Chapter 1: Estimates
All warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when capable of attacking, feign incapacity; when active in moving troops, feign inactivity. When near the enemy, make it seem that you are far away; when far away, make it seem that you are near. Hold out baits to lure the enemy. Strike the enemy when he is in disorder. Prepare against the enemy when he is secure at all points. Avoid the enemy for the time being when he is stronger. If your opponent is of choleric temper, try to irritate him. If he is arrogant, try to encourage his egotism. If the enemy troops are well prepared after reorganization, try to wear them down. If they are united, try to sow dissension among them. Attack the enemy where he is unprepared, and appear where you are not expected.
Chapter 2: Waging War
Treat the prisoners of war well, and care for them. (Treat the captured soldiers well in order to nurture them [for our use]). This is called “winning a battle and becoming stronger.”
Chapter 3: Offensive Strategy
Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy. Next best is to disrupt his alliances by diplomacy. The next best is to attack his army. And the worst policy is to attack cities.
Excerpts from The Art of War
- The Estimations of the Enemy
- Satan is a deceiver
- John 8:44 … He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
- He will not come right out and attack you in an obvious way, but he will be subtle
- All warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when capable of attacking, feign incapacity; when active in moving troops, feign inactivity. When near the enemy, make it seem that you are far away; when far away, make it seem that you are near.
- He understands our weaknesses & strengths
- Satan is a deceiver
- Hold out baits to lure the enemy.
Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
- Prepare against the enemy when he is secure at all points. Avoid the enemy for the time being when he is stronger.
1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
- Avoid the enemy for the time being when he is stronger. If your opponent is of choleric temper, try to irritate him. If he is arrogant, try to encourage his egotism.
Romans 12:3 … Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
- If the enemy troops are well prepared after reorganization, try to wear them down.
Luke 11:24 – 26 When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.
- Strike the enemy when he is in disorder. If they are united, try to sow dissension among them.
Mark 3:25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
- Attack the enemy where he is unprepared
Matthew 7:24 & 25 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
- And appear where you are not expected.
Luke 12:39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
- Waging War
- When the war is begun, Satan will do whatever it takes to get you on his side
- He will make sin pleasurable
- Treat the captured soldiers well in order to nurture them [for our use]
- Hebrews 11:25 He (Moses) chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.
- When you give in to these pleasures, you will be a slave to the one who gave you those pleasures
- John 8:34 Jesus replied, I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
- Offensive Strategy
- 1st Plan: Attack the strategy
- Satan will try to disrupt your goals, your mission, and your vision
- He will attack you with doubt
- Doubt of salvation
- Doubt of authority
- Doubt of power
- 2nd Plan: Disrupt the alliances by diplomacy
- Others will begin to question
- Even those around you could begin to doubt
- 3rd Plan: Attack the army
- Those that remain will be attacked personally
- This could be physically, mentally, or spiritually
- 4th Plan: Attack the city
- The very church itself will be attacked by Satan
- He will attempt to defeat you as you stand on the Rock, Christ Jesus
- 1st Plan: Attack the strategy
- This is a last resort, because he knows no weapon formed against you shall prosper
Satan’s basic strategy can be realized and understood, however, he has many different means to implement his plans. For some, it could be a relationship that would be a point of weakness. He could attack others with drugs or alcohol. A job or time management could be the downfall of some. Some could suffer a physical attack brought on by spiritual forces. It is our jobs as Christians to understand that we cannot be sure of how he will attack, but we must understand that he will attack. We know that “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.” If we stand on the solid Rock of Jesus, no storm will be able to bring us down. Allow Jesus to be Lord of your life, and he will be your shelter and your refuge.
Wednesday, December 2, 1998
The Art of Spiritual Warfare
Part 2: The Strategy of the Saints