Last summer David Powlison, a personal mentor and friend, was taken into the presence of the Lord. In the final months of his battle against cancer he used the energy he had left to give us one more gift. Safe & Sound: Standing Firm in Spiritual Battles is a treasure of practical theology about the realities of everyday spiritual warfare. As a teacher and trainer of counselors and pastors, some chapters give guidance as to how to help others, but every Christian would profit greatly from slowly reading this book. There is more that I hope to say about this book in coming days. For now, here are ten quotes to whet your appetite.
- “In personal ministry, you will meet many people who, like me, have no idea that they are in the grip of the dark lord and his lies. When you are counseling people who do not yet know the Lord, then you know that they live within a fog of fundamental deception. They are disoriented to what life is about. They are walking in the dark and do not understand what they are stumbling over (Proverbs 4:19). You know that the deceiver of the whole world does not love his followers. He intends to kill them in the end—and so you must be prepared to offer help.”
- “Scripture treats spiritual warfare as a normal, everyday part of the Christian life, and so we should as well. It’s not about spooky special effects. It’s about how we think, feel, live, desire, and act in the presence of our enemies.”
- “The real devil is utterly normal, and is role is fully integrated into daily life. Mundane evil is the devil’s business.”
- “Spiritual warfare is what happens when he enlists us in his cause and equips us to join his battle. It’s about light invading darkness. Often when people envision spiritual warfare, they think ‘I’m under attack’ and that is true. Satan does have his wily ways and he is out to get us. But we are also God’s invading army, and we are on the attack. We are bringing light into a dark world. The children of light, the army of light, the servants of light are on the offensive.”
- “As counselors, it’s tempting for us to trust our theories of motivation and causality, and our knowledge of how people tend to react to certain struggles. It’s easy to feel so confident in what we know that we don’t depend on our good Shepherd for wisdom, help, and the power to change. But if you realize that there are forces at work bigger than you, it makes you really pray and really mean it.”
- “The common theme that runs through addiction, escapism, and the wrong kind of pleasure-seeking is that we are taking refuge in a false savior. We are looking for something besides God to make us happy, to make us feel good, to help us deal with the unpleasant realities of our lives.”
- “When we are in the grip of anger and bitterness, James says that there is a demonic aspect to us (James 3:13-18). We resemble the liar and murderer in how we exalt ourselves and judge and damn others. But God gives more grace.
- “Those lies that cause us so much fear, anxiety, and distress come from the one who has been lying from the beginning.”
- “The power of Satan over someone’s life always yields to repentance and faith in Christ.”
- “Since the first day the Lord invaded my heart with his mercy and grace, I have never lost that sense of the friendship of Jesus, that he showed love to the loveless to make them lovely, that he befriended the friendless, that he befriended the unfriendly that were self-absorbed and all about themselves. That is the gospel of peace.”
Consider getting several copies of this outstanding book to share with others. Perhaps form a small reading group with several brothers and sisters in your church. Get it from WTS Books.