Spiritual Warfare Basics: Pinnacle of Excellence

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 13, 2015 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“For this reason, attaining one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the pinnacle of excellence. Subjugating the enemy’s army without fighting is the true pinnacle of excellence. Thus the highest realization of warfare is to attack the enemy’s plans; next to attack their alliances; next to attack their armies; and the lowest is to attack their fortified cities.”
~Sun-Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter 3.

Last week, I talked about how the enemy has used false teachers and spies to get to know us really well. But what is the main goal in all this? It’s really simple. Satan has only three goals: to steal, to kill, and destroy. And like a roaring lion seeking any whom he can devour, he seeks to get us away from our Master so we are easy targets. But his ultimate goal is to remove God’s influence on this earth. Here is his plan.

Look at what Sun-Tzu says in his opening to Chapter 3. In another translation it says this: “Winning 100 battles in not the height of skill. Subduing your enemy without fighting is.” Look at what is happening around us. Society is in the tanks. Liberalism runs rampant. Christians cannot voice anything without 500 lawsuits being filed against them. Our youth are running from the church where only 20% of church going youth remain in the church past college. What is happening? It is very simple. The American church has been subdued virtually without a fight.

Engaging in battle is a very costly affair. If you read the whole book (it’s actually pretty short), you will see Sun-Tzu talks about the importance of leaving your enemy intact, but subdued. He talks about using your enemy’s resources to feed your own. He says one loaf of bread from your enemy’s supply is worth bringing twenty loaves from home. War is very costly and there is no nation that has ever thrived from prolonged war. Our enemy has limited resources. Who is our enemy? Refresh yourself here. Our enemy is not like God who has infinite strength and resources. He is just very good at how to manage them.

This principle about subduing your enemy without fighting requires a lot of planning, a lot of strategy, and a very in-depth knowledge of how your enemy thinks and acts. And it does not require a lot of brute force. This is part of why Sun-Tzu says it is so important to know and understand your enemy and yourself. Review this in the same link immediately above.

So how does this all happen? There are four things Sun-Tzu talks about in order: plans, allies, armies, fortified cities. And he says to attack those in that order. To address these four things, it often requires some military action.

When you attack your enemy’s plans, you do so through maneuvering your armies, planting false information, making your own plans secret, and as necessary, engaging in skirmishes that take your enemy’s focus away from your main target. That last bit is itself a strategy I will address a little later. If you keep your enemy on his toes, guessing what you are going to do and when, it forces him to be reactive, instead of proactive. Look at Vietnam. In 80% of engagements between the US and the Viet Cong, the Viet Cong were the ones to initiate the fight. And our moves were very predictable. We bombed out a landing zone, brought out our troops, and the Viet Cong were often waiting for us. We ultimately had no plans that were doing us any good and the Vietnamese could do pretty well whatever they wanted.

The next issue is to attack your allies, your support team. How does the enemy bring a pastor down? He doesn’t tempt him to fall right away. He takes away the pastor’s support first. How many of us (myself included) are regularly praying for our pastors? I know I don’t nearly enough. Does anyone have your back? Do you have someone you are accountable to who can help keep you on the right path? There is no such thing as a lone-wolf Christian. Lone-wolves are very easily led astray. Do you know who your allies are? Have you chosen allies that you can trust to support you? Or have you chosen ones that will fade away when you need them the most? Remember Vietnam. Our soldiers’ allies were us at home. And the enemy got those at home to turn on the soldiers.

The third thing is the army. If you can get into your enemy’s head by preventing his plans from having any effect, if you can take away his support from his allies, or better, turn his allies against him, then you can engage his armies and they will easily be defeated. It does not matter what kind of weapons or technology they have. If the plans fail and the allies aren’t being supportive, the army won’t have the will to keep fighting, nor the confidence in their leader.

Lastly is the fortified cites. When the leader’s plans are thwarted, when his allies have pulled away or turned against him, when his army is effectively powerless, he can remain holed up in his cities all he wants. He is basically a defeated foe at that time. And the best part is, all the resources in that city are yours for the taking and plundering. But it is most unwise to attack the fortified city first. Why? Because all the enemy’s strengths are still present and must be dealt with.

Now, can you see how this strategy has been used against the church? Can you see how very little by little, Christian values in the U.S. have been hacked away and the main offense has not actually been seen? The American church has been beaten with barely a fight. Not from us, the church, but from the enemy. The enemy hardly fought us to beat us. Why? Because Satan knows better than to stir up a man of God, who when awakened is like a lion aroused from slumber. So instead, he subdues us without fighting, so we are beaten while sleeping. And most of us have bought into it without even knowing it. Is it too late for America to rebound? It could be. But there will always be a remnant. Remember that throughout history, the Christians are strongest when the system around them is completely against them.

This strategy is reveals the overall goal. But how does one attack plans and allies before engaging the armies effectively? Here I just talked about the general theory. Next week, I will address a military strategy that has worked from the beginning of time: Divide and Conquer. There are many different ways Divide and Conquer has been used, but I am just going to give you the basis of the strategy. Then after that, I am going to wrap up this series with a final post about in whom and where the final victory lies.

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