“Rommel! I read your book!”
General Patton is reported to have screamed that from a hill overlooking a famous battle scene in North Africa during WWII, with hundreds of German Panza tanks lying destroyed and still smoldering in the desert below.
Patton was able to anticipate Rommel’s every move, defend his tank division against the enemy, and emerge victorious from the battle because he had read Rommel’s book and knew his tactics.
It is just as important that we know the enemy’s tactics against us in order to be victorious in the battle against him.
But even in saying that, I am reminded of the caution of a good friend and YWAM teacher, Dean Sherman, in his teaching on spiritual warfare. Dean says, “Understand your enemy but be impressed with God…and don’t ever confuse those two things.”
I was reading 2 Kings 18, in my devotions this morning and something in the narrative jumped out at me…something I have read before but took special notice of this morning. The City of God is being besieged at the hands of Sennacherib, the Assyrian king. Jerusalem is in lock down and King Hezekiah’s representatives are standing on the wall of the city. Rabshakeh, Sennacherib’s general, is standing outside the walls of Jerusalem taunting and threatening their destruction.
But to everyone’s dismay, He was speaking in Hebrew. He was speaking their language. I can only imagine the fear that rippled through the entire City of God hearing the enemy taunt and threaten them in their own language.
Fear was precisely what Rabshakeh intended.
Aramaic was the universal language of that part of the world. Not Hebrew. Rabshakeh had taken the time to learn Hebrew. He had studied the language, worked on the right accents. Who knows how long it had taken him, but he had practiced long and hard precisely to intimidate the people of God.
I think our enemy uses the same strategy against us today.
He has studied us. Listened to our conversations. Seen our weaknesses. Observed our lives. Knows our dreams and fears.
He has learned our language.
So he knows exactly what to say from outside the walls of our defenses that will send fear rippling through our lives. His goal is to intimidate us. Rob us of faith in God. Get us into full on retreat. Leave us feeling defeated before the battle has even begun.
We cannot allow the enemy that kind of access in 2016. Be aware that he speaks your language. Be discerning re: how he taunts and threatens you. Understand the enemy’s tactics, like Patton understood Rommel.
I pray for you in this new year what I pray for my life, my family and the church of Jesus…Lord, give us discernment to run into Your Presence, just like Hezekiah did when he heard Rabshakeh’s threats, and receive Your strength to stand, and keep standing, in faith, against the schemes of the evil one.
Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!
The enemy may know my language, but I know my God!