Situational Awareness: Spiritual Self-Defense

Satan, also known as the devil, is real. Not only does the Bible make that clear, simply reading and watching everyday news of horrific terrorism and crimes of every sort is convincing proof that the devil’s work of motivating people to commit pure evil is rampant in the world.

The second element of the five SemperVerus components is AWARE, which means giving keen scrutiny to being diligently vigilant to your surroundings. It says:

II. Aware: heightening attentiveness to be alert to—and anticipate—dangerous potentialities and temptations, as well as edifying opportunities.

Being AWARE plus the sum total of the other four SemperVerus principles cultivates the strategic and tactical element of SELF-DEFENSE, which is the intelligent ability to responsibly protect yourself from menacing spiritual and physical threats.

Notice the inclusion of the spiritual aspect that is often overlooked when considering self-defense. In fact, in many ways spiritual threats are more dangerous than physical perils. “Our fight is not against human beings. It is against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world” (Ephesians 6:12).

Animated by an unrelenting hatred against God and all that is good, the Bible says Satan is engaged in a worldwide and ages-long struggle against God, always seeking to defeat the divine plans of grace and to seduce people—who are made in the image of God—to evil and ruin, and to live as distantly from God as possible. As he who “leads the whole world astray” (Rev. 12:9), Satan’s primary method is that of deception—about himself, his purpose, his activities, and his coming defeat.

The Bible describes Satan with such terms as slanderer, accuser, enemy, the evil one, father of lies, tempter, and murderer. We must be constantly prepared, vigilant, and aware to meet every attack of the wicked one. How to do that?

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Spiritual Fitness: How Long Does It Take to Read the Bible? ]

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). Resoluteness in your Christian faith is vital to your spiritual self-defense.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The devil has different poses. Sometimes he comes like a snake, seeking to lure people into moral corruption. Sometimes he disguises himself as an angel of light, attempting to deceive people in the spiritual realm. As a roaring lion, he’s bent on terrorizing God’s people through persecution.

[ Read SemperVerus articles on the subject of Spiritual Fitness ]

“Put on all of God’s armor. Then you can remain strong against the devil’s evil plans” (Ephesians 6:11). God’s soul armor consists of

  • Truth
  • Righteousness
  • Peace
  • Faith
  • Salvation
  • the Word of God and
  • Prayer.

Read about each of these protections in the article, Prepare for Spiritual Warfare: Put On the Armor of God on the Bible Gateway Blog.

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes, “According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” Nothing disarms the enemy faster than maintaining a humble heart before God.

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Romans 12:2).

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23).

“The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives” (Proverbs 16:17).

And, of course, daily obeying what Jesus said is the greatest commandment of all will thwart the schemes of the devil: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

[ Read SemperVerus articles on the subject of BE ]

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