War broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world– he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,
“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Messiah, for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
Rejoice then, you heavens and those who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you with great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
The 29th of September is the Feast of St Michael and All Angels. There are only a couple named angels in the Bible. There is St Michael and there is also St Gabriel. While St Gabriel is known to us for being the announcing angel, St Michael is known for fighting Satan. There is the passage copied above and he is also in the Book of Jude where St Michael battles with Satan over Moses’ body and declares to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you.” St Michael is the Patron Saint of Paratroopers so he has been a bit of an iconic figure for me for since ’85 when I joined the Army and became a Paratrooper. Outside of Paratroopers around the world and US Army Aviation (which also claims St Michael) the little attention the Archangel gets typically deals with Spiritual Warfare.
The idea of (and fascination with) Spiritual Warfare waxes and wanes over the years. There for a while there were books about it both in how to wage it and novels about other people doing it. The stores that cater to the Pop-Christian culture will be overflowing with Spiritual Warfare books and trinkets one week and next it will be “End Times” or some other fad of the moment.
This is very unfortunate because Spiritual Warfare is very real. The Bible warns us, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith.” (1 Peter 5) – Resist the devil in our faith – That is Spiritual Warfare!
The Bible also tells us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6)
Let’s break that down real quick: “be strong on the Lord”; “against spiritual forces of evil”; “against the cosmic powers over this present darkness”; each piece of God’s Armor is a matter of faith and Christian living; “praying at all times in the Spirit”
We are armed for Spiritual Warfare because the devil and the cosmic powers over this present darkness wages Spiritual Warfare against us and we must defend ourselves. Temptation is a constant part of life and it is very easy to do what you late regret.
How then are we to fight? – PRAY! Call upon the power of God to defeat the devil and all his schemes. Call upon God to strengthen you through His Spirit to stand firm in righteousness. Be like St Michael and when facing Satan call out – “The Lord rebuke you!”
There is no need for special books or trinkets from the Jesus Junk store – the Bible tells you all you need to know – PRAY! When you do not know what to pray call upon the Holy Spirit to pray on your behalf and He will pray for you (Romans 8).
A Hymn of Spiritual Warfare in which Jesus speaks to Christians about resisting Satan and His demons:
“Christian Dost Thou See Them” by Andrew of Crete (Monk, 660-732)
Christian, dost thou see them on the holy ground,
How the powers of darkness rage thy steps around?
Christian, up and smite them, counting gain but loss,
In the strength that cometh by the holy cross.
Christian, dost thou feel them, how they work within,
Striving, tempting, luring, goading into sin?
Christian, never tremble; never be downcast;
Gird thee for the battle, watch and pray and fast.
Christian, dost thou hear them, how they speak thee fair?
“Always fast and vigil? Always watch and prayer?”
Christian, answer boldly: “While I breathe I pray!”
Peace shall follow battle, night shall end in day.
“Well I know thy trouble, O my servant true;
Thou art very weary, I was weary, too;
But that toil shall make thee some day all Mine own,
At the end of sorrow shall be near my throne.”
O’ Most Glorious Prince of the Heavenly Armies, St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and in our wrestling against principalities and powers against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Come to the aid of men, whom GOD created incorruptible, and to the Image of His own Likeness He made them, and from the tyranny of the devil He bought them at a great price. Fight the battles of the Lord today with the Army of the Blessed Angels, as once thou didst fight against Lucifer, the leader of pride, and his apostate angels; and they prevailed not: neither was their place found anymore in Heaven. But that great dragon was cast out by the power of God. St Michael, join your voice with ours in our fight against evil as we say to Satan – The Lord rebuke you!
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.