The Adversary: The Christian Versus Demon Activity
Often people ask me about spiritual warfare and if Satan is behind every bad thing that happens to us. This usually prompts me to point them towards Mark Bubeck’s book The Adversary: The Christian Versus Demon Activity, which I will explain detail below.
The Adversary is a bold book on confronting spiritual warfare, and the attacks our adversary Satan. The book does not over sensationalize the topic because it’s grounded in the Word of God. This serves as the validity for any strategy a Christian uses in their spiritual warfare, so they can boldly combat Satan. The author Mark Bubeck believes in the importance boldness by saying, “be bold and direct in applying the weapons of our warfare to our own strengthening and to the enemy’s defeat.” After reading The Adversary a Christian will know the importance of God’s Word in spiritual warfare, the three sources of temptation, and practical tools to utilize immediately with other believers.
Bubeck begins by placing importance on the Bible. He believes it is the check and balance that each believer should have in their life when determining God’s will from evil forces that play our feelings against us. He says, “Spiritual warfare in any of its victories is achieved through objective fact and not through subjective feelings.” By relying on the Word in spiritual warfare a Christian is able to distinguish between their feelings being led by God or if Satan is using one’s emotions against them. Bubeck’s foundation on the Word helps guide Christians from being overly dramatic.
As a result, Bubeck says all Christians should biblically be aware of the three areas of spiritual temptation, the flesh, the world, and Satan. Once Christians know their differences they can spiritually react properly to them. Bubeck writes, “The Word of God recognizes that we face three unique enemies…the world, the flesh, and the devil…it is important for us to know what type of temptation or testing we are facing in a given situation.” Christians should know the difference, and realize they all are not a directly from Satan, but can be used by him.
Lastly, Bubeck gives practical tools Christians should use against the evil spiritual forces working against them, and how they should be used. He gives the illustration of tools being used to accomplish different tasks and says the same about our fight, “we need tools in spiritual warfare as well.” The tools he gives are ones he has used in his life such as the “Daily Affirmation of Faith” or the “Warfare Prayer” is all given with ample scripture. These tools should never be done alone as Christians should rely on other believers. Bubeck says, “As believers remain tightly bound together tightly bound to their Head, the devouring fires of Satan can do us little harm.” Christians are fighting for God’s Kingdom, and His body so when one suffers so does another. Since many suffer, many should fight for Him together with these tools.
Never from a conservative, evangelical point of view have I ever heard a confrontation of spiritual warfare. I’ve known from my own international mission trips, that too little is spent on the importance of evil spiritual elements. The only mention I ever hear is from a charismatic perspective. The Adversary has benefited me in a lot of ways. Personally I have learned to apply within my own warfare the Armor of God, doctrinal prayer, and studying the Word.
Often in churches I have heard it taught that we should put on our spiritual armor, but it has never been practically explained to me until now. Bubeck’s book has made the Armor mentioned in Ephesians 6:10-17 alive, and a real part of my faith. He said, “putting on the armor is something done by prayer and is a practice of faith.” It finally makes sense to apply the various elements to the different forms of spiritual attacks I may face. When I doubt I need to use the shield of faith to press on, or that the helmet of salvation reminds me I am eternally secure. Using these elements against spiritual attacks allows me to exercise the spiritual resources God has given me to resist temptation, and avoid sin.
Bubeck also furthered my understanding of doctrinal praying. He explained it as “the practice of praying or applying the objective, absolute truths of the Word of God as the hope and basis of resolving our prayer burden. God loves for us to pray His Word back to Him.” It’s the boldest form of prayer because Christians are praying God’s Word back to Him. While the Holy Spirit does intercede for each believer on our behalf, doctrinal prayer has given me tangible assurance for what I have prayed. I’ve gained confidence with my own relationship with God by applying His Word accurately in prayer giving my life direction based on His Word.
Lastly, if I am going to pray the Word, or use my Armor properly I must know what it says, and what I believe about it. Bubeck stresses the importance of the Word, being the basis for everything a Christian does. He says, “defeat of our enemy depends on our reliance upon the Word of God and Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Knowing the Word includes scripture memorization, meditation, and studying theology. Both scripture and my doctrine help me in how I can relate to God, and how He works on my behalf in this spiritual battle. Bubeck has taught me the importance of diligent study so I can know how to apply the Word in warfare.
The Adversary is a great book and there are a lot of other points I could have drawn out to either apply or summarize. If its study of the Word, using the Armor, prayer, or using the tools he gives Bubeck has stressed the importance of being intentionally bold in our approach. He says, “Satan will go to any lengths to divert a believer.” The implied task is then for all Christians to go to any length to stand against him and any forces he may use. Let us stand together in Christ, and be grateful the scriptural resource Bubeck gave us in this book.