Do You Know Your Enemy?

stylized warrior“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

–Sun Tzu, The Art of War


Warrior chiefs through the ages have studied ancient Chinese general and military strategist Sun Tzu for his wisdom regarding warfare. It has stood the test of time.

Let’s apply this quote to our spiritual battles, especially the battlefield of the mind. This is where we translate the voices of God, ourselves, and the enemy. Our spirits discern who is actually speaking and inform our souls so decisions can be made. But if our souls (mind, will, emotions) do not listen to that wisdom, confusion results.

And confusion is exactly what our enemy wants.

The good news is he has a severely limited arsenal. His one weapon is the lie: “there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44b NKJV)

frightened childHis lies are meant to cause confusion, to misdirect us so that we confuse his voice with God’s voice. Or our own.

Have you ever thought, “I am so stupid (unworthy, unfaithful, unloving, etc.)?” Was that your inner voice or was it a lie planted by the enemy?

We know it wasn’t the voice of our loving God. Our Heavenly Father does not condemn (Romans 8:1) and when He convicts us of wrongdoing, His voice directs us to the correct path.

Those kind of phrases (actually word curses) come originally from the enemy and they are lies. A trusted person, a parent or teacher perhaps, may have said them to you, but they came from the enemy’s mind and then through their mouths. They probably didn’t even mean it, but your child heart accepted the lie as truth. And now you tell yourself the same thing because you don’t really know your enemy.

How to get rid of the lies? Ask God for the truth. Say something like this: “Jesus, this is what I hear in my mind. I have believed a lie about myself, but it feels true. I know You cannot lie, so please tell me the truth about this. Am I stupid?”

remove lies, truth remainsThen wait for the answer. And this may be even harder—don’t just reject it because you can’t believe it’s true. Stay in Jesus and listen to His heart.

Allow His truth to penetrate and destroy the lies.


Know your enemy. Know your God, as well.

Then you can know yourself.

this is part 3 of a series on hearing the voice of God

Part 1| Whose Voice Do You Believe?

Part 2| How Does God Speak to You?

part 3| Do You Know Your Enemy?

all illustrations courtesy of