The Backyard Enemy

Imagine serving in the military yet denying you have an enemy. For those who serve or have served, let me first express my gratitude and appreciation for your service. Our servicemen stand guard for our country, ready to fight against an enemy that wants to take us out! There IS an enemy and it is critical to understand his tactics in order to improve our defense efforts. While many of us have not served in the military, we all confront an enemy determined to threaten us, our families, and our country!

As I survey the landscape of our culture, I believe there are 5 common mistakes that most men make. Mistake number one is denying that we have an enemy. The second mistake is denying that a battle is taking place. Third is not knowing the tactics of the enemy. Fourth, doubting you can win the battle. And fifth is not preparing your family, friends, and neighbors.

Men, we have an enemy! While China and Russia are our country’s foreign enemies, the threat in our own backyard seeks to achieve the same objectives as those abroad. The ‘backyard enemy’ who wants to take us out is Satan! Satan wants to rob you and your family of spending eternity with our Creator.

First, we must not deny that Satan exists and second, we must know his tactics. Third, we can’t stand idle; we must prepare, train, and then deploy strategic measures that will gird us up. This backyard enemy doesn’t want our land like Russia does; this backyard enemy wants our soul. He wants to separate us from our Creator, the Lord! We need to take this seriously.

5 Areas We Must Take Seriously:
1. Recognize the presence of the adversary.
2. Secure your salvation.
3. Train and prepare.
4. Know the enemy’s tactics.
5. Train and teach others.

Satan wants to destroy you and your family and he desperately wants to divert and derail your calling. If you are saved, Satan’s next goal is to kill your testimony. Jesus emphasizes this truth in John 10:10 – “The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”

So, what should our battle plan consist of? 2 Corinthians 2: 6,11 says “I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for Him (Jesus)… in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” First, we stop denying that there is an enemy. The apostle Paul puts it this way “Don’t let Satan outwit you.”

Next, secure your salvation. Remember that you are a child of God. 1 John 3:2 says, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” Make sure no one robs you of your adoption and inheritance (Colossians 2:8 – See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ ).

Third, learn the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15 – Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth ). Then, as you take your cues from Scripture, put on the full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God.)

Fourth, learn Satan’s tactics. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be careful—watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart.” Finally, teach and train others (2 Timothy 2:2 – And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also).

Paul further admonishes in 2 Timothy 2: 1-12:
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us.”

As men in a backyard battle, we have seen how the enemy is slowly taking over our schools, the media, and even churches. Why? Because we, as men, have fallen asleep. We’ve neglected the calling we received and shirked our duty to our families, our friends, and even ourselves. The backyard battle is not a war over soil but over souls. And our only defense is the Lord! God is clear that if His children, who have been called by His name, will humble themselves, pray, and turn back to Him, He will forgive their sins and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

The soldiers of God are both steadfast and resilient, counting themselves fortunate to have answered the divine call. Men, our role is clear and simple: seek Him and pass it along, and He (the Lord) will show up!

Steve Thomas