Know your enemy and you will be better equipped in battle.
With sports in full swing, it's only fitting we discuss the importance of knowing your enemy. In sports, we study our opponents. Try to find a weakness or gain an advantage on them.
There are two points I want to make as it pertains to knowing your enemy:
1. Relationships in life
2. Satan's Plans To Combat Us
Relationships in life
Christ calls us to "love our enemies" (Matthew: 43-44; Luke 6:35). While we are not here to exploit our enemies in the name of Christ the same still applies. We must study our enemies in order to better understand them. This will give us opportunities to speak His words into their lives.
Luke says it best, "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return." In order for us to speak words of wisdom into their lives we must first understand where they are coming from. Why do they not believe? What is their reasoning? Did something happen that caused them to turn from God? Do they fully understand what God is offering?
Find out these answers first i.e. listen and learn first and the open doors to speak into them will appear. Let's take a look at an excerpt from the Fully Packed Adventure Ministries Biblical Foundation material:
Module 1 - Worldview
We ought to understand and teach Scripture with the operating assumption that those we share with have no understanding of God or His character. We must also not assume that our worldview is the only the one by which others will act, but rather thank God that in His grace, we can gradually conform our inaccurate worldview to the God who has revealed Himself.
For this reason, we must start by unpacking the Biblical narrative. Failure to do so results in making an attempt to introduce others to the proverbial friend that they don’t even care exists.
We have to understand that we are presenting/introducing to others the proverbial friend that they don't even care exist or they feel has let them down or they feel that other Christians have wronged them.
Know your enemy i.e. understand where they are coming from and then we can better equip ourselves to speak His glorious words into their lives.
Satan's Plans To Combat Us
To assume this is going to be a bed of roses is to assume wrong. Our walk with the Lord and others is going to be met with great forces that want to combat against His way of life. Satan is on the prowl. Lurking in the dark. Waiting to pounce on any weakness we expose to him.
Not only do we have to understand those we live life with we also have to understand the tactics Satan is going to use to pull us away from a life lived for Christ. In a write up by John Piper - Satan's Ten Strategies Against You - he dives into the things we must be aware of. Here are the Ten Strategies. I urge you to dive into his article for further study on these:
1. Satan lies, and is the father of lies
2. He blinds the minds of unbelievers
3. He masquerades in costumes of light and righteousness
4. Satan does signs and wonders
5. Satan tempts people to sin
6. Satan plucks the word of God out of people's hearts and chokes faith
7. Satan causes some sickness and disease
8. Satan is a murderer
9. Satan fights against the plans of missionaries
10. Satan accuses Christians before God
Read and Study Philippians 2:12-13
Questions to ask as you read Philippians 2:1-13
What role do we have in fighting sin, and what role does God promise to fulfill?
How does Philippians 2:13 help us understand how to fight sin?
Philippians 2:13 encourages us in our fight against sin. What specific sin can you target this week?
Live for His glory... succeed for His kingdom!