The SIEGE is one of the most commonly used battle tactics employed by the devil to render Christians useless or partially ineffective in their spiritual service. I intend to use some of the principles of ordinary siege warfare to shed light on spiritual siege warfare. Before we look at this satanic strategy, however, I’d like to proclaim a few powerful truths. God wants us to be vibrant and victorious! He wants us to be wonderfully alive with His Spirit! He’s given us access to His character through Jesus Christ. He’s endowed us with POWER.
Through His Word and His Spirit, we have access to His love, joy, and peace in consistent and abundant quantities. With all His goodness so readily available to us, it’s a wonder we submit ourselves to anything less. So why is it that we often succumb to base desires and instincts? Why is it that lust, greed, pride, and fear exercise a powerful hold on us at various times and in varying degrees? Why do we so often lose our sense of victory and purpose, which has already been overwhelmingly won for us by Jesus Christ?
The answers to these questions lie in understanding our old nature, and in recognizing the mission of our adversary – Satan himself. A proper understanding of his intentions and methods will go a long way in helping us to thwart his attacks.
Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. -1 Peter 5:8
Satan is evil incarnate. His ONLY objectives are to steal, kill, and destroy. He desires to devastate our walk with the Lord. He hates Jesus Christ and all those who claim salvation in His name. It gives the devil great pleasure to shipwreck a Christian, in regard to his faith. He will ruthlessly employ any scheme or method to help him reach his goal. Satan is not playing games. He is dead serious about his calling, unlike many of us. What Jesus said about Satan’s desire to sift Peter like wheat can also, in a measure, be said of Satan’s desire for the entire Body of Christ – and that means you and me! We need to recognize that we are at WAR with his satanic majesty! We need to respond to his threats in the POWER of the Spirit of God! He has robbed us far too long! We have submitted to him needlessly. We must remember that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. We need to be aware of Satan’s wiles, and frustrate his every move with a Holy Ghost-inspired move of our own!
City Under Siege!
When Satan comes against a believer, he usually brings with him a long-term strategy for defeating him. He realizes that true disciples of Jesus are formidable opponents. He knows that if he comes against them in obviously brutish fashion, his chances for success are reduced. For this reason, he often comes as an angel of light, using some form of alliance. When he does choose to reveal his true intentions, he often uses the siege form of attack in order to wear down the spiritual strength of the believer.
An attacking army may use siege warfare when the enemy resists outright confrontation. In siege warfare, one army surrounds a fortified area with the intent to capture it. I’ll use an example of siege warfare as it was employed in biblical times to illustrate Satan’s siege tactic.
How to besiege a city or a fortified stronghold:
1: Surround it and cut off supplies.
2: Approach the enemy walls by digging zigzag trenches
to get within striking distance.
3: Use stone-throwers, catapults, and flaming arrows
to hurl objects over the walls of the enemy fortress.
4: When the defense of the enemy is weakened, send soldiers swarming up ladders, and/or enter through a tunnel bored through the wall. If available, use a battering ram to acquire forceful entrance.
5: Once sufficient numbers are inside, terrorize all inhabitants, kill or capture any opposition that remains, and completely dominate the affairs of the conquered.
Each of the aforementioned points correspond with a part of Satan’s besieging strategy. Take his intentions personal…
1: Satan’s first tactic is to surround us and cut off our supplies. It is his desire to get us out of the Word, out of fellowship, and out of prayer. Just as the ancient army sought to cut off their enemy from food, water, and contact with allies who could aid them, likewise Satan seeks to cut off the believer from the life-giving Word of God- the Bible, from fellowship with other believers, and from prayer. If you find yourself drifting away from consistent contact with other Christians – watch out! If your devotion to prayer is waning, and your consistent study of the Word is lacking – be careful! You are in the first stages of being besieged. I have found, upon reflection, that all of my serious brushes with backsliding began in this way. I would be bopping along, walking with the Lord, and growing in His Word. Then, for one of many seemingly plausible reasons, I’d find myself ceasing from consistent prayer and Bible study.
The reasons for these lapses ranged from an “innocent” interest in sports, T.V., or other amusements, to a more blatant and unconfessed sin. If I didn’t rouse myself from this state, the strange, downward spiral of complacency would pull on me, drawing my affections away from the things of God and the people of God. We must stay in prayer before the Lord. We must stay in the Word. We must remain in fellowship with believers. Following these principles in truth will keep us in tune with the Spirit of God, Who will guide us through the battle, unharmed.
2,3: Once the enemy effectively cuts us off from the Word, fellowship, and prayer, he begins to hurl thoughts and desires at us which are contrary to the Word of God. He hopes that our faith, which we can use as a shield to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one, is sufficiently weakened and of no effect. If we continue to offer feeble resistance, but still do not rectify the downward spiral of Tactic 1, he simply continues approaching and continues to hurl evil thoughts and desires at us until we give in. If we don’t cry out to God at that point, if we toy with the ideas presented to us, if we don’t fight back using the powerful spiritual weapons at our disposal, then temporary setback is very much a possibility.
… for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses -2 Cor. 10:4
We do not have to submit ourselves to the mental onslaught of demonic attack. We can destroy every wicked thing in the name of Jesus – by living according to the power in His name. The war between good and evil, as it relates to us, is waged in our minds. God intends to build a holy castle in the mind of every believer. Satan seeks to tear down this Christian edifice in the soul, and build fortresses of pride, fear, lust, anger, and other evils. Since this is his intention, we must take every imagination, speculation, reasoning, argument, and proud obstacle – EVERY THOUGHT – captive to obey Christ. We do this by renewing our minds, by obeying the Word of God. We do this by resisting evil things. If it doesn’t line up with righteous thinking, REJECT IT! Don’t meditate on unprofitable things any longer than it takes to determine their origin and to decide their destiny. If you don’t deal with temptation in the first precious moments of its birth, you will find it increasingly more difficult to lay hold of the victory. God’s Word promises the way of escape in every temptation, that we might be able to stand up under each and every one-but to fool around with thoughts catapulted into your mind by devils is worse than playing with fire!
4,5: If the evil thoughts which have been hurled over into the mind have begun to produce repeated acts of sin, the enemies then seek to swarm in and take over the daily life of the believer. If the firebrands, which were thrown over the wall, found dry wood, with no water made ready to quench them, they would surely burn and cause great destruction. If the wicked thoughts and desires Satan sows find a place in the life of the believer, that believer will surely suffer loss. The amount of loss depends on the extent to which the believer allows the evil to flourish. Satan well knows this principle of sowing: Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a life-style. He desires to cause a serious and lengthy malaise to engulf you. He doesn’t just want to cause you to sin a little bit here and there; he wants you to be bound in a LIFE-style of sin. He wants your faith derailed, your mind deranged, and your testimony destroyed. If an act of sin is not repented of, it could become a wicked habit. The habit could become a filthy life-style, and wreak continuous havoc in the life of the besieged. There are many “Christians” today who are hiding wicked habits or filthy life-styles. They attend church regularly, they sing, they tithe. They say all the right things and wear the right clothes; but inside, they are dead, or dying. Their fellowship with the Lord has been cut off. In the lives of many of these lukewarm churchgoers, the enemy is near to completely dominating their fortress. The overtaking of their spiritual citadel is close at hand.
Prevent The Siege
The key element in defeating siege warfare lies in diffusing the possibility of it happening before it actually occurs. A powerful city with vast supply stocks, diverse routes of escape, superior weaponry, and numerous allies at least as powerful as itself, is not likely to be besieged in the first place. If some enemy is senseless enough to try, it will be soundly defeated. This is the true lesson of this true lesson of this article!
Stay alert! Stay devoted to the Word, to prayer, and to fellowship with God’s people. Realize that Satan is a defeated foe. No weapon formed against us can harm us! We are more than conquerors, because of the great things God has done for us in Christ! Satan knows that the only power he can have over us now is power that we appropriate to him. He is the prince of darkness. Only when we willingly choose to dwell in an area of darkness can he exercise a measure of authority over us. For this reason, and of course, because it greatly offends our heavenly Father, we should seek to be free of sinful habits. As A.W. Tozer once said, “Deal THOROUGHLY with sin.” This doesn’t mean you won’t ever sin again if you somehow make up your mind not to. It means that incidences of sin must remain isolated, be repented of, and be cast out- DAILY! Don’t allow sin habits to form! Repent of anger, if it erupts, as soon as possible. Don’t allow the “sinking seedlings” of lust and pride to find good ground in your heart, and grow into ornery oaks of lust and pride. Don’t let the power of unforgiveness keep you under enemy attack! You know the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Jesus has our preventative spiritual medicine ready, to keep us from defeat and despair. He also is the Cure in case we do ever fall to the besieging hordes of darkness. Through His great wisdom and power, the fortress of the fallen believer can again be won for righteousness, the looters expelled, the devil dethroned.
If you find yourself in need of cleansing today, if you really want to be set free from the dominance of some evil thing, pay close attention! Humble yourself. Be honest about your struggles before God and man. Ask the Lord to forgive you, again. Ask Him to help you forgive yourself. If you are like me, you are sometimes harder on yourself than is necessary. Forgive yourself! Yield yourself to Him, for His purposes. Cry out to God, “Lord, tear down the towers of sin in my life and strengthen me to do what is pleasing in Your sight! Ask Him to quench the burning lust Satan has planted in your mind. Ask Him to repair the devastation, which the “battering rams” of evil have caused in your life, and to repair “tunnel” damage, through which Satan has undermined your very foundation.
Confess your sin to a strong, trustworthy brother or sister – one who will be willing and able to stand with you through your recovery. Get yourself back into a regular prayer life. Meet constantly with your Lord in prayer -that is a key! Get into the Word, and return to it daily. Keep your sword sharpened! Fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters constantly! These are the elements with which to make and keep your fortress a safe haven, free from the threat of the besieger. Above all, lean not on your own strength. Learn to lean fully on the Lord. “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.” He is the Mighty and Awesome Warrior! A strong and mighty tower is our God! Keep Him on the throne of your heart. His real presence there will preclude satanic siege, or will ensure certain defeat upon the enemy foolish enough to think his weapons will be any more effective than a water gun would be against a NUCLEAR BOMB!!
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