A military operation plan, or war plan, is a plan drawn up by commanders of military forces and organizations BEFORE and DURING times of conflict – especially if there is the desire and intent to “win” the war.
All around us there is a battle taking place, yet we go out day after day, onto the battle field with no war plan and no strategy. We find, therefore, ourselves under attack – feeling hopeless and helpless, overwhelmed and confused, saddened and depressed. Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher, Sun Tzu, said, “Those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him.” In short, rather than be under attack, you need to be on the attack to win the war. How do we do this as Christians?
First, understand the enemy. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) tells us that “…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Next, understand the battle. Though we have physical bodies, ours is not a physical war. We are spiritual beings inside a physical body. The war waged against us is in the spiritual realm, in our minds. Satan knows that if he captures our minds, he can control us. It is in our minds where we first begin to feel defeat. “I am lonely.” “I am sad.” “I am depressed.” “I can’t do that.” “I am not strong enough.” “I am not smart enough.” “I don’t have enough.” Romans 12:2 (NASB) tells us, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” while II Corinthians 2:5 (NASB) tells us to “take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
Thirdly, develop an offensive strategy. Offensive strategy means that we do not wait for the enemy to attack. We do not become reactionary. We are proactive, and we go on the attack before the enemy comes to us. We also develop an arsenal of offensive weapons (internalizing Scripture, praying and fasting). It is not a question of whether Satan will attack but when, where and how.
The best offensive strategy is to be prepared! You can make up your mind ahead of time how you will react in many situations – what you are going to do and what you are not going to do. “No matter how they criticize me, I will smile and pray for them.” “Whether I get the job or not, I will thank the Lord for the opportunity and praise Him.” “I will be calm and focused during the business meeting.” “At the family reunion I will focus on the joy of seeing the children and excuse myself from the negative conversations.” “I will welcome this transfer and look forward to new relationships and adventures.” “I’m popping in my new CD and singing along during the commute to work.”
When we think about it, little actually catches us by surprise. We tend to know the who, what, when and where of our stressors and those are often the people, places, times and situations Satan uses to attack our minds. A good soldier does not find herself in the midst of war wishing she’d brought her gun, worn her helmet or remembered her canteen. She knows to expect certain encounters and plans likewise for them.
God gives us a plan in Ephesians 6:11-18 (ERV):
“Wear the full armor of God…get God’s full armor…stand strong with the belt of truth tied around your waist, and on your chest wear the protection of right living. On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows that come from the Evil One. Accept God’s salvation as your helmet. And take the sword of the Spirit—that sword is the teaching of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times. Pray with all kinds of prayers, and ask for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready. Never give up…”
See you on the front line!