Understanding the Battlefield

The Goal of Warfare

In warfare the ultimate goal is to defeat your enemy. This can be accomplished through better training, better equipment, better tactics, and sometimes the unquantifiable nature of random chance, commonly known as the “fortunes of war”. Because victory is so important, a commander would want the very best training for his troops, and the very best weaponry available.

Consider then if an army deployed at the front line in a major conflict were offered equipment that was perfectly infallible. This would be armor that was impenetrable, making the soldier invincible, and weaponry that was perfectly effective in every use. Such equipment would be the most sought after items in the world at that particular moment. Of course, in conventional warfare, no weapon system or set of armor exists.

The Perfect Equipment

However, such equipment is exactly what the soldiers of Christ are outfitted with. As described with such figures in Ephesians 6, the Armor of God includes a “shield of faith” (v. 16) which is able to defeat the worst weapons of the enemy, and also the “sword of the Spirit” (v. 17) which is always able to penetrate a foe (cf. Heb. 4:12) and is always sharp. Knowing this, we can then better understand the spiritual battlefield itself, and the only real tactics left to Satan’s forces:

Voluntary surrender

Either total surrender in battle, or the surrendering of this equipment, which must be the personal choice of the Christian. This equipment cannot be defeated, so the only recourse left is to convince the Christian to give it up.

Inaction

While not the same as a direct victory over a soldier, convincing the Christian to remain inactive in battle neutralizes that Christian as a threat. In the spiritual war, when the very souls of men and women are on the line, a lack of victory through inaction is the same as defeat.

Knowing that these are the only tactics left to our enemy should both embolden and encourage the Christian in the continued spiritual fight. We have been provided the best equipment by the best commander in the most important fight. Whether we will fight or give up, or whether we will show up to the battle at all remains our choice.

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