Chris Cole explains how understanding God and the devil brings true spiritual power.

Chris Cole FRSA
Chris Cole FRSA

I've often been constrained by The Lord to examine my thinking deeply when it comes to the subject of the supernatural, or what we consider to be 'the supernatural'.

Indeed my own experience of life has confirmed that there is a very real spiritual realm which does affect our own natural surroundings and experiences.

Before my conversion I came very close to a destructive incident which I know would have damaged me for life. Whilst I didn't get involved in the occult, my rebellious lifestyle led me to encounter those who did operate within this evil realm. A drug dealer I knew was deeply involved in the occult and came from an Eastern culture where, unlike our own 'rational thinking' in the West, he knew about spiritual power. In buying some 'grass' from this individual (this was during the late 70's), I got on his bad side and he reacted with a demonstration of occultist power which frightened me. It was only due to his girlfriend's intervention on my behalf that saved me from spiritually 'having my head done in!' Even then I recognised the 'power of the dark side', even though I wasn't interested at the time in spiritual things.

Today I'm absolutely positive that God preserved my life from this demonic incident by His grace, but I'm also sure that life really is a major battle zone with serious consequences for us all. We really don't know what God is saving us from on a daily basis, believe me! The devil knows your potential and tries to kill you and your godly opportunities and strategies at birth. For me, the devil knew at that time I was just about to meet Jesus.

(Note: As an aside, beware of the potent mix of drugs and occult. I've seen and know that God has done miraculous things for many of my contemporaries from the 60's who have found God on acid trips, but these experiences of deliverance were motivated purely from a loving heart of Jesus ability to exercise grace, rather than it being a justifiable method to find Him through drugs).

What about those of us who love God, but struggle with the concept of the devil.

In my opinion, it is destructive foolishness for those of us who have a faith in Jesus Christ to ignore the issue of the supernatural because it is one of the most vital issues facing the Church in the West today. More importantly the truth of scripture reveals this, especially through the ministry of Jesus. He came to destroy the works of the devil!

Fortunately, my Christian conversion was a very positive and powerful 'supernatural experience' of the good side! This showed me clearly that both sides truly exist. I am so grateful that my spiritual birth came through grace, repentance and struggle - an orthodox birth, you could say - that impacted both my heart and my head and demanded from me my will and total effort. Pain and struggle are part of this conflict of good and evil. Easy believism and methodology will not get us through the coming season of 'powerful days' to come.

To quote Dr. Martin Luther King: "If you've got nothing worth dying for, you've got nothing worth living for." This aptly describes the eternal issues at stake here for all of us. Are we just plodding through life hoping to avoid any real difficulties along the way, or do we really see that we are caught up in a spiritual battle which could cost us our lives (just look at the Chinese church!) Scripture is clear 'We wrestle not against flesh and blood but principalities and powers". What do we need the armour of God for?! It's not a popular doctrine to preach but Hell is real! What the Bible says about Heaven and Hell is real. I personally believe this too because I've ministered deliverance to some from demonic activity, and we need to realise that what we are fighting for in this life is the eternal destination of people's souls. The eternal is a greater reality than the seventy years down here!

Whilst in Israel recently, I met a lovely lady full of the joy of God who was 'saved' fourteen years ago, and two years later went on mission in Uganda without too much theological training. She helped establish a church a hospital and a school. I asked her why she felt we didn't see the manifestation of spiritual power in the West that she had seen in Africa. Her answer was simple and yet quite profound:

"We believe in God in the West, but we don't believe in the devil!" CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.