All through the history of the Church we see a fierce and bloody battle, and it is all about spirituality. The devil had been raging war against the spirituality of the Church. Right from the birth of the Church the spiritual ground of the Church had been attached. The devil knows that the Church can only grow on the ground of true spirituality and if he can displaced the Church on this ground then he would stunt the growth of the Church and arrest her mission. Today the devil have succeeded in many ways and Christians no longer know their spiritual ground. But let us look into the battle right from the birth of the Church to this day so that we might be awaken to the reality of this raging battle.
From the time the Church was born she has very little understanding of the spiritual but she was filled with the Spirit and she has access to the spiritual. All that the disciples knew was the physical Jesus, the one who lived and walk among them. God wanted His people to know Him by spirit because He is a Spirit. But the disciples were too blinded by the Jesus in the flesh that they couldn't see beyond that flesh into the spirit where they were born and planted. Then God chose Paul who hasn't known the Jesus in the flesh and sent him to reveal to the Church the Jesus according to the spirit. Paul was sent to establish the spiritual bases of the Church, he was to be use as an instrument to bring the Church from the level of carnality into spirituality.
Through Paul the Church would learn that being a child of the covenant is not base on carnal things such as circumcision but on the spiritual workings of Christ in us when he circumcise us by removing the flesh and reconstituted us into a spiritual people. Right there, there was a shift from the carnal to the spiritual and spirituality was advancing. Another shift took place when the Church learnt that our justification is not by the works of the law, it is not by doing all those physical things prescribed by the law that we earn a ground to fellowship with God. Fellowship with God is not on the ground of our carnal works (works produce by human effort) but on the spiritual accomplishment of Christ. We have shifted from a carnal ground to a spiritual ground.
We approach God on a spiritual ground and fellowship with Him on that spiritual ground. Our spiritual ground is Christ and all he did on the cross. Our relationship with God take place on this spiritual ground and is governed by the principles of the cross. As the Church grow she was shifting to this spiritual ground where she is being established. The devil won't have us on this ground, he wants to bring us back into his own ground (which is the ground of carnality) where he could have dominion over us. And right there the battle line was drawn.
The Church was severely attached and the attack was concentrated on getting her off her spiritual ground. Looking very closely at all the heresy that rose against the Gospel, they were mainly attacks on the spiritual ground of the Church. The battle that is found in the book of Galatians was all about the devils attempt to bring the Christian from the spiritual ground of depend on the spiritual significant of what Christ has done as the qualification for sonship to the carnal ground of depending on the physical act of circumcision as the qualification of belonging to the covenant. It is a contention to shift the Church until she fall out of her spiritual position.
Look again at the book of Corinthians, what is the contention all about? Paul was fighting as a faithful soldier of Christ to rescue the church in Corinth who had once learnt of the their spiritual position but yet not standing in it. Paul was showing them that they are not in their spiritual position, they have been shifted by the devil and now they need to reestablish themselves in this spiritual position. Now in the book of Colossians, there we found the same battle of spirituality. The church was giving in to human wisdom, philosophy and mysteries. They have left their spiritual position and they started depending a long list of "touch not; taste not; handle not;" (Col 2:21). They've lost their spirit position and they have travel far into the land of carnality. Paul's epistle to the church in Colossi was an attempt to win back the lost and wandering sheep into the spiritual ground from which they were bred.
It has always been a battle of spirituality, a battle to contend against the advancing horde of carnility sweeping through the Church. The devil keep raising up men that would bear the flag of carnality even in camp of the Church of God. The devil keep finding his way through the natural man; the wisdom of the natural man, the ability of the natural man, and the perception of the natural man. The natural man is always trying to get things on to a natural basis. He must bring everything on to the basis of natural reason, human mentality. He must be able to reason the thing through, to comprehend, to compass the thing with his reason. A very great deal of Christianity is just man taking hold of the Bible, of Christian truth, Christian doctrine, Christian things, and interpreting and applying them by natural reason. And these leads to the emergence of something carnal, a caricature, an abomination. The natural man cannot grasp the things of the spirit. Many of what we have in Christianity today is the attempt of the natural man in all his reasoning, wisdom and ability trying to lay hold on spiritual things to comprehend the things of the divine.