|Fight: Are you Willing to Pick a Fight with Evil?|
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Get ready for the fight of your life! In this third book of the God's Man series, Kenny Luck issues a challenge to men to engage in the spiritual battle raging around them. Too many men fall prey to Satan's schemes and go down in flames, as their marriages, careers and ministries go down with them. In Fight Luck gives you strategic "intel" into how the Enemy operates so you can be aware and ready to defend yourself. Open your eyes to the movements of the Enemy and learn to fight victoriously!
Q: You spend the first four chapters of Fight trying to wake
us up, and open your reader’s eyes to spiritual enemies. Apart from the evil we
see present in the world, what do you think is the single greatest argument for
us to believe in active demonic forces working against us?
A: One of the most revealing arguments is how men and women
worldwide report being controlled and motivated to think and do things they
know are evil, hurtful, murderous, self abusive, malicious, divisive, sinful,
deceitful, or otherwise harmful to their relationships with God and
people. These same people feel strongly
and positively toward both relationships and yet experience intense mental and
emotional conflicts that go against their will and best intentions. As a pastor and mental health professional,
the deep internal conflicts and battles reported to me over 25 years in
ministry share an amazing symmetry consistent with the presence and activity of
Satan and demons as defined and illustrated in the Scripture. The problem is that dedicated followers of
Christ lack a functional understanding of evil as it relates to the nature of
these conflicts. Functionally, evil is
more story than reality. Your worldview determines how you filter these inner
conflicts that drive us to outer behaviors and conduct. Evil’s attacks are allocated and directed at
the cognitive and mental levels—this is where the power to control rests. Lack of this tactical understanding of evil
leads to a lack of discernment of evil which makes us reticent to call it evil
or see that we are under demonic assault.
The great irony is that “normal life” for any person breathing at this
moment is to be under demonic assault.
Your perception of reality (or worldview) determines whether or not
Satanic and demonic aspects of reality are respected or dismissed. Let’s put it this way: it’s in Satan’s best interest for a follower
of Christ to filter life naturally and circumstantially rather than biblically or
spiritually. He puts a lot of energy
into the “caricature” of evil so as to make it a silly proposition for
“thinking people” to actually believe it.
Gotta hand it to him. He’s good. He knows the power of the “whack job” factor
in society (as in only whack jobs believe that) and uses it to remain hidden
Q: Early in the book you tell us about an incident that
became an exorcism of a young woman. Scenes like this may be surprising or even
scary to some Christians who aren’t familiar with this kind of spiritual attack.
I’ve traveled to India and met Christians living there who’ve told me of demon possession. They
speak of it in a matter-of-fact way, and it isn’t unusual. It seems like a
normal part of living as a Christian.
Why do you think that acceptance of supernatural evil can be
harder for some Christians?
A: Acceptance of evil is intimately linked to the methods
deployed by evil that are culture specific.
In the Western industrialized countries Satan does not need to poor a
lot of energy into direct demonic possession.
That would be a wasteful use of his assets. Hedonism, materialism, and narcissism
supported by billion dollar media campaigns more effectively influence and
control people as well as limit his direct exposure. More importantly, these strategies are wildly
successful at producing idolatry (worship of pleasure, possession, and power)
and are the perfect, societally approved, methods of destroying people,
families, and healthy relationships.
This tactic makes Third World
strategies of evil like direct possession incomprehensible. But, again, that
reaction stems from a lack of discernment of evil and how it is deployed
culturally for maximum effect. In many
ways, Third World acceptance and acknowledgement of evil and the duping of the
West spiritually make the Western developed countries the Third World and the Third World the “developed” countries on the issue of
discernment of evil.
Q: As we dig deeper into the book, you take a closer look at
“the old snake” himself and reveal his true motives. You state that his hatred
for us is based out of a deep jealousy. Could you explain Satan’s jealousy of
us a bit farther?
A: Think of getting dumped in a relationship for another
person and you can begin to feel the sense of loathing that is unique to the
spurned. No one likes, first of all, to
be rejected. Now imagine, that you are
forced by circumstances to be in close proximity to the happy new couple. A new dynamic is created: add to rejected and
replaced “rehumiliated” every time you see them together and enjoying one
another’s company. Your good memories
of what was “once upon a time” are recalled and relived but only as a
memory. To make matters worse the
present reality of your loss and grief stare you right in the face every
day. Emotions swirl, boil, and fester
over time. Hateful thoughts of vengeance
and retribution come easily. You are “on
fire” in the most evil of ways. An
obsession is born.
Sounds like a good Hollywood
This is the precise and visceral drama unfolding as I write
and you read. Satan was rejected,
humiliated, and replaced publicly in the heavenly realms by US! He lost the top job by trying to embezzle
God’s glory instead of passing it on. He
introduced a second will in heaven (his) and got called on the carpet. He lost it all. Then God got busy creating a new object of
his affection and in doing so created a new object of Satan’s hatred. As soon as man landed on the scene, Satan
was there too, in disguise working hard to drive a wedge and create pain. This age between eternities will create a
class of creation that is destined to pass along God’s glory freely, not attach
to it selfishly, and enjoy it eternally.
That would be you and me. Since
Satan knows that and loathes that it means he knows you, loathes you, and is
invested heavily in seeing you suffer.
Q: In Chapter 10 you state, “God’s plan is not immunity from
the struggle but victory over the temptation.” What is God accomplishing in us
through these struggles against evil?
A: The answer is Christlikeness. Romans 8:29 tell us very clearly that God’s
dream for every believer is to be “conformed to the likeness of his Son.” How can a believer reflect Christ without
successfully facing and confronting temptation, suggestion, and persecution by
evil against them? In fact, this shared
experience of warring with evil on earth between the Savior and the saved is
what cements the fellowship between the two. We share a common story: encountering sin and suffering, Satan and demons, and believing in God’s
sovereign rule and ability to redeem our experiences with each eternally.
Q: How are emotions the doorway through which temptations
can come? And how will the Enemy exploit our emotions for his purposes?
A: Satan is heavily invested in emotions for the simple fact
that they have the ability to control our actions. He knows that emotions can be used to hijack
us if combined with the proper suggestions.
Study the temptation of Christ in Luke 4 and you see how opportunistic
and timely he likes to be. Jesus is
fatigued physically, isolated relationally, and low emotionally. The key word is: vulnerable.
Emotions are the highly flammable and explosive parts of us that Satan
loves to throw a match on. Why? Because they are easily inflated to lie to us
about the real status of a given circumstance or situation. When things are good, it’s never all good
because this is earth and earth is broken.
When things are bad, it’s never all bad because there is hope that our
misery will one day end and be redeemed for God’s purposes sooner or
later. Satan wants us to live in the
extremes of emotions. He wants negative
emotions to fuel the feeling that things are fatal and final. He knows that if we give in to fatalistic
thinking, we will take actions that harm our relationships with God and
people. The same dynamic is present with
success and victory. He likes to fuel
those as well because when we believe we are responsible for our own
accomplishments, he can move us to make the same mistake he made and embezzle
the glory for ourselves, fuel the pride, and let pride beget stupidity in our
That is why is becoming emotionally healthy, able to
understand the root causes of feelings, your own connection to them, and
possess the ability to process them is just as good a way mitigating evil’s
ability to control you as any.
Q: In the Chapter “Evil Loves Religion” you share how after
you came to faith in Christ you experienced becoming “religious.” You started
to become performance driven, self-righteous and started compartmentalizing
public and private life. Some people call this the “religious spirit.” How can
you guard against this?
A: The one question we all need to ask with great courage
and honesty is this: why am I doing what
I am doing for God? Is my relationship
with him really about him? Or is it
about me feeling better about myself?
Are there any ways I use or “pimp” spirituality to look good in front of
others? Study the Pharisees, their
focus, their level of sincerity, and Jesus’ assessment of their
spirituality. They were all about God
but for the purposes of being “seen” and respected by men. And before you divorce yourself from being
like them ask: How am I like these guys?
By contrast, study Jesus, his way of connecting and making people feel
the affirmation and acceptance of God while also leaving a sense that we are
accountable to his authority as well. He
was full of grace and truth in that order.
That’s why I wrote the book DREAM (the one before FIGHT). I find there is a huge lack of understanding
when it comes to the end game of believing in Christ. It’s not something we chase, it’s something
we become. Get that and your faith in
Christ is less susceptible to being hijacked by the Evil One.
Q: Throughout Fight you share many real-life examples of
soldiers, Navy SEALS and Roman Centurions, and how they were equipped to fight
victoriously. What is your purpose in using these kinds of examples in a book
written to men?
A: Bottom line is that “FIGHT” is a biblical exhortation the
same way “soldier” and “sword” and “wrestle” are spiritual pictures and
exhortations incubated by our understandings of battle. Earth, theologically, is war. If the “the reason the Son of God appeared
was to destroy the works of the devil,” (I John 3:8), then we too will be
engaged in this same epic struggle as he continues to live in and through us in
the church age. I tell stories to “tee
up” a better delivery of spiritual concepts and principles. There is great power and resonance of insight
on the topic of evil pregnant in war analogies and stories. The ethos of war never changes.
As a sidebar, more women are reading this book than any
other book I have written because they are so interested in the content. While aimed at men, it hits the Body of
Christ square in the chest. There’s a
picture for you.
Q: In closing, how would you encourage God’s man in the
fight? What would you say to your fellow sheep-dogs in the fight against evil?
A: People suffer when God’s men do nothing. Evil triumphs, has its way, and uses US to
deliver it’s deadly intentions. Refuse
to be pimped by evil and instead choose to fight it. Start in your own life and heart. Take the axe to personal sin and seek to be a
man of spiritual integrity. With that
integrity will come the clarity to see the fight in the larger picture but it
always starts with you. Then link up
with other members of the resistance, connect, and fortify your gains as God’s
man. Train together. Go through FIGHT together! Develop your night vision skills and become
familiar with your weapons. Then, fix
bayonets and be dutiful where you are deployed to confront, expose, and put
evil to flight. Use the weapons God has
provided without apology and provide the enemy no quarter. This is what you were born to do in Christ.