God's Battle Plan

He that committeth sin is of the Devil; for the Devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil. (I John 3:8)

It is a strategy resting upon understanding the purposes of our warfare and based upon communication with our Commander-in-Chief by prayer, fasting, and the written Word of God.

When you do not understand God's purpose and plan, you may be tempted to become discouraged in the conflicts of life. This is why many Christian soldiers fail in warfare: They do not understand the divine purpose behind the battle.

And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. (Acts 5:38-39)

From the beginning of time, every natural battle that has been fought always had a purpose for which it was waged. Before we examine God's battle plan, it is important to understand the purpose of spiritual warfare. This involves understanding the purposes of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son.

THE PURPOSE OF GOD:

It is God's purpose that...

...in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on earth... (Ephesians 1:10)

From the beginning of time, Satan has battled against the fulfillment of this purpose. Your own warfare in the spirit world is related to this purpose of God. Satan battles to bring your heart, mind, spirit, and soul into allegiance to him instead of the Lord Jesus Christ.

God works in you to accomplish His purpose:

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

God also works through your life to accomplish His purposes:

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6:13)

When you yield yourself to become "an instrument of righteousness unto God," it means you bring your life and ministry in harmony with His purpose and plans. By doing this, you become a target for God's enemy, Satan.

THE PURPOSE OF JESUS:

Jesus said:

He that committeth sin is of the Devil; for the Devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil. (I John 3:8)

The reason Jesus came into the world was to destroy the works of Satan. This immediately set Him in opposition to the enemy:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

From the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus set about destroying the works of Satan:

He revealed the bondage of sin (John 8:34).

He forgave sins (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12,17; Luke 4:17-32).

He stressed the heart condition rather than the deception of outward appearance (Matthew 15:16-20; Mark 7:20-23; Luke 6:45; 11:39).

He healed the sick (Matthew 11:5).

He raised people from the dead (Mark 5:35-43; Luke 8:49- 56; John 11).

He released people from demonic powers (Matthew 8:16).

In summary, He destroyed the works of Satan in the hearts, souls, minds, and bodies of men and women:

The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. (Matthew 11:5)

Jesus not only destroyed the works of Satan, He also exposed the devious strategies of the enemy:

He taught on the deception of Satan which would increase during the last days on earth (Matthew 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 17:22-37; 21:8-36; Matthew 24-25).

He warned of Satan who was able to destroy the soul (Matthew 10:28).

He spoke of the necessity of binding the strong man (Satan) before spoiling his goods (Matthew 12:26-30; Mark 3:23-27; Luke 11:17-24).

He revealed how Satan tries to prevent the Word of God from being effective in the hearts of men and women (Matthew 13:38; Mark 4:15; Luke 8:12).

He exposed those who were not right with God as being of their "father, the devil" (John 8:44-47).

He revealed Satan as the "prince of the world" (John 14:30).

THE GREAT DIVISION

Although Jesus came to bring the peace of God (John 14:27; Philippians 4:7), and peace with God (Romans 5:1), His coming also brought division: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:34-36)

Jesus divided all men into two battle camps. It is not possible to be neutral:

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)

He that is not with me is against me... (Luke 11:23)

Jesus spoke of this great division in a story about two paths, one which was straight and narrow and one which was broad. He warned of the deception of Satan's broad path which many took (Matthew 7:13-14). Through the account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), Jesus removed the veil between life and death. He let men see the end result of choosing the wrong way.

Because He destroyed and exposed the works of Satan, Jesus was under assault throughout His earthly life. The enemy constantly tried to destroy Him or prevent Him from fulfilling the mission for which He had come. The moment He was born, an attempt was made on His life.

During His public ministry there were several plots on His life and at least one attempt which was aborted. He met the opposition of demonic powers, religious leaders, His own followers, and Satan.

When you align yourself with the plan and purposes of Jesus by accepting Him as your Savior, you become part of the army that wars against Satan. The purposes of Jesus become your purposes and this sets you in a tactical position of direct opposition to the enemy.

THE BATTLE PLAN

There are many different Scriptural strategies that can be used in spiritual warfare, but the basic battle plan for believers is revealed by observing how Jesus dealt with the enemy. The basic battle plan for spiritual warfare is based on six major points. These are:

The Word Of God

Delegated Power And Authority

Prayer

Fasting

Keys Of The Kingdom

The Name Of Jesus

THE WORD OF GOD

One direct confrontation between Jesus and Satan came during a special period of temptation by the enemy. In this encounter, one of the major portions of our spiritual battle plan was revealed.

Before proceeding, read the accounts of this temptation recorded in Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:1-13.

First Satan tried to get Jesus to turn stones into bread. The power of Jesus which soon was to turn water into wine surely could have turned stones into bread. But to do so in this situation would have been acting independently of God and using His power for personal benefit.

Next Satan tried to get Jesus to cast Himself down from the top of the temple. Note that Satan said "Cast thyself down." Satan could not cast Him down, because the power of Satan is a limited power. Satan can persuade you to sin, but he cannot cast you down. As you have learned, every man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust. He is not forced, but enticed. In this temptation, Satan used God's Word to back up his appeal, but he misapplied it (Matthew 4:6). Misapplication of God's Word is a major strategy of Satan.

In both of the first two temptations Satan said "IF you are the Son of God," do these things. For Jesus to have complied would have been admission that the verification of His sonship by God was inadequate. God had already spoken from Heaven confirming this relationship (Matthew 3:17). Satan always centers his attacks on your relationship with God. The final temptation was an appeal by Satan for worship. In return, Satan would deliver to Jesus all the kingdoms of the world.

In these three situations of temptation you can see the evil forces of the world, the flesh, and the Devil warring against Jesus. Jesus met the temptations of Satan with the Word of God.

The Bible is a very important spiritual weapon and part of the armor of God. It is called "the sword of the Spirit."

The Word of God is the only divinely inspired manual of spiritual warfare. Other books are useful only as they are in harmony with God's Word.

In meeting the temptations of Satan, Jesus used the Word of God. Jesus quoted specific Scriptures applicable to the immediate battle. He did not quote passages of chronology or history from the Old Testament.

Jesus said, "It is written again..." When you use specific Scriptures, be sure they are in balance with the remainder of the Word of God. They must be viewed in their context and applied in harmony with the total revealed Word of God.

In order to use the Word of God effectively in spiritual warfare, you must know the Word of God. You must study, meditate on, and memorize it. Many defeats in life come because we do not know God's Word:

Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. (Matthew 22:29)

The Word of God is our manual for warfare and reveals God's spiritual battle plan.

DELEGATED POWER AND AUTHORITY

The second part of the battle plan is based upon the power and authority over Satan which Jesus delegated to His followers:

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1)

Authority and power are two different things. Consider the example of a policeman. He has a badge and a uniform which are symbols of his authority. His authority comes because of the position he holds with the government. But because all people do not respect that authority, the policeman also carries a weapon. The weapon is his power.

Your authority over the enemy comes through Jesus Christ and your position in Him as believers. Your power over the enemy comes through the Holy Spirit:

And behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:49)

Like the policeman, you must have both authority and power to be effective.

Believers receive authority through the new birth experience and their position in Christ, but some never go on to receive the power of the Holy Spirit, which is to be combined with the authority for effective warfare.

The power Jesus gave is directed power for specific purposes. These include:

POWER OVER THE ENEMY:

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1)

POWER OVER SIN:

And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:22-23)

POWER TO EXTEND THE GOSPEL:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

PRAYER

Prayer is the third part of the basic battle plan. Here is a detailed outline to assist you in studying about prayer:

THE DEFINITION OF PRAYER:

Prayer is communion with God. It takes different forms, but basically it occurs when man talks with God and God talks with man.

Prayer is described as:

Calling upon the name of the Lord: Genesis 12:8

Crying unto God: Psalms 27:7; 34:6

Drawing near to God: Psalms 73:28; Hebrews 10:22

Looking up: Psalms 5:3

Lifting up the soul: Psalms 25:1

Lifting up the heart: Lamentations 3:41

Pouring out the heart: Psalms 62:8

Pouring out the soul: I Samuel 1:15

Crying to Heaven: II Chronicles 32:20

Beseeching the Lord: Exodus 32:11

Seeking God: Job 8:5

Seeking the face of the Lord: Psalms 27:8

Making supplication: Job 8:5; Jeremiah 36:7


THE PRAYER LIFE OF JESUS:

Prayer was an important strategy of the Lord Jesus:

Jesus made prayer a priority:

He prayed any time of the day or night: Luke 6:12-13

Prayer took priority over eating: John 4:31-32

Prayer took priority over business: John 4:31-32