Truth ………… A New Name for an Old War
Are you familiar with term asymmetric warfare? It’s a concept that has received lots of news coverage in the recent years as a result of the war on terrorism. The word asymmetric refers to something that is out of balance. In warfare it
describes a situation where the combatants are not equal. Here’s a working definition:
Asymmetric warfare is a military term to describe warfare in which the two belligerents are mismatched in their
military capabilities or accustomed methods of engagement such that the militarily disadvantaged power must press its special advantages or effectively exploit its enemy’s particular weaknesses if they are to have any hope of prevailing.
Asymmetric warfare happens when a large army goes to war against a much smaller force.
The Enemy’s Goal: Divide and Discourage
It helps to remember that the goal of the lesser power is not to utterly defeat the larger power. Rarely will that
happen. Instead, the lesser power intends to harass the larger power until, wearied by an opponent he cannot seem to find, the greater power gives up the struggle. Satan rarely attacks us head-on because we are ready for such things. But he comes at us from unusual angles, playing on our minds, slowing us down, throwing one roadblock after another in our way,
causing us to doubt and then to fear and finally to give in to discouragement.
There are seasons in life for all of us when nothing comes easy. During these periods, even the tiniest
routines of life don’t work as well they ought to. The dishwasher breaks, the car won’t start, our expenses mount up, our friends seem suddenly too busy to talk to us, a project at work misfires, a cherished friend grows distant, our children frustrate us, and our spouse seems impatient and uncaring. In those moments we are facing true asymmetric spiritual warfare because we are being hit in many places at once, and as things pile up, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain our spiritual equilibrium.
Most of the battles we face will not present us with enormous, life-changing choices, or at least they won’t seem
that way at the time. Either we get angry or we don’t. When you visit the department store you pay cash or you break your promise not to use your credit card. You repeat the unkind story you heard or you decide to keep it to yourself. You pass by the
magazine rack in the airport terminal or you stop and begin to browse. You get up early to exercise or you roll over for another 30 minutes of sleep. No one will know whether you exercised or not. And no one will know (at least not till the end of the month) if you used your credit card or not. And no one will know (unless you are audited) whether or not you lied on your tax return. God has ordained that our spiritual progress should be measured not by huge battles won or lost but by a thousand daily skirmishes no one else knows about. We can say it another way. You wouldn’t commit adultery, but you don’t mind looking at
certain Internet sites. You wouldn’t lie but you do make excuses. You wouldn’t steal but you use your credit card foolishly. You wouldn’t deliberately hurt someone, but you do pass along gossip because it seems harmful. The whole point of asymmetric warfare (from Satan’s point of view) is to discourage us to the point that we feel hopeless about our own spiritual progress. When that happens, he has won the battle even though all the resources of heaven are on our side.
In thinking about spiritual warfare from this perspective, keep two things in mind:
1) Satan’s goal is to discourage you so that you feel like giving up.
2) Satan doesn’t fight fair.
He does not observe the traditional rules of warfare. He uses anything and everything that he can to bring us down. This is part of what Paul meant when he spoke about the “schemes of the devil” in Ephesians 6:11. The word “schemes” might also be translated as “traps” or “tricks” or “tactics.” Satan doesn’t fight fair. He’s not going to give you an even break. He is a liar, a deceiver, a diabolical “angel of light” who comes to you in a thousand guises, tempting you to disobey the Lord. And he’s a lot smarter than you are. He knows your weak points better than you do. And because he is invisible, he can attack you any time of the day or night.