There are various views of spiritual warfare in different sectors of the body of Christ. Some ignore it all together, while others make it a main point of emphasis. Some say it is wrong to focus on spiritual warfare because it gives the devil too much attention. Others see spiritual warfare as the key for victorious Christian living and the expansion of the kingdom.
It is important to have a proper view of spiritual warfare. We don’t want to be dominated by a fear of, or unhealthy fascination with this topic, but neither can we afford to be ignorant of it. The apostle Paul put it this way:
” … lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” – 2 Corinthians 2:11
Notice he said that we are not ignorant of the devil’s devices. This means that, to a certain degree, we must know our enemy. If we do not, he will take advantage of us.
I played football in both high school and college. One of the things we did each week was watch game tape of our upcoming opponent. We studied each team we were going to play in order to find out about their players, see what type of offense and defense they ran, and determine any weak spots they had. We needed to master our own plays and prepare well, but we also needed to know our opponent.
I have noticed the same thing about Jesus in the gospel accounts. He was focused primarily on the Father, following His voice, doing His will, and being in relationship with Him. But He was also very aware of the enemy and His schemes. He was able to recognize the devil’s voice in its many forms, and resist his temptations and attacks.
If we do not know our enemy, we are susceptible to the way he works and we can become deceived, enslaved, or influenced in various ways. This is how some are easily drawn into the dangerous world of the occult without even realizing it. This is how some get pulled into sinful lifestyles or deceptive practices. When it comes to spiritual warfare, ignorance is not bliss!
First and foremost, we must focusing on knowing and loving God. But it is also important that we know our enemy, so that we can be victorious in the battle. The Word of God gives us the “game tape” of our enemy. If we will study the Bible we will get a clear picture of how the enemy works and will learn to discern his tactics. Don’t be ignorant of the devil’s schemes. Know your enemy so that you can defeat him!
What is your view of spiritual warfare? How can we better “know our enemy” in order to defeat him?