“What the ancients call a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease. Hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage. He wins his battles by making no mistakes…conquering an enemy that is already defeated. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.” THE ART OF WAR
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrew. 2:14-15)
We fight a defeated foe. Let me say this again, “We fight a defeated foe.” We fight an enemy that flees at the name of Jesus. Yet, we act like we’re the ones defeated. We act like Satan has the upper hand when it comes to battling him.
Jesus finished the work at the Cross. He defeated sin and death. Yes, he defeated the source of sin and death, Satan. No, he did not do away with Satan. Obviously, Satan is very active and will one day, for a very short time, have control over those left behind on this earth.
You see Sun Tzu knew that warfare is as much about the psychological as the physical. I am a Cornhusker fan. There was a time, in the 90’s that teams so feared them, they would beat themselves before the game began. Nebraska had the edge, because of this fear factor.
Likewise, Satan is a defeated foe. He is very much alive, but Jesus placed Satan's neck under His feet at the Cross. Satan thought he had Jesus. Satan saw Him die. Satan probably danced over His tomb. Then, the unexpected, but inevitable happened. Jesus rose from the dead and defeated both sin and death. He also defeated Satan. Jesus was not worried about Satan. Satan did everything he could to trip up Jesus, but nothing worked. Satan did this out of fear. He knew Jesus. He knew He was the Son of God. Satan knew neither he nor his minions could stand in Christ’s presence. So, he attempted to defeat Jesus along the way. From the beginning he tried to defeat Jesus by attempting to destroy his family tree or his birth line. Nothing worked. Satan even tried to destroy our Lord in Bethlehem, but God preserved Him. He confronted Jesus in the desert and tried to tempt Him to sin and make the mistake that would bring Jesus down. It didn’t work. Finally, at the Cross, Satan thought his long awaited triumphal moment had arrived. It didn’t work.
You see the victor or the true conqueror makes no mistakes in battle that will cost him defeat. He places a high priority in sticking to the plan and not allowing his mind to wonder or have any doubts about the victory over a defeated foe. Jesus had the upper hand in power, might, and in the all important psychological warfare. Satan knew it, but could do nothing to stop Jesus. Yet, Satan had a glimmer of hope when he saw Jesus die. I wish I could have seen Satan’s face when that stone rolled away.
The great warrior also makes no reputation for himself. He’s humble and not braggadocios. The Word says, “but made himself nothing, (humbled, not seeking reputation) taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Phil. 2:7) Confidence and power, that was Jesus. He did not come here to seek a reputation for Himself. He came to show us the Father. He came to die. He came to rise up. He came to defeat sin and death. And because of what He did, we too can walk in the same power and humility, standing against Satan, not in our might, but His.
We’re not to enter spiritual warfare already defeated. We are the victors. We are the conquerors. We hold within us the power and the might. No, it’s not ours, it’s the Lord’s power and might we fight with. Yet, we forget and we fight like wimps before Satan.
I have done this myself. I have felt defeat and I have felt powerless before Satan. But we’re not. We have God, Almighty on our side. We have the One who defeated sin and death and stood triumphant on Satan’s neck. We are the victorious. So, let us praise the One we serve and stand firm against the one He defeated. Sin and death have no more power over us, for we come in the name of the Lord.
Here is a link to more about Satan as a defeated foe: http://reformedwomen.wordpress.com/2007/05/16/satan-a-defeated-foe/
More on Ken Ham: www.answersingenesis.org/
Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Copyright 2007, BN Publishing
Copyright 2010, GodFire Revival and Discipleship Outreach
Author: Lynn E. Sheldon
GodFire | Disciple Bible Study
Author writes and distributes discipleship material and articles to train believers in the Word.