Maybe it’s because I’ve been a student for as long as I can remember, but I constantly like to expand my knowledge. So, when the opportunity came for me to research for a book I’m writing, I jumped on it. One of the books I came across in the library was called How Wars are Won: The 13 Rules of War by Bevin Alexander.
While I’m by no means endorsing the book — I’m still reading it myself — I was immediately intrigued by the concepts presented in the book and how easily they applied to our spiritual lives. In the first chapter, the author talks about how the old style of warfare will not be as effective as it used to be in the modern age. He says,
“The face of battle will be transformed. It will be spread over a much larger surface, will employ weapons that nearly always hit their targets, and will demand officers and soldiers who are more accountable and reliable than has ever been required in the past.” (p.16)
First, I want to start off by saying that Satan, the enemy of our souls, is not the opposite of God. God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and the devil is none of those things. He is a fallen angel, a created being. He cannot read our minds, nor can he be everywhere at one time. He is limited and contained. But he is deceptive, manipulative, and shrewd.
The enemy has been messing things up since Creation, and several thousand years later, he is more adept at individualizing his schemes. Our enemy has read up on us and knows the weaknesses we have spoken aloud and wallowed in. He knows where we feel inadequate, and he knows which buttons to push to make you feel worthless and shame-filled.
In Psalm 17:12, David writes of his enemies “They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a fierce lion crouching in cover.”
The enemy has adapted his skills of manipulation and deceit to fit our individual personalities and the age in which we live. He is evil, but he is not an idiot. He has weapons to hit us in our vulnerable places, and you had better believe he will not delay a second in using them. He is a lion who prowls around seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
If the enemy has adapted his tactics of spiritual warfare, shouldn’t we set up defenses to combat those? In other words, if we know the enemy of our souls who would like nothing more than to take us out of the running is hungry for our destruction and good at camouflaging himself, shouldn’t we be spiritually prepared to counteract his forces?
Alexander writes that soldiers must be more accountable and reliable than before. We, brothers and sisters in Christ, must be in fellowship with God every single day. Not because we want to seem righteous or to check the “duty” off our list. No! We need His strength and guidance, His wisdom and Word in order to fight the spiritual battle we are in. When we are lazy or disobedient, we are giving the enemy a perfect shot. We are standing in “No Man’s Land” without any protection or weapon.
Alexander also goes on to say, “But the element that makes for victory — essentially the application of superior force at a crucial point — will continue as before.” We can’t fight this battle alone and expect victory. With God, we may come out on the other side bruised and exhausted, but we will be victorious in Him! God is the superior force we need for victory! Jesus Christ is our banner! The Holy Spirit is our faithful, wise comrade. Battles aren’t won with good intentions, but with God-involvement.