devil does exist. So do demons. Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert and prevailed over him. Jesus drove out demons from the possessed.
And one more thing: never think that God and the devil are equals. The devil and his minions are sentenced to eternal torment in Hell. General Jesus defeated Satan by His death on the cross. Think of it like a powerful, enormous Tyrannosaurus Rex vs a small stuffed animal, not two t-Rexes.
Jesus, Mary, the Church, the angels, and all the saints are on your side as a Christian.
Don’t let Satan drag you into Hell along with him.
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc. “Ezekiel 1.” Bible, my.bible.com/bible/463/EZK.1.NABRE Accessed 6 Aug. 2022.
Parente, Pascal. “Chapter One—The Angels.” The Angels, Scribd ed., Barakaldo Books, 2020, pp. 5–15.
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc. “Revelation 12.” Bible, my.bible.com/bible/463/REV.12.NABRE. Accessed 6 Aug. 2022.
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc. “Ephesians 6.” Bible, my.bible.com/bible/463/EPH.6.NABRE. Accessed 6 Aug. 2022.
Ball, Ann. Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices. Our Sunday Visitor, 2005, p. 123.
Barna Group. “Most American Christians Do Not Believe That Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist.” Barna, 13 Apr. 2009, http://www.barna.com/research/most-american-christians-do-not-believe-that-satan-or-the-holy-spirit-exist. Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.