12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.
As would any battle-tested leader, Satan will find the weakest point and attack. We all have our weak spots, blind spots. We all have our moments when we are weaker than at other times. After a long week, Friday is an easy target. After a particularly awful fight with your honey/loved one/spouse it is a weak moment for us. Someone in your life dies, you lose a job, unexpected expenditure are all points of difficulty that can stretch our lives like a band. You stretch it and the weak point is found because it changes color faster than the other parts. Like war, we must be ready. There are three things we must do if we are to be victorious.
1. See it. Tzu wrote, “Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.” So often we are so focused on the enemy that we overlook out own weaknesses. Be sure that he knows our weaknesses. He sees you from that perspective completely fixed on that part of you that is weakest. He waits for you to be tired and/or emotionally spent. What is your weakness? Is it rage? Is it lying or gossip? Is it alcohol or drugs? Is it porn? With what does Satan consistently trip you? Owning your weakness gives you a chance to take the next step.
2. Strengthen it.
Tzu wrote, “To not prepare is the greatest of crimes; to be prepared beforehand for any contingency is the greatest of virtues.” Once we choose to be aware of our weak points, like a chink in armor, we can begin to shore up those areas. A general will strengthen and protect a weak area thought to be susceptible to attack. Why wouldn’t we? In verse 13 above we see the word preparation. We must prepare. If we are going to strengthen our position it takes a bit of prep work. How do we prep for an attack? If you know your weakness, prepare to strengthen it. Here are a few thoughts answering the most common moments of temptation.
- Sleep more
- Church/Community Service
- Reduce stress
3. Solve it. Tzu wrote, “Those skilled in war subdue the enemy’s army without battle. They conquer by strategy.” Winning a war takes a battle at a time. Some battles are won and others lost, but we must keep our eye on the prize that lays before us. Victory is ours in Jesus Christ, thought ultimately it might not come until the afterlife. We cannot quit. We cannot give up. We must keep fighting. Winston Churchill gave a speech to the Harrow School in 1941 where he encouraged the people to never give in.
You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period – I am addressing myself to the School – surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated.
–Winston Churchill, 1941