Fight: Are you Willing to Pick a Fight with Evil?Fight: Are you Willing to Pick a Fight with Evil?
Kenny Luck
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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!

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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 and effective.

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 script right? 

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 choices. 

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.

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