Battle presupposes many things, but certain ones are essential. Among the essentials of any conflict are armies, arms, tactics, strategy, and the knowledge of one’s enemies. If any of these essentials is missing, one’s loss of the battle is ensured even before the first blow is struck. Without having the right soldiers, the right arms, the right strategy and a fundamental understanding of one’s enemy, one is inhibited and stunted in their ability to fight the fight in such a manner that their victory is certain.
Brutal and coldhearted as it may seem, one need only give a passing glance to the current church to realize that though we might call ourselves an army, we are weaponless, absent of strategy, ignorant of tactics, and woefully unaware of our enemy, what he can do, and the lengths he will go to in any conflict.
A soldier’s ignorance of his weapons on the battlefield will almost always ensure his demise. If he stands face to face against his enemy and does not know how to wield his sword, raise his shield, or have a passing knowledge of all the weapons in his arsenal, that moment of hesitation, the fumbling with one’s scabbard, the overreach of one’s sword, the wrong placement of one’s shield, and the enemy will strike the mortal blow.
By the same token, a soldier who does not know the tactics of his enemy, or know how to defend against them is at a serious disadvantage on the battlefield. We are warned, and forthrightly so in God’s word not to be ignorant of the devil’s devices. The reason this warning is found within the pages of scripture is because once we are aware of the devil’s devices, we will naturally begin to take steps to protect ourselves against them, and guard our hearts against their influences.
Your weakness, whatever that might be, is the device the enemy most often employs to try to derail you and vanquish you spiritually. Knowing the fact that the enemy employs your weakness against you, and knowing yourself well enough to know your own weakness, you are especially sensitive to any situation or circumstance in which this weakness can be exploited.
If alcohol is your weakness, then perhaps bars are not the best place for you to hang out. If lust is your weakness, then perhaps watching movies with innuendo and gratuitous nudity in them is not the best way to pass your time. You know your weakness, guard against it and one of the enemy’s greatest weapons against you will have been neutralized.
As Paul so poetically puts it, we ought to be aware of the devil’s devices lest he get an advantage, or outwit us. Paul understood the battle and what it meant. He knew that it was not a battle for something as fleeting as statehood or nationality, but for one’s eternal soul and where it would spend eternity. Throughout the New Testament we are warned to be on guard, to be alert, to watch, to be aware, to prepare, to put on our armor, because the ramifications of this war we wage are greater than the ramifications of any physical war.
Not only are we repeatedly warned to prepare for battle, there are passages within God’s Word which describe it, informing us that in the unseen realm, the whole of the universe is at war.
Revelation 12:7-8, “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon’ and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.”
Revelation 13:7, “And it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”
From what we read in God’s Word there are three distinct groupings in this ongoing war. First, there is the army of heaven, the heavenly host, or the army of the Lord, second, there the armies of darkness which include the devil, his angels, principalities, and powers, and third there is mankind, which is itself divided into two camps, the saints, the righteous, and the godless or unrighteous.
Throughout this study, one which thus far is proving to be somewhat ambitious, we will determine what the role of the saints is in this war, what the weapons of our warfare are, and how it is we can take the fight to the enemy, actually go on the offensive, and take back the ground we’ve lost over time.
As I see it, every believer must choose one of two options: they can either learn the weapons in their arsenal, and what it is to do battle, and to do spiritual warfare, or they can be fodder like so many clueless souls walking about vanquished, beaten, and imprisoned while ignorant of the fact they were at war to begin with.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.