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The True Source Of Our Problems

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
–Ephesians 6:12

The Bible says there is an unseen spiritual battle taking place between good and evil. But maybe you are just trying to survive the next round of layoffs at your job or trying to make your mortgage payment or trying to steer your children through adolescence. You might be thinking, “Why should I be concerned about some cosmic battle between God and Satan?”

Let me illustrate why this battle is so important for us to understand. Do you remember where you were on September 11, 2001? We were in Wichita Falls, Texas, and I was drinking a cup of coffee, getting ready to take my girls to school, when the first plane struck the World Trade Center. I remember hearing the commentators on TV speculate endlessly about what caused the plane to crash into that tower. Some people said it was pilot error. In fact, when President George Bush heard about the first plane, he reportedly said, “There’s one terrible pilot.” But when that second plane slammed into the second tower, everyone immediately knew we were under enemy attack. Had it in fact been pilot error, the solution to further catastrophes would have been better pilot training. If the problem had been caused by a malfunction in navigational equipment, then the solution would have been better equipment. But because we were under enemy attack, suddenly we had to develop a whole new strategy to deal with the problem. Remember this: knowing the source of a problem is the key to determining a solution to the problem.

Now, let me relate that to your world and my world. Every day we are attacked by seemingly random circumstances in life, and we respond accordingly. Couples divorce at record rates, so we develop marriage enrichment seminars. Men become involved in pornography, so we develop accountability groups in the church. Christian men and women feel depressed, so we give them our latest medications. Now I am all for marriage enrichment seminars, accountability groups, and medication when necessary to treat a problem. But what if the real source of our problems is something else? What if indeed we are under enemy attack? Wouldn’t that mean that we need a new strategy to deal with those problems? Knowing the source of a problem is the key to determining the solution to a problem. In Ephesians 6:12, Paul said the real source of our struggle is not people or circumstances; it is the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. The bottom-line source of all of our difficulties is spiritual warfare. That is why if we are going to survive Satan’s attacks against our faith, our family, and our future, we need to develop a strategy built on the source of the problem.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Winning Your Unseen Battles” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.

Matthew Engel, “Bush Reveals First Thought: There’s One Terrible Pilot,” The Guardian, December 4, 2001,

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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