The Art of Spiritual Warfare

The Art of Spiritual Warfare
February 27, 2022
Passage: 2 Corinthians 10:3-4
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Today, as we look at warfare, the art of spiritual warfare, I am reminded of a quote by a Chinese general by the name of Sun Tzu.

“So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself…” — Sun Tzu, The Art of War 

Sun Tzu wrote the book known as The Art of War. He was concerned with carnal warfare and weapons. But, our weapons and warfare are not carnal but are spiritual with Satan.

  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

As we look at this quote from Sun Tzu, let us apply the advice for carnal warfare to spiritual warfare.

Know Your Enemy in Spiritual Warfare

If we're going to fight against the Devil and his power we must know who he is.

What is his Origin?

He is not eternal, he is not omnipotent. He is not omnipresent, or omniscient.

He was not mentioned in the beginning during creation. He is a supernatural being. He could appear as one of the angels.

  • Job 1:6-7

Though he is superhuman, he is, nevertheless, created by God. God created all things.

  • Genesis 1:31

He of his own free will chose to rebel against God.

What is his Motivation?

He seems to be strictly by hatred. His hatred is extreme. He hates God and everything that God stands for. 

  • Job 1:7

His realm is the material world. It could be said, in a sense, that he is the ruler of the material world that so the majority of people follow him.

  • 1 John 2:15-16

Because it is his realm we are to hate the things of this world. He is always on the prowl looking for an opportunity to devour. 

  • 1 Peter 5:8

Notice in Job's account in Job 1, he acknowledged the goodness of God.

  • Job 1:8-10

The Devil acknowledges that God had been very good to Job.

  • Job 1:11

Why did Satan want to destroy Job? This was an unprovoked attack. He wanted to try to prove that men only follow God because of His blessings. Despite God's power and goodness he still had the mentality of destruction. 

He wanted to destroy for no other reason than that he can. His motivation is extreme hatred.

What is his Mission?

His mission is murder, the murder of a soul. He knows what his destination is going to be, and he wants to take souls to hell with him. He knows that Hell has been prepared for him.

  • Matthew 25:41

The Devil knows where he is going. He knows there is no escape, and he wants to take us with him. His mission is the murder of souls.

His method is Lies.

He is a liar and murderer from the beginning.

  • John 8:44

He was a murderer from the beginning. He murdered Adam and Eve with his lie. They of course with by their own will chose to sin, but his lie led to their death. He murdered them both physically and spiritually.

With lying promises, he uses our wants and desires against us. 

  • James 1:14-15

He is a subtle liar. He told Eve, you should eat the fruit. She replied if we eat it will surely die, and he replied, ye shall not surely die.

Did they physically die immediately? No, in fact, they lived on for hundreds more years. But, they were dead spiritually the moment they sinned against God. For, the wages of sin is death and always has been. 

Satan is a subtle liar. 

His doctrines and that of his ministers appear at times as coming from the light. 

  • 2 Corinthians 11:14-15

The Devil has always twisted God's words, corrupted God's word, and tried to change the meaning of things. He tries to get men to go along with it. 

He is a subtle being. We need to know our enemy. 

  • His Origin: Not Eternal
  • His Motivation: Extreme Hatred
  • His Mission: Murder Of Souls
  • His Method: Lies

Know your enemy. If we're going to win the battle we have to know who we are fighting against.

Knowing Yourself in Spiritual Warfare

It might sound strange, but if we don't know who we are, whether in relation to the Devil or as a child of God, we will not be equipped to withstand against the wiles of the Devil. 

Who Am I? A Child of God

  • 1 John 2:13-14

He's addressing people at every stage of their Christian walk.

As a child of God, I have overcome the Devil. Through Jesus Christ, we have won our personal victory against him. 

This doesn't mean I can't still be lost. Soldiers can be killed even after the war is over. The same can be true of us if we allow it. We must know who we are to be able to withstand the enemy.

Know Your Weaknesses. So You Can Grow

We need to examine ourselves.

  • 2 Corinthians 13:5

We have to know where our weaknesses lie so we examine ourselves. When we find areas where we are weak then with study, we can learn to work on and grow in those areas. We grow spiritually in those areas when we study the Word of God.

  • Acts 20:32

We grow as we study to find where we are weak and build strength in those areas.

Know Your Strengths. Freewill

We can, as free moral agents, resist temptations. We must resist the devil.

  • James 4:7

We must know both our weaknesses and our strengths. If we fail to understand our enemy we may fall. If we don't know both our enemy and ourselves we undoubtedly will fall. 

  • Who Am I? A child of God
  • Know Your Weaknesses. Grow
  • Know Your Strengths. Our strength is in the Lord, we have free will to choose. 

We have to understand both ourselves and our enemy.

Knowing God in Spiritual Warfare

We have an almighty God on our side. We must know our God.

  • Romans 8:31

God is greater than the Devil and all of his works. He is the Creator of all things, both spiritual and material, even the Devil. Even though the Devil still has influence, God has already defeated him. 

  •  2 Peter 2:4

God has already overcome the strength and works of the Devil. 

We must know the Word of God. Without knowledge of His Word, we will be destroyed. 

  • Hosea 4:6

They were destroyed for not knowing God's word. If we don't know His word we can't use it to defend ourselves from the Devil. His Word provides all we need to be fully engaged in battle with the Devil. 

  • 2 Peter 1:3-4

We must know God's word which reveals to us God's promises.

We need to know his promises.

He has promised us a way to escape temptation.

  • 2 Corinthians 10:13

Our way to escape temptation is our free will. We cannot be overcome against our will.

He has promised deliverance from and the forgiveness of our sins when we stumble when we repent of our sins.

  • 1 John 1:9

He has promised us victory.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

He has promised us He'll be with us to the end.

  • Matthew 28:20

He's promised a crown of life and of righteousness.

  • Revelation 2:10
  • 2 Timothy 4:8

We need to know and remember His promises. 

We are to know God.

  • Know His strength is greater than the devil.
  • Know His Word is sufficient for us.
  • Know His Promises. Victory! Eternal life

Though we may lose some battles we have a God whose mighty power will sustain us to the end of our part in this war with our enemy the Devil. He will deliver us from the power of Satan. He will deliver us from Satan. He will not allow us to be taken.

We see the preparatory steps to overcome the Devil.

Know-How to Fight in Spiritual Warfare.

We must be prepared spiritually. We must be engaged in the warfare. We must be engaged in the fight. We must know how to fight.

Remembering who or what the Devil is and he has fatal limitations will encourage us in the struggle.

Remembering who God is gives us a sense of purpose in our spiritual warfare. Remembering who God is will give us the strength, courage, and fortitude to carry the day. 

We need to rely on God and His Word in order to protect us. 

  • Ephesians 6:10-18
  • Philippians 3:11
  • Romans 10:15
  • Romans 10:17
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:8
  • Hebrews 4:12, 18
  • Matthew 26:41

We are to take on the whole armor of God. Once armed, what are we to do?

  • James 4:7

We're to submit ourselves to God humbling ourselves before Him. We are to protect, keep, and guard our hearts.

  • Proverbs 4:23

In our spiritual warfare, we aren't to give any place for the Devil.

  • Ephesians 4:26-27

We're to flee from sin temptation.

  • 1 Timothy 6:11

We're to never quit, never let go. The art of spiritual warfare is to know when and how to fight. Rely upon God and His word. Resist the devil knowing that he will flee from us.

  • Remember Who/What the Devil Is. Limited
  • Rely Upon God and His Word. Armor

You can be an overcomer. You can overcome the Devil by being obedient to God's will. He has promised eternal life to those that are faithful to Him. He has told us in His Word, how to be saved. We believe that God is, in His Son Jesus Christ, that He died for our sins. Based upon that belief, we confess our belief, repent of our sins, and are baptized to be cleansed of our sins, and walk a new life. Once we become Christian we live a life that has overcome. 

We would be thrilled to discuss spiritual warfare with you further. Please contact us with any questions you may have.

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