Spiritual Warfare, Part Two

This week on the Allender Center Podcast, Dr. Dan Allender is joined once again by his friend and colleague Rachael Clinton, Assistant Director of Program Development & Admissions, to continue their conversation about the realities and complexities of spiritual warfare.

Dan: “Evil doesn’t care whether you’re on the political left or political right. It’s going to work in all domains toward its end of attempting to ruin the glory of God through us and in us.”

“Evil doesn’t care whether you’re on the political left or political right.”

Last week, Rachael and Dan addressed a few of the basic assumptions they hold stepping into this conversation. In this episode, they reflect on some of the potential triggers that might come up when people hear the term “spiritual warfare.” These triggers and resistances to engaging this topic can come from all sides: people in the church often label those who actively engage spiritual warfare as strange or even heretical; in the realm of psychology, people might assume that spiritual warfare is an excuse for avoiding or escaping our internal realities and the work we need to do—Dan refers to this as the category of “the devil made me do it.”

Rachael: “We’re speaking in a realm that is going to trigger complexity. This is a complex topic, and anytime somebody tries to resolve the mystery completely I would say, why?”

Dan: “There are many people who turn too quickly to naming the demonic when they haven’t done their own story work. Therefore, even if they actually are naming something true about the demonic, they still are avoiding their own heartache, their own hatred, their own fury. ‘The devil made me do it’ is an abhorrent category, but I think it’s a factor in why many people become reluctant to think about the implications of warfare.”

While acknowledging the merits of these triggers and reservations, Dan and Rachael also share from their own journeys of growing more open to the category of spiritual warfare and, eventually, viewing it as an important component of their work. In fact, they argue, the realities of spiritual warfare are inseparable to their work of stepping into harm and trauma on behalf of others. Next week, Dan and Rachael will talk about the role that spiritual warfare plays in the transformational story work that we focus on here at The Allender Center.

Rachael: “We work in the midst of trauma. And trauma, in and of itself, is taking place so much in the midst of the unspeakable, in the unseen, in the way that it is diabolical and divides us from ourselves. So it actually isn’t as hard for people who have known trauma to begin to make some of these leaps, because they’re already experiencing horror. One of the gifts of getting to step into this is to bring more access to God and what is true, and to get to see integration happening for people.”

Dan: “If there is more power that leads to greater joy for myself and for others, then I want to know more.”