“They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons.” (Psalm 106:37, NIV)
Spiritual warfare is more real than we tend to think. Many other cultures around the world understand this better than we “enlightened” Americans do. Our tendency is to dismiss or downplay the unseen realm and to divorce our sin from its spiritual consequences. I’ve known so many people (and I’ll confess I’ve sometimes had this thought myself) who think that if their sin doesn’t directly, physically impact someone else, then it’s okay for them to engage in.
The reality is there is no such thing as sin that only affects you. Every sin spiritually impacts those around you, and especially those for whom you are responsible. When I sin, I open myself and my family to spiritual attack, giving the enemy a foothold in our lives (see Ephesians 4:27). Even if my sin doesn’t directly affect my kids in the physical realm, it directly affects them in the spiritual realm. My sin opens the door for unclean spirits to invade my home–it doesn’t just affect me.
If you are in a leadership position in the church, your sin also invites spiritual attack on those you lead and serve with. Our sin affects our co-workers, our neighbors, and our friends the same way.
So, the question is, what sacrifices are we willing to make to indulge in our sin? Are we willing to subject our marriages to spiritual attack? Is it worth my reputation? Your job? How about the spiritual safety of our kids? Am I willing to “sacrifice” my children to demons so that I won’t have to give up my sinful habits?
The point I’m trying to make is this: sin is a bigger deal than we often make it. And when we do consider the gravity of our sin, it is often weighed in the physical consequences of the seen realm. We tend to overlook the spiritual consequences in the unseen realm. This can lead us to the false conclusion that sin that doesn’t “hurt” someone else physically isn’t as “sinful” for us. But the truth is that every sin hurts not only us but those we love, and the spiritual attacks provoked by our sin are often far worse than the physical consequences. That’s why it’s so important to confess our sins and be purified from all unrighteousness (see 1 John 1:8-10).
My prayer for us this week comes from what Jesus taught us to pray. “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive those who’ve sinned against us, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one” (see Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4).
A great resource for understanding spiritual attack and how to protect yourself and your family is the book Reclaiming Surrendered Ground: Protecting Your Family from Spiritual Attack by Jim Logan.