The Principles of Military Strategy
Somewhere on the Internet many years ago, I found a website that listed principles of military strategy. I was looking for this because I was comparing spiritual warfare to earthly warfare. Although much of the Bible is a historical recording of the many battles of the Israelites, could this not also serve as an allegory of our life as believers? We are supposed to engage in daily spiritual warfare with our enemy. The scripture says that we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices (II Corinthians 11:2). Is that really true in your life?
We have heard so many Christians tell us things like, they don’t pay attention to Satan, or deliverance ministers find a demon under every rock, or deliverance ministers give Satan more glory than they do God, etc. Of course, we disagree with all of this. Here are some scriptures, and I am sure there are many more, that we should know regarding the warfare we are in, whether one chooses to accept this truth or not.
The principle of mass – all things being equal, sending a single tactical allied unit to combat a single tactical enemy unit will result in 50% chance of victory. But when you have God on your side, you have a 100% chance of victory.
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (II Kings 6:15-17)
Selecting decisive objectives (by knowing your enemy). Do you really know your enemy and his devices?
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (II Corinthians 2:11)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (I Peter 5:8)
Taking the initiative away from your foe. Take the offense, rather than the defense – use our God-given authority.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ… (II Corinthians 10:4)
Concentrating your resources at the decisive point. Who is your “resource”?
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. (Psalm 24:8)
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)
Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles. II Chronicles 32:7-8
Coordinating the movement of your resources to meet your objective. God is our resource.
Come near and rescue me; redeem me because of my foes. (Psalm 69:18)
Maintaining unity of command. When the commander-in-chief speaks, you’d better obey.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
Coordinating your tasks to achieve maximum effectiveness. Your #1 task is to pray.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
Maintaining secrecy until it is too late for your opponent to react. Go to the secret place of the Most High to get your battle plans.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)
Employing unexpected elements such as deception, speed, creativity, and audacity. Turn the tables on Satan, he’ll never know what hit him.
The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1)
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)
Keep your plans as simple as is needed to accomplish the task. KISS: Keep it simple, saint!
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (II Corinthians 11:3)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Choose a flexible strategy so you can adapt to changing conditions. Employ all of the spiritual disciplines.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Organize for maximum efficiency. Here is an example of efficiently organizing an army for success and following God’s instructions to a T.
Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.” So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the LORD and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” And he ordered the people, “Advance! March around the city, with the armed guard going ahead of the ark of the LORD.” When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the LORD went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the LORD’s covenant followed them. The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding. But Joshua had commanded the people, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” So he had the ark of the LORD carried around the city, circling it once. Then the people returned to camp and spent the night there. Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the LORD and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets kept sounding. So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days. On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city! The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the LORD. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury.” When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:1-20)
Maintain a positive morale even in the face of set-backs. Be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17)
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
Maintain momentum until success is accomplished. Fight the good fight of faith.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10)
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Galatians 6:9)