Never fear your enemy but always respect them~John Basilone
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. I Peter 5:8
John Basilone was a cut above the rest, a hero during World War II. He fought in Guadalcanal, won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery during that battle. He commanded two machinegun sections and held off 3000 Japanese soldiers trying to take Henderson field. The Japanese cut off his supply line to get more ammo for his machine guns, so he had to fight through the line to get more ammo. Out of his two sections, there were only three of his left standing. Basilone was left fighting the rest of the Japanese with his .45 pistol. He respected his enemy, but he didn’t fear them. We as Christians need to respect our enemy, but never fear him. If we are to keep our enemy on the run there are three strategies that we can practice to keep him at bay.
The first strategy is to know your enemy. In 490 BC the Athenians faced the Persians that had an overwhelming force that came to shore. It was 11000 Athenians against 25000 Persians. Miltiades the Athenian general had prior experience with the Persians and knew they would put their strongest warriors in the center of the line in order to break through the Athenians. Therefore, what Miltiades did was to do the opposite, he put his strongest warriors on the right and left wings of his line. The Persians broke through only to find the toughest Greek warriors on their flanks and they were routed. This was the battle of Marathon and we still pay tribute to it today with 26.2-mile run that symbolizes what Philippides did to tell the Greeks they won the battle and then dropped dead. We have to know our enemy and remember our experiences with the spiritual battle we fight every day. If you know where your weakness lies, strengthen yourself in that area, by accountability with a friend, or serving other people with the same weakness as you.
The next strategy is to study your enemy. General Patton did this when he fought Rommel in the African desert. Rommel was so arrogant that he wrote a book on strategy that Patton read. Patton soundly defeated Rommel because he studied his enemy. I’m not saying we need to understand our enemy, just keeping in God’s word will make you more aware of the enemy’s attack than if you don’t get in the word at all. When we put all of our focus on God and how to live for Him that is all the studying we need to do to understand the attacks of the enemy.
The last strategy is to walk in the confidence of defeating your enemy. The difference between arrogance and confidence is arrogance is blinded by your ego. Confidence knows you can handle something, but you are humble, not arrogant. You don’t let your ego ride rough shot over your life. Arrogance says I can handle it, but I am the greatest thing since sliced bread. Confidence is saying I can handle this, but I am no better than my brother or sister. Confidence is knowing you will make the correct decisions, humility is knowing where the power comes from, Jesus in you. The great Marine general “Chesty” Puller’s leadership style was he thought of his enlisted men as gold and his officers as stepchildren. He thought of himself as the same level as his enlisted men. That is confidence and humility put into action. That type of leadership style will get you farther in battle than being arrogant.
Knowing your enemy, studying your enemy, and walking in confidence against your enemy will soundly defeat him. Always respect your enemy, but never fear him because God is in you and the power and victory is always yours with Him there.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.