I have come to realize of late how important it is to be on guard against the attacks of the enemy of our faith. The Scripture constantly warns us about the reality of spiritual warfare, but it seems, at least for me, that I take for granted those warnings. It’s not that I totally disregard the warnings. I’m always on the lookout for the major assaults the enemy launches. You know the really big stuff like the seven deadly sins and such. No, it’s the small clandestine attacks that I let slip through unnoticed. Like when I allow the enemy to slander the character of God and I affirm his lie by giving in to doubt and anxiety. Or when I am tempted to be harsh, critical or judgmental with others instead of seizing the moment and extending the same mercy to them that I want them, and God, to extend to me. Or missing an opportunity to encourage someone who is struggling because I have given in to the self-centered propaganda that I’m tired and deserve some time to myself. That kind of stuff.
The Bible tells us that we are to be on guard against all the schemes of the devil. And not just on guard, but that we are to successfully stand against them (Ephesians 6:11). That requires a little proactivity on our part. We must develop a keen sense of discernment first so that we can recognize what he is up to. Then we must develop the spiritual fortitude we will need to be able to withstand the attack. And finally we must cultivate the spiritual wisdom necessary to formulate a strategy that will produce a positive outcome against the attack launched against us.
Scripture is clear, attacks will come. The only way we will ever gain the upper hand against our adversary is if we proactively resist him (1 Peter 5:9).