Sports teams, political rivals, and military strategists all have one thing in common, they are aware of what their opponent's strengths and weaknesses are. This is why teams study the game tapes, why politicians listen to the comments of their rivals and why military units spy out the land they are seeking to take.
If you don't know what your enemy is doing, you will not be as victorious as could be if you did know what he was doing. Many people go into war without all the information, which is a critical part of the preparation and that is why they lose more battles than they win. Now this is true on a nation, international and individual level, but today we are going to speak to individuals, for I see a tactic of the enemy in Scripture that has plagued Israel and the church since the beginning of our existence as people.
The trifold plan of the enemy against believers is unforgiveness, forgetfulness and fear/unbelief. These are the three strategies the enemy uses against people in their relationship with God and others.
"Whomever you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if I forgave someone anything, for your sakes I forgave it in Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us. For we are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Cor. 2:10-11).
"They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them" (Ps. 78:11).
"They turned away from faith and walked away in fear; they failed to trust in his power to help them when He was near" (Ps. 78:22).
Historically with Israel, realistically with the church and identifiably with us as individuals we can see this trifold plan of the enemy in operation in people's lives and that is why we are not as powerful as we could be, as loving as we are called to be and as courageous as we are supposed to be. The enemy begins by either getting us or someone we love in unforgiveness in order to destroy our relationships, for the enemy knows, sometimes better than us, that we are better together than we are apart. Living with unforgiveness on any level is destructive to relationships, the enemy knows this, so it is one of his tactics.
Secondly, the enemy uses forgetfulness in order to get us to question the character of God. If we forget our history with God and His faithfulness toward us, we will begin to question what He is doing with us when we can't see, hear or understand.
The third tactic the enemy uses is fear or unbelief, which is a lack of trust. Trust is the most vulnerable thing we are called to do and many people refuse to do it for when they have tried to trust, they were hurt, so they have resolved not to trust people or God. The enemy is such a strategist, he knows if he can rob you of your ability to trust, he can keep you in unbelief and render you powerless.
The enemy knows, sometimes better than we do, that we are powerful. Christ in us is the hope of glory! If God arises in us, the enemy will be scattered, so the enemy uses a trifold plan to keep us from being powerful. But God, who is slow to anger and rich in mercy, has not given up, He is relentless in His pursuit of us, He knows we are His ambassadors on earth, He knows He paid a price for us that no other person on earth would be willing to pay and He knows how to win our hearts again.
So, we can have hope, even though we may have fallen prey to one or all three of these strategies of the enemy, the Lord is our deliverer and He is still releasing the prisoners and setting the captives free. You were created to be powerful and now that you know the trifold plan of the enemy, you can defeat him by forgiving everyone, remembering your history with God, and walking in faith, trusting God with all your heart. This is how we overcome!
Lisa Great is an author, speaker and blogger with Mouthpiece Ministries International. She has been in ministry for over 25 years, she has a B.A. in Youth and Family Studies, a M.A. in Education. She can be reached at mouthpieceministries.net;
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