(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 2 Corinthians 10:4
In the art of war, you must not only know your opponent but also your weapons. I'll be the first to admit that I could better choose my weapons correctly because I assume one weapon should always work. However, that's not the truth, and I've lost many battles because I decided on the wrong fighting tool.
Can a saw to tighten a screw?
Can a tape measure cut wood?
Can a power drill sand a surface?
If you answered no to those questions, then you're well aware of the unique usage of each tool. Of course, this understanding extends to spiritual warfare. Though we hear a lot about what the enemy is doing because we feel the oppression of his tactics, 2 Corinthians 10:4 is clear that God gave us weapons to help us win the battle. While they may seem insignificant, they are powerful offensive strategies that will help you move through and win every war.
Let's look at a few of them according to the Bible:
Submission and Resistance
So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you. James 4:7
When your enemy is coming to knock your head off, what do you do? Do you get on social media to air your grievances for sympathy? Do you hop on the phone and say, “the enemy is busy?” What do you do? I ask you this because you might not know that your needed strategy might be to submit to what God told you to do.
Submission is brutal because we have a god-like nature, which means we have a god-like will. I promise this is not heresy; look at John 10:34: “Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? So if Jesus sees us as gods on earth and He is the God of gods (aka King of kings and Lord of lords), then this lets us know that our god-like nature will always struggle to lower itself. However, if we don’t master bending our will to fit under the authority of God, then we will always lose the battle because God hates pride.
So, your first weapon is submission. Submitting doesn’t mean that the enemy won’t launch attacks against you. He’s launching the attacks because you’re in a submission posture. He doesn’t want you to submit because he knows that once you do that, then his time of attacks is limited in your life. Here is your first offensive tool. Use it wisely.
After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 2 Chronicles 20:21-22
I struggle with this one because it’s challenging to offer God the sacrifice of praise when I’m going through. I’m in panic mode when all hell breaks loose, but we see something fascinating happen in 2 Chronicles. When Jehoshaphat defeats Moab and Ammon, his army doesn’t do it in their own strength. In fact, the story tells us that God has decided that this battle isn’t on the warriors, but this one is on Him. Yet, they still had to go to the battle as if they were going to fight it.
I know this was probably confusing for the waring men, especially since they were afraid, but how would God give them the heads of their enemies if they weren’t in the position to receive them? They had to show up to the battle. So, as they went down to the battle, Jehoshaphat sent men to sing and worship, and as they were doing so, the Lord defeated their enemies. Not them. That battle belonged to God.
I know we like to think we are big and bad (and we are sometimes), but some enemies are too big for you, and that’s when God tells you to worship Him.
The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. Exodus 3:7
Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them. Let them come quickly and wail over us till our eyes overflow with tears and water streams from our eyelids. Jeremiah 9:18
Now, you women, hear the word of the Lord; open your ears to the words of his mouth. Teach your daughters how to wail; teach one another a lament. Jeremiah 9:20
No one likes a crybaby, right? Wrong. God does. I used to be someone who wouldn’t permit the tears to come, and I ended up bound with a severe case of anxiety and depression. Crying does not mean that you’re weak. Crying signals that you are hurt. Crying showcases that you are alive.
The wailing women were professional mourners in ancient societies, and research shows that some still exist in contemporary cultures. Fascinatingly, they were believed to be skilled and trained in the art of grieving for the community. Their skillful grief strategy not only helped the community face the reality of death but also express its grief, which is necessary when attempting to move forward.
When you’ve experienced loss of any magnitude, to move through it, you must grieve it. Though sometimes we cannot fathom how this might be a warfare strategy, it is because you refuse to remain stuck in the oppressive cycle. When you cry, you’re choosing to feel and move forward. It might not seem like it, but you are moving forward. You are winning by refusing to give up. You have chosen the correct battle strategy. El-Roi sees you!
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
The company you keep matters. While I know many people may not see how their friends/family influence them, the truth is that we are all influenced by someone or something. When I lived in Chicago, I grew up within my family’s culture, so I thought certain things were normal, such as poverty. How could I not? Everyone was robbing Peter to pay Paul. However, when I moved away, I started to see things differently. I had a paradigm shift.
What prompted this shift? Community.
The people who have your ear matters in every season. Whether on the mountaintop or in the valley, you need the right people with you. Why? Because in both places, you’re vulnerable, and the conversations that occur will persuade you. When you’re fighting for your life and the lives of your family members, you need solid Bible-believing people around you. Not only will they pray for you, but they will be as Peter was for Cornelius, an advisor.
Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. Ephesians 6:13
If I’m in the middle of a battle, the last thing I want to do is stand, but that’s what the Bible tells us to do. However, it doesn’t stop there though. It tells us that after we’ve done everything, we should stand in place, fully prepared, immovable, and victorious. How does this even make sense? How does the very act of standing make us victorious? Because we’ve submitted to God's authority, and He has made our way victorious. You will not win this battle without Him, and you shouldn’t want to.
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