I was sitting next to my clients when a discussion broke out. Being the professional I was meant to portray, I kept my eyes glued to my computer screen as though I was not paying attention. But my ears were as stretched as that of an alert dog. A man had boasted that if his little child were to come back home crying and telling him that another child had beaten him, he will beat up his child. He was so sure that his child would fight and tear the other kid into pieces if a fight were to ensue. Some other people joined and agreed with him that a child must be stupid if they allowed other children to boss them around. Another group said it was important to teach children peace. I must confess that I agreed with the first group that day (I was thinking in my flesh). I could not imagine my child telling me another child beat them and then come home crying. I believe my first instinct would be to ask my child, “So when you were being beaten, what did you do? Why you did not beat the other person back?” and then proceed to lecture the child on why he or she must learn self-defense.
Fast forward a few years later from that experience, I moved in with my sister who has a young son. He is very intellectual but was quite a cry baby. If an ant were to walk in front of him, it was enough reason for him to burst into tears. As he grew, he finally had a younger sister and if his younger sister (she was around 18 months old) were to pinch or smack him, he would run crying to report her. Then one day his cousin (same age as him and very physically fit) came to stay for a short holiday and would often beat him while they were playing. Sometimes, we would diffuse the squabble, but he would often be the one in tears. So, I got him boxing gloves and told him he was going to learn how to fight. After doing the initial training on how to deliver jabs and crosses, I organized a boxing competition between them. Surprisingly, the first two rounds were a tie, but by the third round, I had to stop the competition before his cousin beat him up. That day, I gave up trying to teach him to defend himself, because he was not interested in it.
A few months later, I was with the two boys at my mother’s home, and a surprising thing happened. My cry-baby nephew was able to make his tough cousin cry without raising a finger. He would often calmly remark about facts (without any insults) directed at his cousin, who would then tear up and ponder on what he just heard. This kept happening over and over, and he used the same tactic. He would never fight when provoked but was able to use his words as a defense against any impending attacks. His mother and I had to agree that it was a very brilliant power move.
As I pondered on this matter, I realized a very similar parallel in the life of the believer and our wrestle against our enemy, the devil. Often, the devil attacks us with temptations and ensnares us with besetting sins, and we often get into the wrestling ring with him and try in our power or self-will to overcome. But from my experience, it often always ends up in defeat. For a long time, the devil was able to bash me around because I tried to fight him in his court with my strength. I would fast for a month at a stretch thinking to myself, surely, by denying my flesh of food, I could overcome sin in my life. Upon completing the fast, I would fall into the same temptation again, defeated, beaten up, and then repeat the whole cycle. The truth is we cannot beat the enemy using his tactics, we must fight according to the word of God.
Revelations 12:10-12: Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
In fighting our adversary, the enemy, we must understand that our true victory lies in appropriating the words of God as inspired in the Bible. We must be diligent enough to find what his words say about every situation in our lives and speak them to him. Remember the temptation of Jesus as described in Luke 4:1-13, Jesus fought back the wiles of the devil, by reminding him of what is written in the scriptures. We need to know the words about what Jesus did for us by shedding his blood and his death on Calvary for our sin and use it as our attacking sword when the enemy attacks us.
Ephesians 6:17: And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Unlike the worldly wisdom method of fighting adversaries with physical strength, which I previously thought was the right approach – I think Christ through Apostle Paul has shown us a more excellent way.
We fight our battles by using the word of God!
Let’s forge ahead as victorious Christians in the light of this truth.