Whenever I talk about the powers and authorities in Paul’s letters, a lively discussion typically ensues involving all aspects of the heavenly realm and its mysteries. We’re fascinated by angelic and demonic activity and the interface between physical and spiritual realities.
After introducing Ephesians last night, I enjoyed a few animated conversations about these very things.
[Sidenote – I’ll never forget the student who needed to speak with me after class one day. She was compelled to tell me that a demon was hovering in the midst of our lecture hall. It was just sitting there, observing me, she said. I was gobsmacked. “Well, as long as it’s not causing a disturbance, that’s okay with me” I said.]
One question inevitably arises: Why is there so much demonic activity in other parts of the world and so little here in the U.S. and in the West?
Well, there may be answers to that question that lie beyond my capacity, but there is a consistent note throughout Scripture that may indicate otherwise.
Biblical writers discern demonic dynamics at work behind perverted human behaviors that we typically regard as “normal”—jealousy, anger, bitterness, divisiveness, and the refusal to forgive.
I think we dismiss these sorts of things as “not so bad,” hardly imagining that they could be tied up with the demonic. After all, there’s no flopping around on the floor and people can behave in these ways while being quite polite.
I’d like to develop some thoughts from these passages over a series of posts, probably beginning next week.
There’s so much speculation about the spiritual realm–both angelic and demonic–but so much of it comes from anecdotes we’ve heard from others, from our own imaginations, or from our fears. So little is tied directly to biblical texts and represents rightly what the Scriptures actually say about the spiritual realm.