Resisting Enemy Disruption

Recognize – Assess – Resist

The enemy will like to disrupt any person from Following God’s Schedule by attacking their compassion, diligence, appreciation, or any aspect of human interaction essential to living in God’s purpose. Learn to recognize, assess, and resist the threat. Start with Christ teaching in the Parable of the Sower: that God offers opportunities for every person to grow and flourish in him but the enemy will attempt to disrupt the opportunities in several ways. Then continue with David encountering potential enemy disruption through physical threat to his life. He recognized the threat, tried containment initially, but later implemented an avoidance strategy to resist disruption by protecting himself from Saul.

Teaching Enemy Disruption TheGlobalGospel.org FreeBibleImages.org

The enemy will seek to disrupt a person from Following God’s Schedule at any stage of a mission. As we discuss in a previous study under Nature of Temptation, the devil wants to pull each person away from God’s purpose and will devise schemes to disrupt a person from living to receive fulfillment of God’s promise according to God’s schedule. For example, the devil can attack the compassion or diligence of the intended service provider in a call to compassion or the appreciation of the service recipient.

Recognized need but refused care
Recognized need but refused care
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He can attack a person’s compassion to reduce their sensitivity to needs that God places on their path. As we discuss under Compassion—Sensitivity to Needs, God uses call to compassion to direct a person to blessing he has ordained and expects the person to recognize the need, care about the needy, commit to providing, and persevere in seeking to alleviate the need. The devil can attack a person’s compassion by interfering with or manipulating one or more aspects of their capability to recognize, care, commit, and persevere.

Similarly, the devil can attack a person’s diligence. As we discuss in a previous study under Diligence in Human Service—Stimulates Appreciation, a person called to provide service to alleviate a need will be successful if he/she is diligent: i.e., understands the need and needy, is driven by care (i.e., hunger and thirst for righteousness) to commit to providing for the need, and perseveres in seeking to alleviate the need. Therefore, the devil can seek to disrupt by interfering with or manipulating one or more aspects of the person’s capability to recognize, care, commit, and persevere.

Your faith has healed you
Your faith has healed you
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Also, the devil can seek to disrupt by attacking a person’s appreciation. As we discuss previously under Season for Giving, Receiving, and Appreciation, God expects the recipient of human service to appreciate the service, appreciate the provider, and appreciate God for placing the provider in position to alleviate the need. Appreciation is important because it motivates the service recipient to “hunger and thirst” to do likewise for the benefit of others. Thus, the service recipient in a call to compassion is a nurturing heart where benefits of the service grow and multiply. The benefits grow if the recipient understands and appreciates the service. In contrast, the benefit dies if the recipient simply takes the service but does not understand or appreciate that something has been done to alleviate his/her need. The benefit of human service dies in a taker, i.e., a person that receives service without appreciation. Therefore, an attack targeted at a person’s appreciation could be an effective way to disrupt a person from living to receive fulfillment of God’s promise.

Nature of Enemy Disruption

The devil can disrupt a person from Following God’s Schedule by targeting their compassion, diligence, appreciation, or any aspect of human interaction essential to living in God’s purpose. As we discuss previously under Nature of Temptation, the devil can interfere with or manipulate behavior by exploiting a person’s lust of the flesh (i.e., physical desire), pride (i.e., obsession with status or relative importance), and lust of the eyes (i.e., greed, selfish ambition, or covetousness) and has several options to disguise the attack.

Turn stone to bread
Turn stone to bread
theglobalgospel.org FreeBibleImages.org

Based on Christ teaching in the Parable of the Sower, we learn that God offers opportunities for every person to grow and flourish in him but the enemy will attempt to disrupt the opportunities in several ways. Also, David’s experience illustrates potential enemy disruption through physical threat to life. David recognized the threat to his life from Saul. However, resisting the threat was complicated by his desire to remain in military career under Saul. He cherished the career as a potential path to kingship, initially wanted to remain in the service while resisting Saul’s threat to his life, but determined later he had to abandon the career to protect himself from Saul.

We discuss the Parable of the Sower to understand Christ teaching on potential enemy disruption and use the teaching to explore basic skills for recognizing an enemy attack. Also, we discuss David’s approach to resisting Saul’s threat to his life and use the information to understand general principles in assessing and resisting an enemy attack.

Christ Teaching on Enemy Disruption—
Parable of the Sower

God grants opportunities to every person to know him and grow, flourish, and bear fruit in him. But the devil will seek to disrupt the opportunities in several ways to prevent a person from attaining the life that God intended. In the Parable of the Sower [Matthew 13:1–9 and 18–23], Christ likens the opportunities to a farmer sowing seeds by broadcasting and likens enemy disruption to various forms of environmental influence that can interfere with the seed or plant at three stages of development.

Seeding by broadcasting
Seeding by broadcasting
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Some of the seeds fail to germinate, because they are intercepted and eaten by birds; some germinate but fail to establish root, because they fell in inadequate soil on rock; some germinate and are well-rooted but fail to grow to maturity because they could not cope with competition among thorns that choked them.

The seeds that were eaten by birds represent enemy disruption by targeting a person’s understanding and assimilation of God’s purpose. The seed that germinated but failed to establish root represent enemy disruption by targeting a person’s connection to spiritual nourishment, such that their understanding of God’s purpose does not grow and is soon forgotten. The seed that germinated and established root but the plant failed to grow to maturity represent enemy disruption through myriad other environmental influence. The remaining seeds, those sowed on good soil, represent people that resist enemy disruption, thereby Following God’s Schedule to receive fulfillment of his promise and live and flourish in him.

Recognizing Enemy Attack

Praying together
Praying together
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The Parable of the Sower prepares a person to recognize potential enemy disruption and be sufficiently aware of the attack to determine an appropriate approach to resisting. As we discuss in a previous study under Sowed on Good Soil—Parable of the Sower, a person needs to do the following to develop capability to recognize and assess potential enemy disruption.

  1. Invest a deliberate amount of time consistently to learn about and develop relationship with God. Stay focused and avoid distractions during the time. If you devote the time and stay focused because you desire to understand God’s message and how to apply it in your life, he will fulfill his promise to fill your “hunger and thirst for righteousness” [Matthew 5:6].
  2. Develop and maintain connections to spiritual nourishment. Connection to spiritual nourishment is important to a Christian as roots are to a plant. Such connections can be developed by interacting closely with people, and participating in activities, that provide opportunities to learn and share understanding of God’s message.
  3. Apply the image of God test to identify contemplated actions that will tend to severe or weaken a person’s connection to spiritual nourishment. The image of God test will increase a person’s vigilance to recognize and assess external influence. An enemy attack could be disguised as an alternative to a person’s chosen way of life: to redirect their resources, seek alternative forms of human interaction, or do something different. Evaluate any contemplated action to determine if and how the action would convey the image of God to the affected and observers.

Example from David—
Responding to Threat of Enemy Disruption

David departs to avoid Saul
David departs to avoid Saul
Sweet Publishing FreeBibleImages.org

David recognized threat to his life from Saul. He wanted to resist the threat but also wanted to continue to develop his military career under Saul. The career appeared to be a direct path to kingship for David. His position as high-ranking officer and commander provided him opportunity to demonstrate leadership and grow reputation as potential future king of Israel. He cherished and wanted to preserve the opportunity.

Initially, David wanted to stay in the career while resisting Saul’s threat to his life, but determined later he had to abandon the career to protect himself from Saul. As we discuss in a previous study under Mentor Turns Mentee Enemy, David tried containment of the threat initially but later chose avoidance of Saul, established safe distance from him, and moved quickly and frequently to maintain the distance. To implement the avoidance strategy, he setup an elaborate network for sending and gathering information to predict Saul’s next move and stay ahead of him.

Assessing Threat of Enemy Disruption

Enemy disruption often will manifest physically through natural persons or events, notwithstanding that the disruption is a spiritual attack from the devil. For example, Saul’s threat to David’s life was an attack intended to disrupt David from becoming king of Israel. Therefore, resisting enemy disruption often involves human intervention that requires a person to assess the threat and develop and implement a strategy for resisting.

Categorization in Terms of Severity

A threat can be assessed in terms of severity as follows.

  1. If the threat can coexist with mission, then choose containment while focusing on executing the mission. David chose containment of Saul’s threat initially, indicating he thought the severity was in this category.
  2. If the threat cannot coexist with the mission but can be removed, then the threat must be snuffed out.
  3. If the threat cannot coexist with the mission and cannot be removed, then the mission must be separated from the threat in order to survive. For example, David determined that he would not be safe in the proximity of Saul and implemented an avoidance strategy to protect himself from Saul and preserve his opportunity of becoming king of Israel.

Categorization in Terms of Friendliness

Also, a threat can be categorized in terms of friendliness of the source or of the threat itself. Categorize the threat as friendly, unfriendly, or hostile. This categorization increases understanding. However, irrespective of the friendliness category, the severity category should be used to determine the strategy for resisting.

Summary of What We Learned

The enemy will like to disrupt any person from Following God’s Schedule by causing them to depart from God’s purpose. In an attack, the enemy can target a person’s compassion, diligence, appreciation, or any aspect of human interaction essential to living in God’s purpose. The enemy can disguise an attack in several ways.

Based on Christ teaching in the Parable of the Sower, we learn that God offers opportunities for every person to grow and flourish in him but the enemy will attempt to disrupt the opportunities in several ways. David’s interactions with Saul illustrate a potential enemy disruption manifesting as physical threat to life. David recognized the threat, tried containment initially, but later implemented an avoidance strategy to resist disruption by protecting himself from Saul. We use the Parable of the Sower to explore basic skills for recognizing an enemy attack. Also, we use David’s interactions with Saul to understand general principles in assessing and resisting an enemy attack.

More Information

You can download a PDF copy of the PowerPoint presentation of this bible study from PDF_LINK.

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