Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6.11
Hannibal of Carthage was one of the greatest generals of all time.
He exhibited an excellent grasp of logistics (leading an army across the Alps – with elephants, no less); inspired his men for over 5 years while waging continual war in hostile Italy; and was a sagacious commander, who understood the strategic importance of terrain and was masterful in using it to his advantage.
But, what truly set Hannibal apart was his ability to size up his opponents and use their strengths and weaknesses against them.
So, for an overly cautious opposing general, he would coax and maneuver him to seek refuge in an area that was not as defensible as it seemed. But for a brash and arrogant general, Hannibal would provide what would have appeared as an excellent opportunity for that general to take the offensive against him. However, instead of probing a seemingly weak spot in Hannibal’s defense, as he supposed, his opponent unwittingly would step into a trap.
Such were the circumstances at Cannae, where the Roman army suffered one of its worst defeats ever at the hands of a significantly smaller army.
In Satan, we face a far stronger, more diabolical adversary.
He knows our spiritual weaknesses, as well as our weak moments. And he will use these to his advantage.
But Satan also knows how to manipulate our strengths as well, and he can manufacture circumstances that will prey upon all of these.
Thus, we may find ourselves struggling with temptation, only to be confronted with pride and presumption as soon as we overcome it. Or we may leave unguarded those areas where we consider ourselves strongest, thus allowing the enemy to gain a foothold.
As we embark on this concerted effort of prayer, let us not be naïve about our adversary, who will oppose us every step of the way, by every means at his disposal.
And let us seek strength from the Lord, our only source for hope.
Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Pet. 5.8). Heads up, brothers, lest it be you.
Or rather, heads bowed?
Ralph Lehman, Men’s Prayer Coordinator
T. M. Moore, Principal
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.