A Guide to Spiritual Warfare for Missionaries with Dean Sherman

Apr 24, 2024

 

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Spiritual warfare. It’s a topic, that for most people, either gets them fired up and ready to battle the enemy, or it leaves a bad taste in their mouth because of how they’ve been taught or seen it used. Whether you love it or are repelled by it, there’s no denying spiritual warfare is real, and Scripture calls us to it. And as missionaries, we especially cannot ignore it. We are all fighting battles for those we serve, for the countries and cities we are called to, and for our teammates, families, and friends.

So, what is a healthy approach to this complex topic? How do we explain spiritual warfare to our kids and others in a way that will empower them instead of scare them?

For the last 40 years, Dean Sherman has been a leader in YWAM and worldwide, is a recognized authority on spiritual warfare. He gives missionaries a Scripturally-based, easy-to-understand approach to spiritual warfare that will encourage and embolden you to fight from a place of peace and confidence in Christ.

 

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Last Week’s Episode

What Are Missionaries Dealing With That We Aren’t Talking About? with Amy Young

 

Transcript From the Episode

[00:00:00] Stephanie: Welcome to this episode of the Modern Day Missionaries podcast. I am so pleased to have Dean Sherman with us today. Thanks for joining us, Dean.

Dean: Well, thank you for having me.

Stephanie: Dean is a respected international Bible teacher. He’s ministered in more than 40 countries. He is a legend in YWAM circles. If you’re in YWAM, you know who Dean is. He’s an OG, as they say, which does not mean old guy, like I used to think. My daughter corrected me. That’s original gangster, which means Dean is one of the originals.

He’s been around. He knows what’s going on. Um, he’s really a legend. He really is. He’s written books and created video and audio teachings that have been used at YWAM locations and churches around the world. And some of his biggest topics he’s taught on is relationships and spiritual warfare. One of his most well-known books is Spiritual Warfare for Every Christian, which is an excellent book if you have the chance to pick that up.

And that’s actually what we’re going to be talking about today, spiritual warfare, which is kind of a [00:01:00] heavy topic, a dicey topic. You know, Dean, I found, um, in my experience that people, um, often tend to fall on one extreme or the other. It’s either something they feel really passionate and comfortable with, or something that they feel very uncomfortable with, maybe due to experiences they’ve had in the past.

Is that something that you have found as well, Dean?

Dean: Yes, that’s, that’s exactly the issue. And one of the reasons that I’ve, uh, spent about 40 years speaking about it is because of those two extremes. 

Stephanie: Yeah. And Dean, you’ve been in missions work for 40 years. You said, how long have you been in missions work and what has been your involvement? 

Dean: I first joined YWAM in, uh, 1967. So if you can do mathematics, you can figure that out. 

Stephanie: A while, we’ll say a while. And so could you share a little bit with us how you define spiritual warfare?

Dean: well, spiritual warfare is, [00:02:00] uh, the, since the Garden of Eden, uh, the interface with the spirit world and the powers of darkness and what they’re trying to do to the human race and what they’re trying to do to Christians and, and, um, I think 1 Peter chapter 5, uh, kind of sums it up a little bit. Be sober and vigilant because, Yeah.

Yeah. Your adversary, your adversary the devil is prowling about like a rowing line. So it’s just the ongoing. Uh, interface with the enemy, trying to deceive, bind, uh, uh, accuse or hinder our function, uh, our function of life and our function of ministry. 

Stephanie: Yes. And so for like, we were talking about those two extremes a second ago, I didn’t even want to say extremes. People who are just very much love reading about it and love engaging it. And then people who maybe are a little bit more fearful about it. [00:03:00] Clearly, people who really feel passionate about spiritual warfare, they’re listening to you.

They’re hearing this topic and they are jazzed. What would you say to people who, um, maybe feel a little bit nervous about the topic of spiritual warfare or they’ve seen people use it in extreme ways and it’s really put them off? 

Dean: that’s, that’s why I felt like, uh, God wanted me to speak on this subject years ago was, uh, the only thing people knew about spiritual warfare were the scary things. And actually, the subject of spiritual warfare, the teaching on spiritual warfare, uh, in the way that I’ve felt like I should do it over the years, is actually to take away fear. Because, if we find that, um, Jesus has defeated the enemy, and that we have authority over him in the name of Jesus, uh, then we have less to fear than the, just having the unknown. [00:04:00] 

Stephanie: Yeah, absolutely. And what would you say, uh, about the people who, who would say to you? Dean, my life is, is going great. I don’t feel like I need to engage the topic of spiritual warfare. I, I’m, I’m a missionary. I’m on the field. I’m ministering. Why do I need to place more emphasis on talking about the devil or what’s going on in the unseen realm? 

Dean: Uh, no, I don’t think you do. I don’t think you have to be placing emphasis on it. I think the key to spiritual warfare is being aware. The big problem, particularly in the Western world, is staying ignorant of. And the Bible doesn’t, the Bible really doesn’t let us do that. You know, be strong, put on armor in Ephesians 6, is there, is just a reality of the whole of life. Spiritual warfare is a life [00:05:00] lived. It’s not just a…It’s not just a demon rebuked. 

Stephanie: Oh, that’s good. That’s really good. Well, and, and you bring up in those books and anybody does when you’re talking on the topic of spiritual warfare, the Ephesians verses of the armor of God. And there is so much scripture around it that we can’t. ignore it. You know, I think back to, I was a child of the eighties and I remember that’s when all the big Frank Peretti books came out.

I don’t know if you read any of those, This Present Darkness, all of them. I think probably most of us did who, who were Christians at that time. I remember reading those books and I could hardly sleep. I was so scared about all of it. And I think I learned about it a lot as a child. There were scenarios where I think we talked about more about the devil than we talked about Jesus sometimes.

And so my awareness was so high that I think I did live in a state of constant fear. [00:06:00] And I, I wonder sometimes people my age who maybe grew up in that. If all of a sudden you grew up and you become parents and you have kids and I kind of wanted to almost swing the pendulum honestly a little bit when my kids were little and I didn’t want to talk about it because I didn’t want my kids to be afraid.

I’d love to ask you and obviously, this has changed since then and I figured some things out, but I remember for years just not wanting to say anything about the devil. How can parents or people who work with young children talk to them about spiritual warfare in a way that educates them appropriately without putting fear in them? 

Dean: Well, you know, that would depend on who the parents are and who the children are. I think it I don’t think there’s a stereotype situation you parents know their own children and what they’re ready for and what they’re not ready for and what ages [00:07:00] they might be ready. And if you have several children, one child might be ready for something earlier than another one.

We all know that as parents. Um, but my answer to that probably is everything we know about spiritual warfare is in the Scriptures. So. then we would ask the question, when are we going to expose our children to the scripture? And, and if we expose our children to Scripture and they open the Bible one day and it says, uh, put on the armor of God because we’re fighting not against flesh and blood, but spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, you know, uh, then a kid, if, if the kid’s reading the Bible, the kid is exposed as it were.

Stephanie: Absolutely. And when they’ve got those tough questions, yeah, like you said. I like how you take into consideration that we [00:08:00] do all have different personalities and our kids have different personalities. So maybe the way that we talk to one child. is going to be different. We might just use different language or different ways of expressing it.

Dean, do you know? I think I scarred my kids when they were little. I’m going to tell on myself, I’m going to tell a story. So I started wanting to teach my kids everything about spiritual warfare. And I remember one day when my kids were, I think they were three and four years old. And I mean, real, real little.

And I remember I was home with them those first couple of years and my husband was, was at work and I was teaching them every Bible story I could. I wanted them to know Scripture. My heart was right where in the good place, but I remember I’d gotten to the point where my one daughter, she goes, Mom, you, you already told me all these stories.

I know them all. I know all these stories. They tell me in my church, you tell them to me. I know. Um, you know, she, and she got real sassy with me and I remember I took it as a throw-down. I was like, oh, oh, you know, all the [00:09:00] stories. Do you? And I remember I decided that was the day I was going to tell them about Revelation and I sat them both…I can picture it…Sat in the kitchen, put them both each on one knee, and I begin to tell them about the Mark of the Beast, uh, how they should not get tattooed, you know, yeah, 666, and if the Rapture happened and they didn’t go run to the hills, I mean, it was, I’m telling them about the, you know, the trumpet sounding and the Antichrist.

I went all into it. I remember they sat on my, on my lap and they just clung to me in sheer terror. And, and my husband came home that day and Danny walks in and my kids are like, Dad, Dad! And one is going, The beast! The other one’s like, The trumpet! And they’re just yelling. And he looks at me, he goes, what have you done? That was when I kind of swung the other way for a while.

And I, you know, I think. It’s so good to just even engage with other parents to it and figure out what are, what are the ways that we can all talk to our [00:10:00] kids about this in ways that are life-giving in ways that are healthy. I mean, we can scare when we talk about spiritual warfare. If we don’t do it the right way, we can scare kids.

We can scare each other, but it goes back to what you were just saying. This is not meant to scare us. We hear these things and sometimes feel scared. It’s not meant to scare us. It’s meant to empower us. 

You brought up in the book, I love Uh, what Watchman Nee says about the sit, walk, stand. Could you talk for that, about that for a minute? I think that’s so powerful. 

Dean: Well, that what that Watchman Knee book was actually a kind of a commentary on the book of Ephesians, and that’s how the book of Ephesians develops. And what we have to understand is that, um, the city of Ephesus was an occult capital. Everything we’ve ever heard about in shamanism and witchcraft and the occult and everything was going on in, uh, in Ephesus. So these, uh, these, uh, [00:11:00] Ephesians were all in that occult lifestyle and, and environment, and when they became Christians, they were frightened, they were, they were scared because their, their, uh, friends and relatives were putting curses on them because they had turned against, uh, Artemis, Diana, the god of the Ephesians, and the gods of the, the Greeks, and served this, Jesus Christ guy. 

And so, uh, one of the reasons the book of Ephesians was written, uh, was to take away the fear of the, uh, Ephesian believers. So he starts out in, in, uh, chapter one by saying you are seated with Christ in heavenly places far above all power, all authority, every demon of every level and every kind. You’re seated in Christ far above and chapter two, verse six, he says, you’re seated with Christ. [00:12:00] And then, uh, walk, he talks about the Christian walk. Uh, Ephesians 4 is a key scripture where it says don’t let the sun go down on your anger. And then if you read it in context, it’s talking about slander and unforgiveness and, and let him who steals, steal no more. Don’t let the sun go down on stuff like that.

And verse 27, he says, hey, because that gives place to the devil. In other words, your, your walk or the way you live, um, can open a door. So keep that door shut. And if you keep that door shut, you’re fine. And then stand, of course, uh, Uh, deals with the, uh, chapter six, Stand Firm Against the Schemes of the Devil. 

Stephanie: Yeah. And it’s empowering when you read it correctly in its context, when we know who we are in [00:13:00] Christ, what he has already done for us. We can, like you said, sit in that relaxed, confident posture. We can stand firm. We can walk in it. I love that. I love that. So I’m. Think of our missionaries who are listening and I know there are people serving in all different kinds of cultures all over the world and there are certain places that seem to encounter more spiritual warfare than others.

What have you seen in your experiences in other countries? 

Dean: Well, I was, I was really drawn into this subject, uh, when I was, uh, working in Papua New Guinea years ago, because, and that’s another thing that we should say about teaching your children. If you’re a, if you’re a missionary in a particular place in the world, you can’t [00:14:00] shield your children from the spiritual warfare aspect because witchcraft and, and curses and demonic stuff are going on all around you, or if you’re, if you’re a child growing up in that particular kind of environment or culture, uh, it’s not a, it’s not a matter of teaching your children about spiritual warfare.

It’s in their face from day one. And, um, you know, I’ve talked to, to, uh, pastors conferences in places like, places like West Africa and, and, uh, during the coffee breaks, these pastors would get me the Westerner aside and tell me their favorite voodoo stories of growing up as a child and seeing what they had to see in their villages. And so, if you’re in that kind of environment, uh, it’s just there. So, what you teach your children in those kinds of [00:15:00] circumstances is, look, Jesus has defeated all that stuff. We have authority over it. We’re covered in the armor of God. And God is, God is keeping us. 

You know, that was Jesus prayer in John 17, verse 15. He, he says, uh, Father, I pray not that you’ll take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. And then we have the Lord’s Prayer, you know, the model, I think, the model for all Christian praying, uh, Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, etc. And then that prayer ends with, lead us away from temptation. That’s spiritual warfare. And deliver us from the evil one. That’s, that’s a prayer, that’s a spiritual warfare part of the Lord’s Prayer. So that’s, that’s, yeah. 

So, if you’re in an environment where the [00:16:00] demonic powers are in your face, in the culture. Uh, there are very definitely more intense times in our lives when we’ll come under a greater attack than at other times, because it seems like that’s the way the enemy works. Jesus went into the wilderness, the devil came to him. After he withstood the temptations, it says the devil withdrew from him. And, uh, that seems to be the way it works. So, so that’s why Ephesians 6 says, uh, Take the full armor of God so that in the evil day. You may be able to stand and having done everything to stand firm. So, there must be evil days, and I don’t, I, I found that in my life that, you know, there have been times when the enemy comes in, to use the words of Isaiah, Isaiah, it’s, uh, the [00:17:00] enemy comes in like a flood, so you just, you just combat that. And, but the encouraging words of scripture is always. Your enemy that goes about as a roaring lion, resist him. out of here. That’s what Jesus said. Get behind me, Satan, was really in today’s language would be, get out of here, leave. And that’s, that’s all we’ve got to do. We have authority. 

Stephanie: But to your point, we can’t just sit. We have to stand. We have to engage in the fight. It’s not just saying it’s one and done because it is one and done. It’s not negating that, but it’s saying it’s one and done. And. It’s time to fight and stand up. I like how you brought up a second ago, that flood, because I was thinking about everybody’s always kind of wondering, like, how can I determine whether something is a spiritual battle or attack of the enemy versus a, a logical thing.

And I think there are people who lean more towards a [00:18:00] logical side and they’re going to always look for a logical answer. I think it’s part of how they’re wired sometimes or their past experience. And then there are people who see, as you mentioned, a devil under every rock, everything is a spirit.

Everything is a spirit. Um, and it’s talk a little bit for a second about differentiating between or being able to discern when something is a spiritual battle and attack of the enemy versus when it is just normal life. That’s really hard sometimes. 

Dean: You know, I don’t, I’m not sure we can always know. But the Holy Spirit, one of the functions of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to alert us to what’s going on in the spirit world. And one of the reasons I think it’s important to, to teach on this subject is so that people will be, [00:19:00] just be more aware. When 1 Peter 5 says, be, be sober and vigilant. It simply means, Hey, notice, be aware of where you’re living.

You’re living in this situation where the spirit world is constantly trying to affect you. So stop, look, and listen, you know, just start noticing things and then, uh, be more deliberate, resist him, you know, saying, stop, get out of here, enough of this, uh, but we won’t always know. It’s almost always combinations. It’s, it’s, it’s an extreme position to blame the devil for all negatives, like all tragedies and stuff. Some people just. Oh, that was the enemy that did that. Well, if the enemy was doing that, uh, unabated, [00:20:00] then we would be having constant travel strategy, constant tragedy and death. Okay. So. Yes, there are attacks of the enemy, but yes, there’s just life, 

Stephanie: Yeah. 

Dean: but when life happens and there’s negative things that people do to each other, uh, the enemy then tries to ride in on that. The entrance for the enemy is human sinning, basically. And so, if humans are sinning in a particular way, the enemy has an open door. Don’t give place to the devil. Close that. Don’t let the sun go down on. So close that with repentance and forgiveness. Keep that door closed, but because the world is full of sinning people, or what we call a fallen world, there’s open [00:21:00] doors, so the enemy’s functioning continually. So it’s often a combination of human Humans doing things to each other and the enemy then riding in on that and fortifying it and strengthening it, which is where we get the word stronghold 

Stephanie: Hmm. That’s so good. And yeah, going back to that flood where that you mentioned the combinations, I would agree. I think I’ve seen in my own life a lot of times I can recognize a spiritual battle when it’s thing after thing, after thing, after thing. And they just keep coming like in waves, like something is trying to drown you.

You just have this sense. This doesn’t even make sense. This is so weird. Like what is even going on? But I appreciated your honesty Dean and saying you can’t always know because we are humans and if we had perfect discernment I mean, we could somehow avoid maybe everything in life, or I don’t even know.

I don’t think God tells us everything though, [00:22:00] too. I think there are things that he asks us to walk out. I remember reading stories, a story, I think I’d mentioned it the other day where, um, Jesus, God didn’t give Jesus the heads up on something. There were a bunch of people waiting for him on the other side of the boat and he thought he was going to go take a rest and all these people were waiting for him.

And I thought, Oh my gosh, God didn’t even tell Jesus every single thing that was going to happen in life. So we can ask God to strengthen our discernment, but we won’t always know, but it is a question people have. I mean, I think back to when I, I served at, um, Grace House, this ministry that we had in Peru for girls coming out of eating disorders and suicidal ideation and all kinds of addictive behaviors.

And they always had questions about the stuff they were going through in life. Is this a spiritual attack? Is this sin? Is this humanity? And I think it is good to take a look at and parcel some of that out. Some of it is we get in trouble and bad things happen because of direct things that we’ve done, mistakes that we’ve made, and because we live in a fallen world.

So if we say everything is pure, the devil, we’re giving him too much [00:23:00] powder and we’re ignoring the fact that we live in this broken world. But even though. Even when people are cruel to us or mean to us, there is something like you said behind it. Sinning opens the door to the devil. So sometimes maybe it’s not one or the other, but it’s both.

Dean: It’s both. That, to me, is balance. You take the situation with, uh, the Apostle Peter. in Matthew 16. I mean, he steps to the head of the class and goes, You are the Christ, the Son of God, you know. And Jesus is saying, Hey, Peter, flesh and blood did not reveal this to you. In other words, you didn’t get this from your human intelligence. This came as a. Revelation from the Spirit. My Father in Heaven showed you this. Otherwise, you would not know I was the Messiah and the Son of God. Later in that same chapter, chapter 6, Matthew 16, we don’t know how much time later, uh, Jesus is trying to [00:24:00] explain that he needs to be crucified and be, and suffer and all this stuff.

And Peter says, Oh, Jesus, that doesn’t need to happen to you. Uh, you know, and, and Jesus response was to say, get behind me, Satan. Was Jesus extreme? No, he was, he was trying to teach his disciples the reality that the enemy, the enemy is always trying to influence our thinking and our words and our actions. That spiritual warfare is noticing when the enemy is trying to influence our, our thinking, trying to influence our words trying to influence our our behavior. Doesn’t mean we have a demon in us. Doesn’t mean we’re being too demon, you know, was Jesus too demon conscious when he turned to his friend Peter and said, get behind me, Satan. [00:25:00] 

Well, and then with Peter again, he says, he says to him around the denial situation, you know, you’re going to deny me, but he says, hey, Peter, Satan has desired or asked, his intention is to attack you, to sift you like wheat, which means to separate. Right. And, and, um, but, but then Jesus says, but I have prayed for you. Here’s Jesus doing spiritual warfare for his friend Peter. And, and he says, I have prayed for you that your faith does not fail. One of the main things the enemy is trying to do to us is diminish our faith and trust in God. That’s, that was what, [00:26:00] what we started out with in the, in the Garden of Eden. You can’t trust, you can’t trust this God. Did he say you would die? You won’t die. So Satan is always trying to mess with our faith. And that’s, that’s what, uh, particularly those missionary situations is, um, the two biggest issues of the missionaries face, I think, uh, from the enemy is one would be disunity. and relationship breakdown. And the other one would be, um, uh, uh, unbelief. We’re not doing any good here. Um, this is a waste of time. Uh, these people are never gonna receive, they’re never going to, uh, come into line with the gospel. And discouragement. And, and [00:27:00] these things can be just natural human Reactions, but they can also be promptings from the enemy that’s always trying to get us to to lose faith and trust in what can happen and what will happen.

Stephanie: Yes, thank you for bringing those up because I think those are very, very real. And I think it’s worth engaging in spiritual battles on things like that as well. We sometimes think about it with big dramatic things. To your point, a spiritual battle can be something that’s very visible like a witch doctor, but it can be something that’s very invisible, like even discouragement because think about the implications of discouragement of, of being pulled off the field. The devil’s subtle. I mean, you think about how he worked through the Babylonians, you know, he just brought Daniel and his friends over and they gently introduced him to the beauty of their culture. So the devil is as subtle as the Babylonians and as [00:28:00] aggressive as the Amalekites like come in.

I mean, he’s, he’s, he’s, all those things. So we gotta be, and you said it in the book and you’ve said it today, we have to be aware of our enemies. tactics. Cause if we just put our head in the sand, we don’t know how he’s working. How can we fight and engage him properly? Yeah. And you know, Dean, as you’re talking to, it makes me think sometimes I think when we picture ourselves in a spiritual battle, it’s almost like we see ourselves alone.

Like, and I don’t know if that’s just an American mindset. For our American missionaries who are listening, but you picture yourself in the armor of God. I mean, I remember being in the children’s classroom and you see the, the guy that was like, you know, a guy, the guy in his armor holding all his stuff, but he’s standing alone and he’s like fighting the devil.

But we forget that there is a whole host of angels behind us. There are other believers arm in arm with us. We’re not fighting this alone and how empowering to remember who’s behind us. It’s Jesus. [00:29:00] And it’s a whole host of the army of heaven.

Dean: Yeah. The combination on that that I really like is Romans chapter 16 verse 20 where it’s where he says the God of peace will soon crush Satan. underneath your feet. In other words, God’s the only one that can crush Satan. God’s the only one that can do anything. I, I in my humanity, even if, even if I’m the Reverend Dean, I don’t have any power over demons. I can’t fight the devil in that sense. I’m using the victory that Jesus brought at the cross and I’m, I’m, I’m in Jesus name, I’m affecting that. So underneath our feet means that. Uh, the God of Peace will soon crush Satan, meaning he’s the only one who can crush him, but he’s going to crush him [00:30:00] underneath us. We’re the ones that have to pray, Thy Thy will be done on earth. We’re the ones that have to pray, deliver us from the evil one. We’re the ones that have to resist, resist the devil and he will flee from you. So, I’m, I’m just trying to get people to be more deliberate. 

Stephanie: Yeah. 

Dean: Because we all do spiritual warfare. Every Christian does spiritual warfare every day, but particularly those of us from the West often do it by default. In other words, every time you worship, you’re doing spiritual warfare. You’re affecting the spirit powers. Every time you pray, you’re doing, every time you obey, every time you humble yourself, or function in pride, every time you study the word. Or speak the word or memorize the word. You’re doing spiritual [00:31:00] warfare because you are weakening and keeping at bay that what the powers of darkness are wanting to do. But the reason we teach on spiritual warfare so that we become a little bit more deliberate, deliberate.

Stephanie: How, how great that you’re pointing out that we have the opportunity to make more intentional something we’re already doing. I had not thought about it that way, but you’re absolutely right. I don’t think we think about those daily spiritual disciplines as being spiritual warfare, but they are. So say, say a little bit about what makes it so powerful to intentionally recognize that I am in spiritual warfare each time I’m doing one of those activities. How does that change things? 

Dean: Well, because the devil’s a personality and he’s not stupid and he knows he, he tests us and pushes us to see whether or not we know what [00:32:00] we know or believe what we believe. It’s like two, it’s like a bully on the playground at school. You know, he comes and pushes the, pushes the other kid and then watches and sees what he’s going to do. And if the kid doesn’t push back. The bully will just keep pushing him, keep pushing him, keep pushing him. So the enemy pushes us. He tries something. And then he waits. So that’s why, uh, you know, James 1 Peter 5, 9. Resist him. Firm in your faith. Stand against the schemes of the devil. Push back. And of course, always, in the name of Jesus, by the power of the Spirit. It’s not, none of it has to do with our Getting all head up and excited and yelling and whatever that it’s all in the name of Jesus. It’s all by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Stephanie: Yeah, there’s something too about engaging in spiritual warfare that I think [00:33:00] satisfies the, the fight that God has put in each one of us. You mentioned that a bit in the book as well. I think even for those of us, I’m very empathetic. Harmony is like my number one strength. I mean, I don’t, I don’t like to fight with people, but there is a justice inside of me and I think inside of each person to wanna fight against what’s wrong.

And when we recognize. that we can fight against the enemy. We can’t fight against flesh and blood. We can’t fight against people. We aren’t called to always fight against people. When I grew up, it was all about, you know, good guys and bad guys. That was always the language used good guys and bad guys. And as you got older, you realize the world is not made up of good guys and bad guys.

It’s made up of just people who make good choices and bad choices, but we’re all just on a spectrum of, of choices because none of us are all good. None of us are all bad, even though there are people who truly do evil things. When I, even if I’m fighting against an evil person, there’s still something in me that hopes for them to get redeemed, that still hopefully has a love for them.

I can’t fight fully [00:34:00] 100 percent against a person, but I can fight fully 100 percent against the enemy. And that is that, like you said, what God has placed inside of us, that desire to fight and to conquer. And it’s, it’s not conquering or fighting from a place of, I want to gain that it’s fighting from a place of already having the victory.

So it feels, it feels good, man. When our days when we are angry and somebody just wants to yell at the world, I mean, go after the enemy. He’s always, He’s always, a good person to fight. 

Dean: Yeah. We can’t, we can’t change what people are doing. I mean, we can try to influence them and we can and deal with social issues and all that stuff, but, uh, whatever part of it is demonic. Uh, we have authority there and we can, we can back that off. We can stop it. Yeah, so [00:35:00] a person came to me one time and said, uh, our daughter has this problem and they went into all kinds of details and she, and at the end of it, they said, and we’ve come with real despair in their voices. They said, uh, and we think it might even be demonic. My response was hallelujah. And they looked at me like, why are you glad that. There may be, uh, the powers of darkness may be, uh, influencing our daughter. And, um, so I explained to them, I said, well, the good news is Satan is defeated. And so we have authority over him in the name of Jesus. And that’s why part, the great, part of the Great Commission was go in all the world, preach the gospel every creature. In my name, you shall drive out the devil. And so we prayed for the daughter and, and came, came against the [00:36:00] enemy and this problem, which if I went into detail, you would be, and it had been going on for a long time was, okay, whatever part of this is demonic, we’re taking authority over and it ended. 

Stephanie: Wow. Okay. You bring up something so important there though, that, that this concept of that concept, but this idea that scripture gives us is that, uh, spiritual battles is that there’s hope in it. there’s hope in it. I mean, think of all the people who are living in government situations with, I mean, just ramped with corruption and that’s going on all over the world.

But there are some places I know having lived in one and other people living in countries where  it looks like an impossibility. I mean, it is so corrupt and it’s corrupt to the point that, you know, there is spiritual stuff going on. So you look at that from a natural standpoint, you think, what can I even do?

I can fight against injustice. I can stand up for things. But if you’re a missionary living in another country, no, you really can’t. You cannot get involved in marches or protests. [00:37:00] There is not anything that you can. Uh, do governmental wise, but we can take authority and we can pray. And that actually opens up the door for miracles to happen, uh, in ways that they couldn’t if it was just us in our own strength.

So I love the hope that you point out that’s in there. That’s good. That’s good. 

Dean: Well, that it, that’s, that’s the way Ephesians 6 is written. Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand against the scheme to the enemy. Amen. Or, uh, take the armor of God so that, uh, even in the evil day, you will be able to stand and after having done everything, which, which is kind of a phrase, it seems to me, uh, that’s, that says, whatever happens, whatever circumstances come your way, even in the last days, uh, you will be able to stand. And then we have, you know, like Romans 8, in, in all these [00:38:00] things, we’re overwhelmingly conquerors. 

Um, so yeah, we can, whatever the enemy throws at us, we can stand. We can, we can get through. So there is positiveness. 

Stephanie: Yes. We are humans that have a spirit soul and bodies. We can fight with our bodies. We can fight with our minds and our souls and we can fight with our spirits and what is more powerful than taking the authority that Jesus has already given us? Dean, are there any closing words you’d like to leave with our listeners today? 

Dean: Uh, yeah, just be more aware, be sober and vigilant. Uh, two questions I try to encourage people to ask on a regular basis. I’m not saying do it every day because we don’t want to. Make a religion or a, a, a formula out of this, but on a regular basis, just say, Hey, how is the spirit world affecting me and how can I, or how am I affecting the spirit world?

Just become more [00:39:00] aware of this interface between us and the spirit world, which, you know, I think the, the word discernment is used, but I don’t use the word discernment a lot because a lot of people think, Oh, I’m not sure I have that gift or. I can do that. Everybody, the Holy Spirit is in all of us. We’re born in the Spirit and we can, and one of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to alert us about the unseen realm. So just pause regularly and say, Hey, am I being affected by the spirit world? Why am I thinking these thoughts? Why are we having so much tension and strife in our, in our peer group here or in our church? Is there, is there a spiritual element to this and then when you notice it, the other word that I have for people is be more deliberate and aggressive. [00:40:00] The enemy will Test you out and see whether or not you’ll push back. 

Stephanie: Yeah. 

Dean: So I think if we, we won’t, we won’t be able to stop everything because human beings are doing what they’re doing and we live as we say in a fallen world, but the demonic part we can do a lot more than we have necessarily done before.

Stephanie: I appreciate that. I felt like we, we covered the spectrum. We started with all the fearful thoughts and feelings that people can have about it. The way that it’s misused sometimes. And we ended on this empowering, hopeful, intentional note, Dean, thank you for taking us along that journey. I’m hoping that people, whether they came in on one extreme or the other, we’re able to find that healthy balance. I think that God wants us all to have that empowering, hopeful, excited balance of how we can engage the spiritual realm. 

Dean, can I ask you to pray for all of our missionaries and mission personnel who are listening today? 

Dean: [00:41:00] God, thank you for every person listening today. Thank you for their willingness to step out, to go into harm’s way, so to speak. And be in situations where the enemy, because of what they’re doing and because of their intentions to bring good news and light into darkness, the enemy is threatened by that and, and is probably wanting to dissuade or discourage or push back. And I pray, Lord, that they will be encouraged today that you’ve done the work that needs to be done totally and completely and eternally against every demonic force. They have been defeated and that you’ll encourage these, uh, these people today, Lord, to stand firm and to stand against, to refuse, uh, what [00:42:00] the enemy is doing and that you will give them grace, Lord. For these people, Lord, who have stepped out and are in these circumstances, uh, as you said to the Apostle Paul, my grace is sufficient and I pray, Lord, that the sufficiency, the specifically cut, grace that is necessary for each individual situation that’s represented by the hearers today, that you will pour down abundant grace upon them, that they will not only be able to cope, but that they will be, but they will stand firm and overcome in those circumstances by the power of your grace and spirit in Jesus name.

Stephanie: Amen. Amen. Amen. Dean, thank you again so much for being with us today. Really appreciated what you had to share. 

Dean: Well, I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you for having me.

Stephanie: Yes. And everybody who joins us today, thanks for being with us and we [00:43:00] look forward to seeing you on our next episode.