Great speeches are often associated with acts of war. At the beginning of the Battle of France, Winston Churchill famously said: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” US President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s words were “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date that will live in infamy...” after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Finally, George W. Bush stated after the attacks on September 11, “Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly attacks.” These and other speeches highlight the gravity of war and the seriousness of dealing with acts of international aggression. For those who live through such conflicts, the moments become permanently seared in conscious memory.
The Bible declares we are in a state of war. This war is not about a military campaign against some country or terror organization. No, instead Paul says our war is not against flesh and blood, but spiritual beings that seek our destruction (Ephesians 6:12-17).
Much has been said and written about spiritual warfare, demonic activity, deliverance, and other subjects. The fact of the matter is, real warfare happens inside the mind of every person, including believers. For biblical leaders trying to live the Eight Core Values, Satan attempts to destroy our impact and, if possible, our lives.
In natural warfare, intelligence is essential. Analysts study the enemy carefully, while spies and other operatives gather information on the field, sometimes at great personal risk. Here is an intelligence briefing describing eight things Satan wants to do in the lives of leaders living the Eight Core Values and how we can respond.
Break our Intimacy with God by tempting us to shift our focus and lose our intimacy.
Counterattack – Make intimacy our priority. Our relationship with God needs to be the foundation of all we are and do.
Kill our Passion for the Lost by taking our eyes off the “white fields” to ourselves.
Counterattack – Connect with your WHY. A biblical leader’s main vision should be to build the Kingdom of God. Our eyes should be laser-focused on the harvest.
Blur our Vision so we don’t make an impact in the world. One strategy of the enemy is to discourage us when we face obstacles and convince us our vision is an impossible endeavor.
Counterattack: Focus on your vision and clearly define your goals.
Destroy the Relevance of our Message by tricking us into legalism, which turns non-essential issues into “absolutes,” putting heavy and unfair burdens on others.
Counterattack – Become all things to all people (1 Corinthians 9:20-23).
Stop our Multiplication by sowing division. By leading with a fear of competition in the heart, leaders often fail to empower others because they feel threatened.
Counterattack – Have a servant-leader attitude (Matthew 23:11). Invest in discipling, coaching, and mentoring others.
Attack our Family by luring us into an unbalanced focus on work, leading to a neglect of family relationships.
Counterattack – Re-order your priorities in relation to your family (Ephesians 5:25; 6:4).
Kill our Reputation as Stewards by creating a disorderly financial life or management of our time.
Counterattack – Apply the same spiritual discipline to your material resources.
Destroy our Integrity, eliminating the impact of our ministry. Temptation to get us off track is Satan’s main goal in keeping us from finishing well.
Counterattack – Submit to God and resist evil (James 4:7-8). Be accountable to others.
Do you discern one or more of these areas where you need to counterattack the enemy's schemes?