A group of witches recently gathered outside of Trump Tower in New York City to cast a spell aimed at “binding” President Trump in order to prevent him from “harming people and nature.” They are part of a larger movement that’s committed to performing the ritual at every waning crescent moon until Trump is no longer in office. Michael M. Hughes, who posted the instructions for performing the ritual online, told the Daily Mail, “This I consider to be primarily a self-defense measure. So many of us are just overwhelmed . . . This felt like a way to reclaim our power and say, ‘We have power over you. You don’t have power over us.'”
I must admit, this is one of the stranger stories I’ve read recently concerning President Trump and, initially, I wasn’t entirely sure what to think of it. The idea of people sitting in a circle and carving names into candles while praying to elemental spirits and/or demons seems so strange that my first reaction was to simply write it off as crazy people doing crazy things. The more I’ve thought about it, however, the more I’ve come to realize that such a response underestimates the reality of our enemy’s work.
You see, most of us make one of two mistakes when it comes to our beliefs about spiritual warfare and the devil’s activity in the world around us. Most here in America tend to underestimate it, writing it off as either intellectually untenable or a reality of some distant past that’s longer part of our lives today.
I believe that the main reason we don’t see as much witchcraft, possessions, and other examples of overt demonic activity here as in other parts of the world is that Satan is very much at peace with the culture believing he’s some spiritual caricature who lacks any real influence. It suits his purposes best to be underestimated. But, as Ronald Knox quipped, “It is stupid of modern civilization to have given up belief in the devil when he is the only explanation for it.” This is the mistake I make to far too often.
That said, the opposite reaction, whereby we begin to see him at work in every facet of our lives, manipulating every event that makes it more difficult to follow Christ, is similarly mistaken. Christians who give the enemy too much credit for what he can do are equally playing into his hands. The truth is that, while he is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), his power is nothing compared to that of our Lord and the Holy Spirit residing in the hearts of every Christian (Luke 10:17–19, 1 John 4:4, James 4:7). We have no need to fear him, and any view of his authority or influence that causes us to do so is unhealthy and unbiblical.
The best response to stories like witches casting spells against the president is to find the balance between overestimating and underestimating what our enemy is truly capable of accomplishing. Our job is not to fear him but to stand against him, and that can’t happen if we’re either overcome with worry or unmoved by complacency.
Scripture is clear that he is a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). While we are safe in the Lord, those who live apart from his grace are not. So pray for those who still need to find that safety and salvation in Christ. Pray that when they are attacked, it will remind them of their need for a personal relationship with God. And be ready for God to use you to redeem the plans of the enemy for the Lord’s purposes. Are you ready to do your part today?