In late March, I shared with you that I was reading the book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. In the book, at the beginning of each chapter, she outlines the strategy of the enemy. I love the perspective she shared. As I was reading each one of these I could really relate to how we are deceived and mislead. Anything to stop unity, purpose, forgiveness, love, or salvation.
I wanted to share those with you today. I think once you read them you will begin to understand what I mean. They are eye opening and will help you better understand the lengths the enemy will go through to destroy you. The bible says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” I Peter 5 (KJV).
These strategies are just a reminder how strategic we must be all well. We must be firmly planted in the Word of God and we have the plan of the “Master Strategist”. Ephesians 6: 10-18 (KJV) says, 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
May Your Steps Fulfill Their Purpose.
From the book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer
Strategy 1 – Your Passion. If I were your enemy, I’d seek to dim your passion, dull your interest in spiritual things, dampen your belief in God’s ability and His personal concern for you and convince you that the hope you’ve lost in never coming back–and was probably just a lie to begin with.
Strategy 2 – Your Focus. If I were your enemy, I’d disguise myself and manipulate your perspectives so that you’d focus on the wrong culprit–your husband, your friend, your hurt, your finances, anything or anyone except me. Because when you zero in on the most convenient, obvious places to strike back against your problems, you get the impression you’re fighting for something. Even through all you’re really doing is just…fighting. For nothing.
Strategy 3 – Your Identity. If I were your enemy, I’d devalue your strength and magnify your insecurities until they dominate how you see yourself, disabling and disarming you from fighting back, from being free, from being who God has created you to be. I’d work hard to ensure that you never realize what God has given you so you’ll doubt the power of God within you.
Strategy 4 – Your Family. If I were your enemy, I’d seek to disintegrate your family and destroy every member of it. I’d want to tear away at your trust and unity and turn everyone’s love inward on themselves. I would make sure your family didn’t look anything like it supposed to. Because then people would look at your Christian marriage, your Christian kids, and see you’re no different, no stronger than anybody else–that God, underneath it all, really doesn’t change anything.
Strategy 5 – Your Past. If I were your enemy, I’d constantly remind you of your past mistakes and poor choices I’d want to keep you burdened by shame and guild, in hopes that you’ll feel incapacitated by your many failings and see no point in even trying again. I’d work to convince you that you that you’ve had your chance and blown it–that your God may be able to forgive some people from some things, but not you…not for this.
Strategy 6 – Your Fears. If I were your enemy, I’d magnify your fears, making them appear insurmountable, intimidating you with enough worries until avoiding them becomes your driving motivation. I would use anxiety to cripple you, to paralyze you, leaving you indecisive, clinging to safety and sameness, always on the defensive because of what might happen. When you hear the word faith, all I’d want you to hear is “unnecessary risk”.
Strategy 7 – Your Purity. If I were your enemy, I’d tempt you toward certain sins, making you believe they are basically (even biologically) unavoidable. I’d study your tendencies and proclivities till I learned the precise conditions that make you the most likely to indulge them. And then I’d strike right there. Again and again. Wear you down. Because if I can’t separate you from God forever, I can at least set you at odds with Him for the time being.
Strategy 8 – Your Pressure. If I were your enemy, I’d make everything seem urgent, as if it’s all yours to handle. I’d bog down your calendar with so many expectations you couldn’t tell the difference between what’s important and what’s not. Going and going, guilty for ever saying no, trying to control it all, but just being controlled by it all instead…If I could help keep you busy enough, you’d be too overwhelmed to even realize how much work you’re actually saving me.
Strategy 9 – Your Hurts. If I were your enemy, I’d use every opportunity to bring old wounds to mind, as well as the people, events, and circumstances that caused them. I’d try to ensure that your heart was hardened with anger and bitterness. Shackled through unforgiveness.
Strategy 10 – Your Relationships. If I were you enemy, I’d work to create division between you and other Christians, between groups of Christians, any-one with the potential for “uniting” in battle against me and my plans. I’d keep you operating individually, not seeing your need for the church or tying yourself too closely to its mission. Strenght in numbers and unity of purpose…I would not allow things like these to go unchecked.
About Priscilla Shirer
Priscilla Shirer is a wife and a mom first. But put a Bible in her hand and a message in her heart and you’ll see why thousands flock to her conferences and dive into her Bible study series’ each year.
Priscilla has published numerous books including Discerning the Voice of God, God is Able, and two New York Times Bestsellers – The Resolution for Women and Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer.
Priscilla has been married to Jerry for 17 years. Between studying and writing, she spends most of her time cleaning up after (and trying to satisfy the appetites of) their three growing boys – Jackson, Jerry Jr. and Jude.