A couple of years ago I awoke as God said to be very loudly, “Be as General Patton!” I was somewhat intrigued by His comment because my history lessons about the war was long gone out of my head. I being obedient decided to search out who this famous general I should be comparing myself to you. I find it quite funny although most people didn’t like him nor was a kind man, however he had strategic mastermind when it came to war. Under his leadership Patton advanced farther, captured more enemy prisoners, and liberated more territory in less time than any other army in history. I understand why God said this to me.
To be successful in life and to be where you are called into the ministry sometimes you put yourself on the front line of battle. You must be prepared and you must know how your enemy works. Like Patton, he emphasized the need for armored forces to stay in constant contact with the enemy, concluding that aggressive, fast-moving mechanized and armored forces disrupted enemy defensive preparations while presenting less of a target to enemy gunners. His instinctive preference for relentless offensive movement be slowed to reduce the number of U.S. casualties, Patton replied “Whenever you slow anything down, you waste human lives.” That is what I am writing about the next few days, be prepared Saints of the most high and know your enemies battle tactics.
When a Christian gets frustrated, angry or upset there is one or two things one does. One will either flight or fight. The first thing the enemy of our soul wants us to do is lose the battle. We have all must know in the Bible it tells us how the devil walks around like a lion ready to devour us and that he comes to steal, kill and destroy. If we do not know his tactics of war, he will succeed to rob us of joy (he doesn’t want joy or steal joy but get us in mindset where we won’t have joy), kill God’s plans and dreams for us and destroy our lives in the chaos to where we will flee from God, his people and His plans. How do we know if people have resorted to the fight or flight mode? They fight against God’s plans and resort back to feeding the flesh or nature man. You may have found yourself in this circumstances once before yet not know how to deal with the issue or be oblivious to his plan.
The goal of Satan: To advance his kingdom, to extend his sphere of influence.
His scheme: To distract us from our pure and sincere devotion to Christ and remove us from the battle.
Now how does he do this? I’m sure General Patton would have put a stop to this plan as he recognized the patterns of this type of warfare. He would have used his disciplines to prepare and to finish the fight. “When we land against the enemy, don’t forget to hit him and hit him hard. When we meet the enemy we will kill him.” We sometimes forget who the enemy is. Our goal is not to kill each other (fellow humans) but to know who the enemy is.
Goal of the enemy: To destroy our faith: by tempting us to sin, persecute believers, trip us up by slandering, draw us to self-reliance, get our eyes off our leader Christ Jesus, and catch us off guard. Each is described below.
When Satan tempts us to sin he will also defile our conscience and get a foothold in the door. This happens when we put ourselves in an area where we shouldn’t be. Attitudes develop and things we once considered not to be a part of our Christian lifestyle all of a sudden become “OK”. Although the warning flags from the Holy Spirit wave bright, our conscience ignores and we justify those little sins. Have you heard the saying, “Give the devil an inch, he takes a mile?”. This is only the beginning.
The second warfare Satan uses is to persecute believers and to slander. Every lie and any person he can use to do this he will. Ever heard of a rumor and wonder if it is true? Once you start doubting the person, distrust creeps in and then slander becomes the cannon ball. People can become very cruel with their opinions. Even Christians play an important part in Satan’s scheme to divide the body. We all must learn to recognize this instead of spreading gossip, rumors or untrue lies we should stop the source.
The third tactic is to draw us to self-reliance. When things, plans or people make us frustrated we tend to try to fix it instead of waiting on God’s plan with patience and thankfulness. We try to take things into our own hands with controlling the environment, the situation or people. When we rely on our own strength we quickly feel tired, defeated and confused. How do we stop letting our emotions or self-reliance kick in? We pray and trust in God for direction. We pray for those who become wounded by the enemy’s arrows.
Getting our eyes off of Jesus and looking around is the final blow Satan will use. He keeps us upset with the lies, the rumors, the fears of man and looking back at the past with fearfulness of the future. Satan enhances the blow with lack of vision, hurt feelings, unforgiveness with bitterness. Holding grudges and concentrating on retaliation to man instead of knowing who the real enemy is. Getting our eyes off Jesus is ultimately losing our focus on what Jesus stands for: love and giving to others. For some it is all about self, how self feels, how self is hurt, how self is upset, how self wants this way or that way. Self is focused on self, not Jesus.
Tomorrow I will write about what takes place after Satan has shot out these battle tactics into your life.