* The “pulling down of strongholds (fortresses) in 2 Cor 10.4 is a very dangerous job. People quote this verse but they really don’t know what this is and how it relates to warfare. In physical warfare, this is when you approach a wall and try to loosen the stones to make the wall or tower fall. Expendable people were used to do this, and Joab sent Uriah close to the wall and he was killed. To do this spiritually, you are getting very close to the enemy and you will need a covering and other people to help. This verse may be alluding to the walls at Jericho that fell at the sound of a rams horn. These strongholds are what hinders our advancement spiritually, the walls of the heart (Jer 4.19). You need to know your work and what you are doing. To stay safe, you need to “look up”
* Attack the lesser enemy first before you take on a stronger one (Joab and Hushai against the Syrians and the Ammonites-1 Chr 19.10-19)
* Take the cautious road, not the fastest
* Cut off the outside reinforcements and then go for the main target. Shishak destroyed Sukkot, the second main base, before he went to Jerusalem (the main base)
* Count the cost before positioning yourself in the location for a battle
* Without secrecy there is no security
* It is dangerous attacking the outer defenses. It is even more dangerous attacking the citadel because the superior forces are concentrated there
* Even when attacking, you must always take a defensive position in case of a counter-attack
* Always mystify, mislead and surprise
* Never attack a greater force. Use your “forces” on a weaker, smaller element of that force
* Pursue the enemy and never let up. Overcome them as long as you can. An enemy routed and panicked can be destroyed by a smaller force
* To test the strength of the enemy, punch him in the nose and see what happens (not literally!)
* When you go to battle, you should be fighting to defend the Lord, not fighting for God to defend you (David and Goliath)
* To be a sapper that tears down strongholds, be properly trained for that particular job. Have the appropriate tools, have the necessary cover and make sure others are fighting for you. Know your limits and when and how to retreat if you need to
* When your strategy is gaining minimum results with maximum effort, change strategy
* In a battle, you could lose or have major problems by being distracted or giving up too soon. We must have a consistent walk
* Improvise, adapt and overcome
*The fruit of victory can stunt our progress (called “fatal victories”, like the Jewish revolt against Rome. Early victories against Rome blinded them to the fact of their ultimate downfall)
* When victory is in sight, don’t stop and “smell the roses” or enjoy the spoils. Keep going until the battle is over (like Pharaoh Necho at Megiddo. The victory was postponed because his men stopped to pillage)
* In defeating the enemy, render him useless and incapable of fighting you again. (David hamstrung chariot horses so they could not be used again)
* In the spoils, don’t take more than what can be handled. Keep only the useful (David kept only enough horses to be used for his small chariot force)
* When fighting a battle and God gives unexpected victories and rewards of battle, don’t refuse them but accept them gratefully
* When the Lord intervenes, you don’t need to worry about carrying out vengeance. That is God’s responsibility (Sennacherib after he lost Jerusalem-Isa 37.38)
* Don’t keep fighting the battle. When it is over, it is over. Rehashing the battle leads to bitterness, anger and resentment even in a victory
* Don’t ever think there will be no more battles after a victory. Expect the next one to get “hotter” because you just improved your weapons, and the enemy will counter. God will allow him to hit you if you have any pride (Paul in 2 Cor 12.1-10)
* Rebuild after a victory (Isa 58.12, 61.4)
* Stay balanced through the Scriptures, receiving wisdom and refining what needs to be refined
* After the battle, win or lose, we need to asses the reasons why and build up stronger than before (build higher walls)
The goal of every believer is to know the Lord (Jer 9.23-24 ) and not to get into battles. However, we are in a war that never stops. Part of spiritual warfare and the battle is the decision to do it. We must “consider our ways”(Hag 1.7) by assessing whether or not we are wasting our time in life or are we building the House of God (Ezek 13.1-5). We must “repair the walls” like Nehemiah.
Each piece of true, biblical information that we learn is like a “brick” in our wall. The more truth we learn, the stronger our wall. Song of Songs asks if we are a wall (Song 8.9) or a door (weak), letting any false teaching in. Some may say, “I don’t see the application of all this or even understand it.” But, spiritual warfare is not something that you just sit down and master and understand in one day. It takes just as much time to do it right as it does to do it wrong, so do it right.
What do you know of the Scriptures, warfare, history and all the subjects contained in the Bible? What if we told you that you could double your knowledge by studying the truth of spiritual warfare. Is it worth the price you will have to pay to attain it?
Ecc 9.14-17 says that there was a small city (you-Jer 1.18) and a great king came to it (the enemy). He surrounded it and constructed siege works against it. But there was a poor man in the city and he delivered the city by his wisdom.
The conclusion was that wisdom is better than strength. The wisdom of the wise heard in quietness is better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war but one sinner can destroy much good. Spiritual warfare is not something that may happen, it will happen, so we might as well learn to do it right.
The “moreshet karav ” (heritage of war) found in the Scriptures teach us how to attain victory over false teaching, false prophets and the strategies of Satan against us. The Lord is a warrior (Exo 15.3) and the Basar (the good news of the battlefield) tells us we can win these battles through the Messiah.
Judges 3.1-2 tells us that the Lord left many nations to test Israel by them, that is, all those who had not experienced the wars in Canaan. He did this so that that generation of Israel might be taught war, those who had not formerly experienced it. It is the same with the believer. The Lord will use the enemy that the previous generation faced to teach us warfare also. We must know how to fight spiritual warfare. The casualties will be our minds, hearts, our health and possibly our lives.
The wisdom of spiritual warfare has a value above pearls or anything else in this world (Job 28.18; Matt 13.45-46). So, study the ancient battles and apply it to your own spiritual warfare. Your development in the Scriptures must parallel the time you have been a believer, and you must build your fortifications.
Warfare tape series, Hatikva Ministries
Marine Corps training