Strategies of War - 2
Next, it says to "Frustrate the opponent by picking when we are going to fight. Every circumstance does not warrant a spiritual engagement in war. Some things are facts that are associated with life and living.
Just because something is wrong it does not mean that we immediately engage in battle. We must be like King David who when confronted with the decision to go to war as we saw in First and Second Samuel, ask God, "Should we go up and fight? If God says yes we then seek His strategy to ensure minimal casualties and swift victory.
What fight warrants your presence? Strategies in warfare included protecting the king where he didn't have to fight in every battle. They generally showed up after the battle was won so the ultimate victory could be credited to him.
A person would often become king because they were courageous in battle, but once sitting on the throne, he was too valuable to risk being killed by being on the front lines.
We too must be certain to not get drawn into a battle that God has not directed our steps to fight in. This takes spiritual sensitivity and is also not to be used as an excuse to sit back and not fight at all. You must know when to go and when to stay.
Another strategy of war is to "never seek comfort. How quickly we forget that we really are fighting a war and it's in war that we are taken out of our comfort zones so we can have the greatest chance of winning the battle.
In Scripture, Jesus gives us an example of being on guard for becoming comfortable with your life and lifestyle.
He gives us an example of a rich man that appeared to have all he would need to live comfortably for many years. He was ready to take it easy and I'll add while others around him were most likely suffering lack.
It was time to fight for others and in order to win a position of readiness was required at all times. Luke 12:
16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ˜What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' 18 So he said, ˜I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry. ' 20 But God said to him, ˜Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'
21 "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
I believe this has become the posture of much of the Church in America. As we live in a nation that promotes prosperity and ease.
We have allowed that same mindset of comfort and ease to saturate our lives, making us ineffective in battle. We can't see the struggles of others because of the victories we have secured in our own lives.
We forget that we too were once struggling and must refrain from allowing the mindset to develop that thinks that if there is any opposition that there's something wrong with other people “ or us for that matter.
Every battle gives you the opportunity to take more territory from the enemy than you previously had. It becomes the inheritance of your family for generations to come. This is why it's imperative to fight until victory is secure on all sides.
Once you gain sufficient wealth, help someone else out of their struggle; once you gain sufficient health, help someone else. Once you gain territory in your mind, help someone else get delivered.
- This territory in your mind gives you the ability to sort things out correctly;
- It could be God bringing your family into greater alignment with His will;
- It could be God bringing your life into agreement with His purpose and now the right job or business opportunity opens up;
- It could be the healing in your body that was needed now takes place;
- Or now the resources you have always lacked begins to come in the manner that you always envisioned it to come.
Yet because of a mindset of ease, many people and entire ministries never reach the height that they are capable of attaining. The very people that God wants to use to advance His Kingdom are hiding in spiritual bunkers [or underground shelter] and have become content living without opposition and at the slightest sign of a fight they look for another bunker that's free from opposition.
We fight in the midnight hour when our flesh is screaming for sleep; we fight on the job when our bosses are breathing down our necks; we fight in the church as the enemy tries to steal the word out of our hearts immediately after it's sown.
Then we are told to "Gather knowledge of the opponent and in doing so "Strive for quality of information and not quantity.
As mentioned in our second tactic in warfare, we can use the same principles revealed there as we must identify and have knowledge of our opponent. You must know how he operates if you are going to be successful in combating him.
The Bible tells us that "we are not ignorant of the devils schemes; his devices or his well thought out plans against us.
The caution here is to gather "intelligence without becoming so engrossed in the tactics of the devil that your relationship with the Father is jeopardized.
The information the Bible reveals about the devil is given so we can gain his strategies in operating against us; not so we can become so captivated with the devil that we forget all about pursuing God and His Presence each day.
You will never become a master at defeating the devil by having much information about things he did and what he's capable of doing. You only gain victory by exercising the authority Christ gave us over him to cast out devils and in doing so, you remain focused on the task at hand which is to win souls while we continue on the journey in the earth.
I've said so many times that satan has one three-fold objective and that is to "steal, kill and destroy. But the question is "What methods will he use to try and accomplish this goal? He will try to make us ineffective in our mission if he can't kill us! Therefore we must be certain to stay focused while we fight.
In Scripture we're given the mandate to "cast out demons. What has happened is we have made it an art instead of just doing it. The corporate Church have set it up where we need twelve steps to casting out demons and even those who attend class never use what they know.
I wonder how the initial disciples cast them out. Was it by learning all about demons or was it by obedience to doing what they were told?
Again, I'm all for having knowledge of these things, but to build doctrine around casting out demons, is dangerous. Mark 16
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.
In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John you have numerous accounts that depict where Jesus "Cast out demons. If it was so strategic or special tactics in warfare were needed to be successful at it, I think that Jesus would have taken time to show us how through the Scriptures.
But Jesus told us to cast them out and if we would do so using His Name and having faith in that Name, then the Holy Spirit will do what is necessary to ensure that people get and [by continuing in the Word] would remain free.
Our responsibility is to lay hands on those that need healing and cast out demons according to the Word of the Lord. The results are always left up to God and then someone remaining free is often a result of their continued obedience to the Word of the Lord. John 8 NKJV
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ˜You will be made free'?
34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
The Message translations states:
Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. "If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.
The KJV says, "If you continue¦ This is the key to getting free and remaining free when God steps in and releases you from the bondages of sin. To get free and then learn about the one that put you in that state only serves to often empower him to bring these things back into your life.
This is what makes the caution in Matthew 12 so important for us. We must get free and then fill our house with the Word of God.
43 "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ˜I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.
Keep the enemy at bay by remaining filled with the Word of God. There must be a hunger to go on with God and in doing so will find out how He has the power to keep that which is entrusted to His care.
Therefore we must gather knowledge of Scripture about "how he operates not "what he does by keeping people possessed, throwing up, cussing and spitting at someone. Some Believers are engrossed with satan to the point where they are holding conversations with the devil, bringing unwarranted fear and mental anguish into their lives.
Getting more information about what he does or how he manifests himself can consume us, but knowledge about how he operates gives us God's perspective and limits his authority in our lives.
Extremism as many authors promote will sell books and tapes and can even fill a stadium, but will never bring you to the place where you will become proficient at doing what you were told to do “ which is cast out devils.
This is where "knowing and identifying your enemy as we saw previously and not going beyond the boundary of what is revealed in Scripture will keep us safe. The purpose for knowing and identifying your enemy is so you can effectively remove his influences from your life in whatever form they come in.