Do you have a battle plan to counterattack the strategies the enemy uses to keep you defeated? Don’t let the devil catch you off guard—you can defeat the enemy every time!
Do you have a battle plan to counterattack the strategies the enemy uses to keep you defeated? If you’ve ever served in the military, you know that no military unit would ever dream of going to war without a battle plan. What is a battle plan? It’s a strategy to exploit your enemies’ weaknesses and to maximize your strengths so you can win. If you’re not in the military, perhaps you’ve never thought you needed a battle plan—but you do because you have a spiritual enemy, Satan, who has waged war against you.
As Christians, we know Jesus has already defeated Satan for us (Colossians 2:15), but that doesn’t mean Satan isn’t going to use certain strategies to try and trick us into believing otherwise. His strategies are intended to keep us defeated and to take everything that is rightfully ours.
This is where some Christians are deceived. They say, “The enemy is already defeated,” then lie down and take a whipping. If we had no responsibility to stand our ground against the devil’s schemes, then God would not have told us to “resist the devil” (James 4:7) or to use “the weapons of our warfare” (2 Corinthians 10:4, KJV), and He would have had no need to give us “authority over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19).
The Art of War is one of the oldest and most successful books on military strategy, having influenced military strategies for centuries. The author, Sun Tzu, says, “He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them.”
Forethought. Have we been thinking and planning ahead for the devil’s attacks? Or are we shocked and dismayed when he uses his strategies to try and steal, kill and destroy? Are we taking our role seriously, or are we making light of our opponent?
We need to have a battle plan, “so that Satan will not outsmart us” and we do this by becoming “familiar with his evil schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11). It’s what the military calls intelligence.
God has given us all the intelligence we need to keep the devil under our feet. Psalm 144:1 says that He trains our hands for war. He reveals the enemy’s strategies, and then tells us the plan of counterattack.
Don’t let the devil catch you off guard. Be prepared! Below are four strategies the enemy uses to keep you defeated and how you can launch a counterattack—and win!
Strategy No. 1: The Enemy Instills Fear
“God has not given us a spirit of fear.” –2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
Fear is Satan’s primary weapon. It’s a spiritual force that begins inside you, and it is totally destructive because it robs you of your faith and peace. It keeps your focus on circumstances instead of the promises in God’s Word.
That’s why the Bible commands 110 times to “fear not.” It’s why, when Jairus needed healing for his daughter and the circumstances didn’t look good, Jesus was quick to instruct him, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed” (Luke 8:50). Jesus was warning Jairus of the greatest enemy to his daughter’s healing—fear.
The enemy instills fear by challenging the promises of God. An excellent example of this is found in Matthew 14 when Jesus invited Peter to come to Him on the water. “But when he [Peter] saw the strong wind and waves, he was terrified and began to sink. ‘Save me, Lord!’ he shouted” (verse 30).
What enabled Peter to walk on the water? His faith in the Word of Jesus. What caused Peter to sink? He saw the strong wind and waves, and he was afraid. It wasn’t the wind and waves that defeated him; it was his fear of them!
The Counterattack for Fear
- 1. Meditate on God’s Word. This is how faith that drives out fear is developed. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit.
- 2. Speak the Word of God. Use it to fight Satan every time he comes against you. Hold up your shield of faith and quench all his fiery darts. Speak words of faith, and fear will depart.
- Rebuke fear. Whenever you feel fear trying to come on you, don’t stand it for a moment. Say, “Fear, I rebuke you in Jesus’ Name. Now go!”
- Pray in the spirit. Whenever you’re tempted to be in fear, anxiety or worry, begin immediately to pray in the spirit. It will edify your inner man and bring supernatural peace.
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Strategy No. 2: The Enemy Lies to You
“He is a liar and the father of lies.” –John 8:44 (NIV)
One of the strategies of the enemy is to lie to you every day. Do you ever have negative and discouraging thoughts that come out of nowhere? Sometimes they can be hard to recognize as the enemy’s lies because they sound like they could be true. However, if you accept them as truth (or believe them even for a moment), you’ve fallen for his sly tactic, giving him the upper hand.
The enemy knows your insecurities, and he plays on them. He knows the fears you fight against, and he tries his best to feed them by telling you lies. Now, the question is: Why does he lie to you? What does he get out of it? The answer is this: access to your life. He has come “to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10), and if he can get you into wrong thinking, wrong believing, wrong saying and wrong acting, the door to your life is wide open to him.
So, if you have any thoughts that are opposite of what God says—thoughts like you aren’t going to be healed, delivered, saved, prosperous, full of joy, full of peace, full of hope or powerful in the kingdom of God—know they are outright lies straight from the pit of hell itself.
You can’t afford the “luxury” of entertaining the enemy’s lies. There’s too much at stake. Your health. Your family. Your relationships. Your money. Don’t let the devil become your counselor in the areas of life that matter most. He’s the father of lies and your greatest enemy.
Watch Gloria Copeland and Pastor George Pearsons teach on how to defeat Satan’s attacks:
The Counterattack for the Enemy’s Lies
- Take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). To do this, start lining up every thought with the Word of God. John 10:27 says, “My sheep know my voice” (CEV), so when you hear another voice speaking lies, take those lies captive and throw them to the ground before they ever have a chance to take root.
- Respond with the truth. You can’t fight thoughts with thoughts, so it’s important to speak out God’s truth when the enemy lies. For example, if the devil says, “You’re not smart enough for that job,” you answer back: “Oh yes, I am, devil. For it is written that I have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
Strategy No. 3: The Enemy Tempts You to Sin
“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” –James 1:13 (NKJV)
God will never tempt you to do anything wrong. In fact, He has given you every tool to resist the devil so he will flee from you (James 4:7). The enemy tempts you to sin—and no one is exempt.
How does Satan tempt you?
Sometimes he’s obvious about it—tempting you to lie or commit acts of immorality or another sin clearly defined as such in God’s Word. But a lot of times, he’s subtler than that. For example, he may tempt you to think you are holier than others or that you’re doing others a favor or your “Christian duty” by judging and exposing people. You might even start thinking more about your own feelings, needs and desires than those of others.
That is how the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). He pulled out all the stops to get Jesus to abandon the path of obedience and keep Him from what God had sent Him to accomplish.
When Jesus was in the wilderness, “after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread’” (Matthew 4:2-3, NIV). Satan came to Jesus when he sensed weakness and tried to prey on that weakness. And…he’ll do the same to you.
The greatest danger in a believer’s life is to ever think that you are above temptation. That’s when you’ve let your guard down, taken off your armor, and assumed your work is done. But the truth is “that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour” (1 Peter 5:8, AMPC).
The Counterattack for the Temptation to Sin
- Recognize there’s a way out of it. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV). In other words, this is nothing new. Satan repeats the same old tired tricks, but God has provided an escape.
- Answer the temptation with God’s Word. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness to turn stones into bread, he answered Satan with, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4, NIV). He didn’t ponder Satan’s suggestion or entertain it. He didn’t phone a friend and ask for advice. He immediately shut it down with the truth found in the Word. You can do the same when the enemy tempts you to sin! Answer back with God’s Word, and do it quickly and confidently. Shut. Him. Down. Make him turn tail and run the other way. It’s a counterattack he can’t defeat.
Strategy No. 4: The Enemy Stirs Up Pride
“Pride leads to conflict.” –Proverbs 13:10
One of the most effective strategies the enemy uses to keep you defeated is to stir up pride. Satan fell because of pride, and he wants to take you down with him by getting you prideful. Don’t let yourself fall into it!
What is pride? Pride is defined as “an over-high opinion of one’s self; exaggerated self-esteem or conceit, haughtiness or arrogance; self-esteem arising from one’s accomplishments or possessions; an exaggerated idea of one’s own dignity or importance.” That’s just the dictionary definition, and it’s bad enough! But the Bible goes even further in its description of pride by identifying it as one of the seven things that God hates. Proverbs 6:16-17 calls it an abomination to Him (AMPC).
Satan knows pride is the path to destruction and shame (Proverbs 11:2, 18:12), so he will deploy tactics to get you prideful. He’ll start whispering all kinds of things you want to hear in hopes that you will become puffed up. He’ll say thing like, “You know, you’re much better than those other Christians. You have more ministry skills, and you live holier.” If you fall for this tactic, before you know it, you’ll be having an extra-high opinion of yourself. You’ll be walking in pride.
How many times do we see believers get into trouble because they get an overblown idea of themselves? They begin to think they’re so smart and have it all figured out. That’s a sure sign they’re listening to the devil’s whispering. Then, the next thing you know, they’re thinking they have to straighten everyone else out. Instead of just letting Jesus be Head of the Church, they feel like they have to step in and do the job.
Once that happens, it’s just a matter of time before conflict arises, and they fall flat on their faces in failure. Why? Because the Bible says God resists the proud (1 Peter 5:5).
Watch as Gloria Copeland and Billye Brim reveal Satan’s nature and character in this video:
The Counterattack for Pride
- Humble yourself. According to 1 Peter 5:5-6, being truly humble means to submit to God and His Word. That means when God says something, you believe it, no matter how foreign it is to your own thinking. When God says to do something, you do it. Romans 12:16-19 (ESV) gives us instructions on how we can be humble by obeying God: “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’”
- Be grateful. Keep a watch on yourself, and when you catch yourself getting puffed up with your own greatness, repent and remember that every good thing you enjoy and every bit of success you’ve had has come by the grace of God and by His power.
- Don’t judge other Christians. The Bible has a lot to say about judging our brothers and sisters in Christ because we can end up being hypocritical. We are told repeatedly not judge or condemn others, so that we will not be judged or condemned (Luke 6:37). James 4:12 (ESV) says, “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” When we stop judging others, and start judging ourselves instead, pride goes out the window.
Are you ready to go to war against these four strategies the enemy uses to keep you defeated? Now, you know that the enemy instills fear, the enemy lies to you, the enemy tempts you to sin, and the enemy stirs up pride. Practice identifying his strategies every day, and use God’s battle plan to counterattack and win!
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