“We are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age”.
Eph 6:12 GNB
Plenty of people today believe that forces outside themselves control their destiny. Many magazines have horoscope sections telling readers how their lives will work out because they are controlled by stars or signs of the zodiac. Others believe in the power of dead ancestors to determine their good or bad “luck”. Some are quite sure that certain buildings are haunted by ghosts.
People in the world of New Testament times were deeply convinced of the power of demons, spiritual forces and cosmic intelligences. One of the characteristics of these forces was their power. “They are also called ‘the cosmic powers of this dark age’. The words cosmic powers was used in astrology of the planets which were thought to control the fate of humankind, in the Orphic Hymns of Zeus, in rabbinical writings of Nebuchadnezzar and other pagan monarchs, and in various ancient inscriptions of the Roman Emperor. All of these usages exemplify the notion of a worldwide rule. When applied to the powers of evil they are reminiscent of the devil’s claim to be able to give Jesus ‘all the kingdoms of the world’” (J.Stott, The Message of Ephesians, p264).
Never underestimate the sheer power of the evil forces at work in the world. Watch the destruction wrought by terrorist groups, especially those that operate globally. Observe the economic power of massed capital and the ability of some mischievous individual to scupper the whole system, cause a “run” on a currency or other chaos. Witness the willingness of rival industrial groups to collude to keep prices up. And are they powerful?
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, help me to recognize the evil forces at work in the world.