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Pulling down strongholds is a dangerous job; count the cost before engaging

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In spiritual warfare there will be times when we need to be on the offensive. Many people think that believers should be passive, turning the other cheek, and we should at times, but there are other times when we are to be aggressive and moving forward and "the gates of hell will not stand" indicates we are on the offensive.

The key thing is to know the difference and to hear from the Lord on what to do. So, when and how to attack will be discussed in this article. Pulling down strongholds is a dangerous job and you must always count the cost before you engage.

Many believers quote this verse about warfare but few realize what it is, so let’s look at that for a moment. As always, these concepts in warfare can all be applied to our spiritual warfare and how we fight our battles on an everyday basis.

To pull down an enemy’s strong hold means we are going to have to get close to his defenses, up close to their "walls" and try to loosen the stones or dig under their walls to destroy their foundation so the wall will come down. This is dangerous and casualties will be high.

The people who do this are called "sappers" and there are several things that are needed if you are going to do this. To be a sapper, you must be properly trained for this particular job and have the appropriate tools. Many get into "battles" and don’t know what they are talking about and get hurt. Then, you need a covering from other people and are fighting with you.

This involves shields, barriers and protection from the enemy above who are trying to keep you away from their walls. They are going to throw everything they can at you.

Secondly, you are going to have to know what you are doing and do it fast. Third, you are going to have to "look up" constantly and be aware of what’s coming at you. Lastly, you must know your limits and capabilities and also to know when to retreat (back-off).

This type of battle is when you have to get close and personal with an opponent. You are going to have to attack his foundation and defenses and try to get him to "come out" from behind his walls.

This can get very uncomfortable for both and there can be some rough moments. They will throw everything against you, and you will get hurt, no question about it, so this type of attack should be entered into with caution.

When David wanted to kill Uriah the Hittite he gave orders for Joab to place him close to the walls of the city. Joab did, and Uriah got killed.

Now, if it’s dangerous to attack the outer defenses, it will be even more dangerous to attack the "citadel." This is where the enemy inside the wall falls back to for a last line of defense. The superior forces are usually concentrated there. This means we may get through someone’s outer defenses but they will fall back to old habits, arguments, logic that has worked for them for years and you will have to deal with their best reasoning.

What if you are in the open field and not close to the walls of your enemy. Well, we must attack the lesser enemy first before you take on the stronger (Joab and Abshai did this against the Ammonites and Syrians).

We must take the cautious road, not the fastest and we must cutoff the outside "reinforcements" and then go for the main target. Pharoah Shishak cut off Sukkot, a major defense in Israel, before he attacked Jerusalem. Even when attacking we must always have a defensive position in case of a counter-attack.

Julius Caesar attacked a city called Alesia in Gaul and set a siege mound around the city. He then built a second wall outside of that in case he was attacked from the outside and he was. As a result, he defeated an enemy that was positioned defensively and offensively against him at the same time.

In our spiritual warfare we should be fighting to defend the Lord and His Word, not fighting for God to defend you. David fought Goliath for the sake of God’s honor. We tend to get into our own battles then ask God to bail us out.

When choosing when to engage, ask yourself is this for the honor of God or are you just defending yourself against personal attacks. If it’s the latter, just let it go in most cases. When your strategy is gaining minimum results with maximum effort, a change in strategy is needed. In a battle, you could lose or have major problems by being distracted or giving up too soon.

We must be consistent in our walk. If the enemy has the high ground, don’t attack him. To move the enemy off the high ground you must give him something he knows he can take.

Joshua did this at AI by drawing the enemy outside of the city, then a second group attacked the weakened defenses inside the city.

These are just a few things to keep in mind when attacking. Next week, we will deal with what to do when under attack.

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