To begin, Chip Ingram's message is not one of extremes. The text of THE INVISIBLE WAR doesn't promote a sensationalist scare-tactic mentality nor does it present a purely academic one. Somewhere in the middle, where average Christians live and pray and worship, Ingram seeks to educate, inform and equip said believers for what he terms is an "invisible war" being fought everywhere in the world today. Ingram is quick to point out that the Bible doesn't tell believers everything there is to know about how Satan and his demons work. However, it does provide enough information to formulate patterns, strategies and practical ways for Christians to combat such spiritual attacks.
Citing Ephesians 6:10-20 as the principal New Testament teaching on spiritual warfare, Ingram breaks this section of scripture into two basic themes: "Be strong in the Lord" and "Put on the full armor of God." Ingram says that when people suddenly are fearful of or in danger from spiritual entities, they react with either a fight or flight response. He suggests that both responses require embracing the mentality that humans are indeed weak and only in the might of the Lord can they effectively face down spiritual foes. Secondly, the Bible is explicit in the how-to of preparing for spiritual battle. From the biblical standpoint, "full armor" is described as "taking up the shield of faith," the "helmet of salvation" and "the sword of the Spirit."
Ingram believes there are specific times in Christians' lives when they are most vulnerable to spiritual attacks. These seasons are during the following periods of life: when believers are growing in their faith, when Christians take on the offensive and try to "invade" enemy territory through evangelism/prayer and the like, when Christians seek to expose Satan and his lies for what they truly are, after believers repent and turn toward Christ instead of continuing in a sinful lifestyle, and finally, during those times of preparation when God is making his followers ready for a work of great significance. The author tells Christians to be on the alert and ready to extinguish the "flaming arrows of the evil one" that are subtle yet strategically designed to hit believers during their weakest moments.
Lest Christians become discouraged or overwhelmed at the prospect that their every move is being monitored and plotted against by Satan and his cohorts, Ingram offers four encouraging facts. First, God has already defeated Satan and paid the price for believers' sins. Eventually sin's presence will be removed as well; until then, Christians must recognize that they are part of a "guerrilla warfare." Second, believers have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, with all the rights and privileges accorded to God's children. Third, Christians must be proactive in putting on the spiritual protection God has provided. Finally, the majority of spiritual warfare does not need to pass beyond "the regular practice of living out our position in Christ by faith."
For those Christians who have been unable to locate a sound biblical text, both practical and pertinent to their lives, THE INVISIBLE WAR will fill that need. Christians new to the faith, as well as seasoned believers, will be encouraged, educated and challenged to use every God-given resource to live lives of faith that reflect the glory and overcoming power of God's faithful care.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on January 1, 2007
The Invisible War: What Every Believer Needs to Know About Satan, Demons, and Spiritual Warfare