How to Recognize and Combat the Enemy

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By: Kristen Sigmon

Spiritual warfare. It’s a hard thing to understand and a hard thing to explain. We may never know that we’re experiencing spiritual warfare because we don’t see the attacks we as believers are facing. They’re unseen (Ephesians 6:12). These attacks can come disguised as a fight with your dad which causes unforgiveness and isolation, or caving into temptation that you just can’t seem to break free of, or jealousy over a friend who excels at everything and always gets the praise of others, leaving you feeling discouraged and like you have nothing valuable to give. These are just a few examples of situations in which Satan can jump into our lives and wreak havoc.

This is not to say that all these situations are spiritual attacks; sometimes it’s just the reality of our own sinful nature and the fact that we live in a fallen world that these things happen.

When it is spiritual warfare, though, many times we don’t initially know that’s what we’re experiencing. Our enemy Satan is, after all, deceitful. Jesus calls him the father of lies (John 8:44). We have to be very careful. So how can we recognize him and how do we combat him?

First, we need to remember we’re in a war. As Reverend Charles Stanley says, “To win a war, you must know you’re in one.”

Second, we must understand Satan’s war tactics. John 10:10 reminds us that his purpose is to steal and kill and destroy but Jesus came to bring us abundant life.

One of the enemy’s primary war tactics is to attack our minds. He likes causing confusion and doubt. He’ll make us question what we believe to be true about God, ourselves, our friends, sin, you name it.

Third, it’s helpful to know ourselves and our weaknesses. The enemy likes to attack us in our weak areas (and even in the areas we think we are strongest). The better you know your temptations and the places you’re likely to fall into sin if you’re not careful, the better you can be prepared for the enemy’s attacks in those areas.

Fourth, we need to fill our minds with God’s Word – the TRUTH. This will help us to distinguish God’s truth from Satan’s lies. Best way to know God’s Truth? The Bible. Read it. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Also, surround yourself with godly friends who will remind you of the truth.

The Armor of God passage in Ephesians is especially helpful. Ephesians 6:14-17 lists different pieces of “armor” that help us fight against the devil, sin, and temptation:
the belt of truth,
the breastplate of righteousness,
shoes of the Good News of peace with God,
the shield of faith which extinguishes the fiery arrows of the devil,
the helmet of salvation, and
the sword of the Spirit which is God’s Word.

"Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10 (NLT)

This verse implies that we need to put on all of the armor so that we will be able to fight off the devil’s attacks. For more insight into these pieces of armor (and how to pray them for yourself), here’s a great resource to check out: InTouch.org’s magazine online (October 2009 issue), pages 6-10.

Finally, remember God already has the ultimate victory. We will face many trials in our lives, but no matter what happens, God will prevail (John 16:33)!

For more about the enemy’s tactics, spiritual warfare and how to combat it, check out these Scriptures:
Ephesians 6:10-20; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:18; 1 John 4:1-5; Isaiah 54:17; John 10:10; Romans 13:11-14.


© 2010 by Kristen Sigmon. All rights reserved.


Kristen Sigmon loves working in full time ministry, nature walks, memorizing Bible verses, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Her favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 3:20-21; it reminds her that God is able to do more in and through us than we could ever ask or imagine. She lives in the suburbs of Charlotte, NC with her mom and two dogs.


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