Safe and Sound: Standing Firm in Spiritual Battles

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*Note: Each purchase of Safe and Sound includes a complimentary eBook copy of Power Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare, also by David Powlison. Your download link will be included in the fulfillment email you receive when your order ships. If you have purchased this resource from another bookseller, please email us at to receive your free ebook.

Safe and Sound by best-selling author David Powlison guides readers to see the normality of their struggles with themselves, the world around them, and the powers of darkness.

Counselors tend to be interested in what they can easily describe: psychological dynamics, social influences, and physiological givens. But how does the uncanny power of darkness fit in with the more accessible factors in a person’s life?

By carefully unpacking Ephesians 6 with vivid case studies and biblical wisdom, Powlison helps readers humanize those struggles and bear the relevance of the love of God in Christ for those struggles.

In this helpful guide, Powlison addresses many questions with gospel answers regarding the reality of spiritual warfare, including “What is spiritual warfare?” and “How does Ephesians disciple us in spiritual warfare?”

Safe and Sound presents Ephesians as a book about our conflict with darkness—within ourselves, with other people, and with the spiritual forces of evil. Powlison demonstrates how the message of Christ’s triumph over all that is evil, dark, and deadly rings true, and how spiritual warfare is our participation in the Lord’s cosmic war with darkness.

To stand up against evil, Powlison encourages readers to pray pointedly and listen to Scripture intently, standing with other brothers and sisters in Christ and relying on the strength God himself gives.


David Powlison, MDiv, PhD, (1949–2019) was a teacher, counselor, and the executive director of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He wrote many books and minibooks, including Speaking Truth in Love, Seeing with New Eyes, The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context, Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness, Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken, God's Grace in Your Suffering, and Safe and Sound. David was also the editor of The Journal of Biblical Counseling.


“I worked with David for thirty-eight years, so I acknowledge I am biased toward everything he wrote, but this is David at his best: pastoral, connecting dots between Ephesians and Satan’s present strategies, opening his own life to us, and opening our eyes to the light of Jesus Christ. More than a book, this is a gift.”
Edward T. Welch, Faculty and counselor, CCEF; author of A Small Book about a Big Problem

“Honestly I’ve always had more questions than answers when it comes to spiritual warfare and demonic activity. So I am thankful for this short, Scripture-saturated book that not only provides clear teaching on what spiritual warfare really is, but also presents appropriate strategies for helping people in the midst of spiritual battles against evil—the same strategies we all need for life in this world—the Word and prayer.”
Nancy Guthrie, Author and Bible teacher

“This is the best thing I’ve ever read on spiritual warfare. David Powlison’s Safe and Sound equipped me to understand spiritual warfare in a way that nothing else has before. Read it and I guarantee you’ll grow in your faith.”
Deepak Reju, Pastor of Biblical Counseling and Family Ministry, Capitol Hill Baptist Church (Washington, DC); author of On Guard and She’s Got the Wrong Guy

“I don’t think that there is a better book on spiritual warfare. It breaks through the confusion and fear that so often attends this topic with practical biblical insight, carefully given by a skilled surgeon of the soul. Every Christian should read this book so they are prepared for the inevitable battles they will face between the ‘already’ of their conversion and the ‘not yet’ of their home-going.”
Paul David Tripp, President of Paul Tripp Ministries, pastor, best-selling author of New Morning Mercies

“During his lifetime, David Powlison gave to the church gifts too numerous to mention. His parting gift of this book is no exception. Using Ephesians 6 as a foundation, David makes a compelling case for Christian life and ministry as everyday spiritual warfare empowered by the Divine Warrior himself, our triune God. This is warfare demystified—battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil waged prayerfully and dependently on your knees with Scripture in your hand and your heart.”
Michael R. Emlet, Counselor and Dean of Faculty, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF); author of CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet and Descriptions and Prescriptions: A Biblical Perspective on Psychiatric Diagnoses and Medications

Safe and Sound protects you from the worst kind of spiritual warfare where you let Satan ‘get in your head.’ We have the high ground. That’s one of David Powlison’s many rich insights in this thoughtful book on fighting the powers of darkness. Taking spiritual warfare seriously does not mean letting Satan shape the narratives around his power. He’s a defeated enemy, with a fatal wound from the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!”
Paul E. Miller, Director of seeJesus; author of A Praying Life and J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life

“David helps us regain the language, perspective, and practice of spiritual warfare from the Scriptures. To counsel is to engage in cosmic battles waged in the normal moments of everyday life. Powlison keeps us grounded by reminding us that we do not wage war according to modern philosophies of naturalism, but with the armor of God and the Sword of the Spirit. In the midst of his own battles with the ever-present shadows of death, Powlison is transparent and vulnerable as he shepherds us to rest in the peace found in God’s Word. Expositionally accurate, theologically practical, and winsomely relevant—you will do well to read, heed, and guard his timely biblical counsel.”
Dale Johnson, Jr., Executive Director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors; Director of Counseling Programs at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

“What a gift David Powlison has given us in this, his final book. His familiar voice does what it has always done—it lovingly joins the dots of spiritual reality to the present reality of life. Hear him well: spiritual warfare is not an occasional oddity, it is the central dilemma of every person’s life. This book doesn’t just describe our constant battle—to believe, and repent, and love—it also shows us how to fight—right to the end. And no one who loved David, either in person or through his ministry, will read the final chapter without tears in their eyes.”
Steve Midgley, Executive Director, Biblical Counselling UK; Senior Minister, Christ Church Cambridge

Additional Details

0.50 LBS
5.50 (in)
8.50 (in)
0.36 (in)
David Powlison
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3 Reviews

  • 4
    Help for Counselors and Everyone

    Published by SJ on 11 14 2019

    What is spiritual warfare? Powlison says that it is a part of Christian life -- a battle for Lordship. Every moment, he contends, we make decisions on who we will serve.

    The promotional blurb for this book said that it “guides readers to see the normality of their struggles with themselves, the world around them, and the powers of darkness.” I liked that perspective. Powlison says that the devil is certainly real, but that we don’t need to overemphasize him. “The person as a moral responder always comes front and center.” He relates a story about a woman in church who began acting in a very disturbing way. Several members came forward, wanting to “exorcise” her. But another man reacted instead by sitting at a distance from her, talking quietly to her, praying, etc. This “normal” approach reached the woman. “Spiritual warfare is not grim or apprehensive, not paranoid or superstitious, not magical or talismanic.”

    Other interesting bits —

    Spiritual warfare is about light invading darkness. It’s not all about Satan attacking us — we are to be on the offensive and should take the battle to the darkness.
    “Turning to Christ is to win spiritual warfare.”
    In describing a health crisis he and his wife had faced with their daughter, Powlison focuses on Psalm 28. He notes how the Psalmist goes through the emotional register, from despair to peace. He shares that the Psalmist seemingly went through this process much faster than his family did, and that the template here –not the timetable — was the important aspect.
    Sadly, Powlison died of cancer shortly after this book was written. I have found teaching videos he has made on RightNow Media, and I appreciate his calm, assuring manner both in this book and in his videos.
    **Thanks New Growth Press for a review copy.

  • 5
    Good explanation of spiritual warfare

    Published by Jill Potts Jones on 11 12 2019

    "Safe and Sound: Standing Firm in Spiritual Battles" by David Powlison offers a clear, concise explanation of spiritual warfare, why we need to know how to battle in the spiritual realm and how to be strategically prepared.  Powlison teaches scriptural ways to deal with the common battles we all face as well as tackling more difficult situations such as the occult, animism and death.

    The most helpful chapter was "Strength and Guidance for Personal Ministry" which includes a detailed section on how to pray at all times for every saint, including yourself. It appeals primarily to those involved in counseling others; however, there are great tidbits for every believer who wants to deal effectively with his/her spiritual battles.

    Powlison earns high praise from readers which is well-deserved.  If you are unfamiliar with spiritual warfare and/or want to learn how to be victorious in battle, "Safe and Sound" needs to be in your library. You will refer to it often.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from New Growth Press through Audra Jennings PR. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  • 4
    For pastors and counselors

    Published by Joan Nienhuis on 10 30 2019

    This is a book for counselors. It is about how to help people stand up to evil. Many Christians do not understand they are in a spiritual battle, that it is an everyday part of every Christian's life.

    Since the term, spiritual warfare, does not appear in the Bible, Powlison explores what it means. He identifies three areas: being on the Lord's side in battle with His enemies, the moral struggle in our hearts, and the struggles in our Christian life, including lordship.

    Powlison reviews the armor Paul lists in Ephesians. He had some insights I've not seen before, relating the pieces of armor to counseling. Truth, for example, refers to the lies of the world, the devil, and our own hearts. They could be lies about God or about others. Counselors help uncover the lies and apply the truth of Scripture. Righteousness embraces not only our salvation but also living out that righteousness in how we treat others – doing right and good.

    An Appendix in included regarding demons and exorcism, downplaying them both. This seemed like it might be a controversial issue to me. Counselors who want to have nothing to do with confronting demons will like this Appendix.

    I am not a counselor but I learned a great deal from this book. Counselors and pastors would do well to read it. While you may not agree with everything in the book, there are many insights about helping others in spiritual warfare included.

    I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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