Fight: Are You Willing to Pick a Fight with the Enemy?
by Kenny Luck
“Ignorance is incompetence.”
“It is a very human and natural response to fear the unknown. For a believer to keep himself in the dark about Satan’s person and work is a dangerous mistake.” –MARK BUBECK
I don’t know of any book that actually invites you to begin picking more fights with evil. And yet you’re holding it. Aside from what that says about you, I’m well aware that holding this book may cause some men to feel like the deer from The Far Side comic with the bull’s....eye birthmark on his chest. Fact is, you and Hal do have this birthmark issue in common. You’ve been marked and labeled in the spiritual world, just by virtue of your birth. If you claim the family name of Christian, you are being hunted to be destroyed.
And yet a lot of us are denying this dance to the death even exists. We’ve heard of the battle and may even be aware of it to some extent, but it’s all to little practical effect. We’ve been duped and made to forget that, unlike Gary Larson’s deer, the hunted God’s man can actually turn the tables on evil and become the hunter. We have the power and ability to send the hunter packing! It’s all a matter of perceiving the spiritual reality and understanding the source of authority.
Most believers are aware of the “right answers” when it comes to the familiar idea of waging spiritual warfare. And yet we’re failing at practical application. We look at the cosmic conflict between good and evil more like a Harry Potter movie–it’s a tossup which side will prevail until the final frame. And it’s this perspective when applied to the real world of spiritual attack that breeds insecurity, hesitation, vacillation, and harm to both believer and the cause of Christ.
I, for one, am loath to take on that reputation. I trust you’re with me.
No Interest, or Just No Stomach? We will have struck a deep blow to our enemy if our concept of the spiritual battle moves forcefully from being an afterthought to a way to believe and behave. Based on the attitudes I encounter in men worldwide regarding evil, I would want us for an opponent if I were Satan.
The painful, sad reality is that the underworld has the upper hand on the ground level of this war with God’s men. I’ll address this later in the book in detail, but for now let’s just say we’ve been assuming the submissive position of a scared pooch, or been freely giving permission (by our inaction) to evil to trample over our lives and the world with impunity.
A reality check is in order.
Facing Evil It’s time to look in the mirror and not be satisfied with what we have become in the midst of the great war for our King. We must make peace with the fact that we are spiritually enabled, empowered, and equipped to make war on the Enemy and do something. We are commissioned to inflict losses, unmask and thwart plots to kill, and deliver those in bondage to darkness into the freedom of the sons of light.
Satan knows who you are. Get that. Then, as every God’s man must do on a more urgent basis, you need to accept what that means. What’s that, you say? Simple: You cannot ask for a hall pass to get out of this fight. You must also stop living in ignorance and denial.
Instead, you need to understand and get to know Satan’s ways. Why? Because you are in a play à la Jason Bourne. You are an asset on assignment to neutralize evil wherever and whenever it rears its insidious head. You are to be feared by the Enemy, not laughed at.
When I signed on to write the God’s Man series, there was a deep sense of foreboding every time I pondered the third book (this one). I was, all at once, deeply convicted and committed to stimulating more intelligent and intentional kingdom warfare and intensely aware of what I would be asking for–troubles of another kind. Devilishly bizarre dreams, personal attacks, marital roadside bombs, harassing thoughts, family traumas, conflicts with church members, a double root canal, and a tsunami of satanic diversions are just a sampling of the mortar and artillery rounds that have been lobbed my way.
While some of these are just natural events, the negative emotions that come with them are what the Devil loves to cultivate and exploit in a believer. Every excuse to discourage me, Satan took. He doesn’t play fair and is the king of low blows. He waits to kick men in the teeth when they’re down. Magnifying emotions to create insecurities, heighten fears, and defeat us without a bullet being shot are the things Satan is best at. He must rely on playing mind games–a sign of insecurity and no real power. Nonetheless, he’s allowed to mess with us.
He is doing the same thing with you right now. Repeatedly my message to Satan was, “I know who you are and what you intend to do.” A little preemptive retaliation is consistent warfare doctrine among sovereigns who feel that the security of their networks or borders is about to be compromised in some way. These shots across the bow were intended to say, “Do you really want this? You might want to reconsider.” Throughout this time God’s Spirit has said, “Reconsider this!” like we read in the fourth chapter of Luke’s Gospel when Jesus quit listening and started rebuking evil suggestions and ploys.
Well, my friend, I am still here dialoguing with you on these pages, and Satan still knows where I live. Boo....ya! I wanted you to know a little thunder has been rolling my way, but I expected this. I knew all hell would break loose before, during, and after my decision to focus an entire manuscript on outing the Devil and equipping you to effectively confront and defeat him. I knew the Devil loathes being discovered the way any terrorist would be incensed at the man who blew his cover. I knew that the Great Pimp has a big ego matched only by that noxious chip on his shoulder toward believers. I knew that anyone who actively pulls his masks off to expose his presence is asking for a double helping of ire and indignation.
And yet, many days what kept me going was you. Yes, you–the God’s man reading these words. The reason you have this book in your hands is because you have been called by your King for this hour. You are being asked to join the company of other mighty men to be the tip of the spear in the war against evil. Just the word fight resonated with your soul and spirit. You are cognizant of the smell of war in your own life, and you see it in your world. That willingness to fight is being affirmed by God’s Spirit. Your training as a disciple is ready to go the next level. Your strong, confident, and fully surrendered presence is going to be needed. Your quickening to the battle is at hand.
I know this feeling well. Writing Fight was unnerving and necessary for me. Reading Fight will be the same for you. The realities and truths you will confront in these pages will both unnerve you and compel a necessary faith response. More bluntly, from this time forward you will need to change the way you address the challenges of life to account for evil and its presence in and around you. In effect, you are being handed a pair of night vision goggles (another topic we’ll take on later), and you will see “movement” of evil that was previously hidden. You will feel the apprehension one experiences when he is considering war. Satan wants you to feel the fear.
God will replace that fear with Himself. These are how all rites of passage feel to a surrendered God’s man. God’s men are filled with spiritual tension because something is actually at stake. There is the tension you feel when your faith and the reality of your responsibility to it collide. Risk dealt with this. Then there is the tension of becoming the man you were created to be versus the man you thought you ought to be. Dream addressed this issue in your life. Then there is the rite of passage most men do not have the stomach to address: facing the reality and tension of dealing directly with evil. Fight will stretch you again and again to see, engage, face, call out, and demolish evil with confidence and skill through Christ. So men wearing spiritual skirts need not apply. Jesus didn’t own one, and as His representative possessing.
His authority, neither should you. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8). Take heart, you have an excellent Mentor.
But let’s stow the macho talk for a second and get down to the sweat and blood of what’s to come.
Your Attitude and Your Stand Your attitude about evil reflects your stand against evil. The great men of faith understood this, and as God’s man, so must you. To help you with this, we need to think about evil and our fight with it in uncomplicated terms that are consistent with Scripture and practical to apply. We need to think better before we can fight better. The “We’ve got Jesus, yes we do. We’ve got Jesus, how about you?” approach is as effective as it sounds. The Bible does not support it, though it might work at vacation Bible school. In fact, the more emotional you are in warfare, the sooner you die. So in the interest of living to fight another day, let’s replace emotional and unsuccessful strategies with intelligent and intentional ways of thinking about and fighting evil. For starters, let’s wipe the board clean of what we think we know about evil and resolve to stick to Scripture’s direction and plan for how we are going to prepare for the fight.
On the whiteboard in my office you will see this written at the top: I...