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Stealth Attack: Protecting Yourself Against Satan's Plan to Destroy Your Life [NOOK Book]

Overview


There's only one way to overcome a spiritual terrorist.

The war on terror is out of balance. Billions of dollars and cutting-edge weaponry pitted against faceless zealots. Cunning foes who fight dirty. Though inferior in strength, they remain surprisingly deadly.

In spiritual terms, this conflict perfectly illustrates our vulnerability to Satan's attacks. He exploits every...

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Stealth Attack: Protecting Yourself Against Satan's Plan to Destroy Your Life

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Overview


There's only one way to overcome a spiritual terrorist.

The war on terror is out of balance. Billions of dollars and cutting-edge weaponry pitted against faceless zealots. Cunning foes who fight dirty. Though inferior in strength, they remain surprisingly deadly.

In spiritual terms, this conflict perfectly illustrates our vulnerability to Satan's attacks. He exploits every advantage to destroy us--and his advantages are considerable. He's a lot smarter than we are, he knows our weak points, he's invisible, and he breaks all rules. How can we possibly defend ourselves against such an adversary?

The only way to overcome such a deadly foe is to know what Scripture says on the matter. Ray Pritchard tackles this challenge in Stealth Attack. By drawing upon the teaching and examples of Jesus, Peter, Paul, and others, he offers practical steps for outmaneuvering the most shameless and stealthy foe imaginable.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802479884
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • File size: 259 KB

Meet the Author


RAY PRITCHARD serves as the president of Keep Believing Ministries. He is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University (B.A.), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.) and Talbot School of Theology (D.Min.). Ministering extensively overseas, speaking at conferences, and appearing on Christian radio and television talk shows, Dr. Pritchard focuses on evangelism and encouragement to spread the hope of Jesus Christ through all the world. For 27 years he pastored churches in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago, and most recently served at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Illinois. Dr. Pritchard is the author of 27 books, including An Anchor for the Soul, Stealth Attack, Names of the Holy Spirit, and Credo. Ray and his wife, Marlene, have three sons.
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Read an Excerpt

STEALTH ATTACK

PROTECTING YOURSELF AGAINST SATAN'S PLAN TO DESTROY YOUR LIFE
By RAY PRITCHARD

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2007 Ray Pritchard
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8024-0989-8


Chapter One

A NEW NAME FOR A VERY OLD WAR

"Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war." -Ernest Hemingway

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE TERM asymmetric warfare? The concept has received lots of news coverage in recent years as a result of the war on terrorism. The word asymmetric refers to something that is out of balance. In warfare it describes a situation where the combatants are not equal. Asymmetric warfare involves "the use of unconventional tactics to counter the overwhelming conventional military superiority of an adversary." When two forces are severely mismatched, the weaker force must use unusual methods of warfare in order to have any hope of prevailing in the conflict.

Wars have often involved a vastly superior force against a much weaker one, but most people tend to think of warfare in terms of forces that are roughly equal. Most American wars have been examples of symmetric warfare. In World War II you had the Allied armies on one side and the German, Italian, and Japanese armies on the other side. They fought traditional battles for territory across theislands of the Pacific and across North Africa and Europe.

In the twenty-first century, a new sort of warfare has come to the forefront. Conventional armies face loosely organized terrorist cells. Here are three clear examples of asymmetric warfare. On October 3, 2000, the USS Cole, an American battleship equipped with the latest and most sophisticated technology, went to the harbor of Aden, Yemen, for what was meant to be a routine fuel stop. At 11:18 a.m. two men in a rubber boat approached the ship. They blew a forty-by-forty-foot hole in the side of the ship, killing seventeen American sailors and injuring thirty-nine others. The irony was that this battleship, designed to protect a carrier battle group against all threats, was powerless to stop two men in a rubber boat.

Let's suppose that you are Osama bin Laden, and you wish to strike a blow against what you regard as the visible symbol of corrupt Western capitalism. Let us further suppose that you have a handful of men at your disposal. How will you attack the World Trade Center? You could launch some sort of frontal assault, but a few armed men would never make it very far. It just can't be done. So what do you do? You train the men to commandeer commercial aircraft and fly them into the Twin Towers. And you even plan it so that the attacks are staggered, with the shock of the first tower being hit guaranteeing that the whole world will be watching when the second tower is struck.

When two planes hit the World Trade Center, a third hit the Pentagon, and another crashed into the ground in Pennsylvania, the result was more than Osama bin Laden could have dreamed. Almost three thousand people died that day.

When my wife and I had a three-hour layover in Atlanta, we decided to eat lunch at the airport. Two soldiers wearing Army fatigues sat down at the table next to us. My wife discovered they had been in Iraq and were returning for another tour of duty, so she asked how it was really going over there. "We're kicking them all over the place," one soldier said, "but you'll never hear that on the news." He said that 90 percent of the Iraqis are glad the Americans are there, 5 percent don't care, and the other 5 percent want to kill us. There is no way to stop the 5 percent because they have infiltrated every layer of Iraqi society, including the Iraqi Army we're trying to train. We have overwhelming superiority in numbers, but our soldiers have to wait until they are shot at before they can fire. He said that our military is fighting people who have infiltrated from Syria and Iran.

His unit is stationed right in the middle of the Sunni Triangle. "These people have been fighting each other for three thousand years. We're not going to get out of there anytime soon." It was obvious in talking to the soldiers that they are frustrated because we have to fight on the enemy's terms. That's a classic case of asymmetric warfare.

Today's asymmetric warfare comes in many varieties: hit-and-run attacks, suicide bombings, guerrilla warfare, kidnapping, disinformation, and much more. Terrorists operate in small, loosely organized cells that spread across many nations. Some are "sleeper cells" that spring into action after years of dormancy. Michael Novak says,

Osama bin Laden has grasped the vulnerabilities of free and open societies today. Their technological networks are very complex, highly integrated, and easy to disrupt with precise acts of violence. Tall buildings like the skyscrapers of New York are manifestly vulnerable. The same is true of great suspension bridges, nuclear power plants, water reservoirs, communications hubs, even the virus-prone internet.

Novak goes on to say that Osama bin Laden "demonstrated how relatively easy it is for a small, disciplined, highly trained cadre of warriors willing to die in the attempt to wreak horrific damage, and to terrorize entire nations."

THE ENEMY'S GOAL: DIVIDE AND DISCOURAGE

In all of this, it helps to remember that the goal of the lesser power is not to utterly defeat the larger power. Instead, the lesser power intends to harass the larger power until, wearied by an opponent he cannot seem to find, the greater power gives up the struggle. Time in that sense is on the side of the lesser power. Few of us have the stomach for a war that never seems to end. If the lesser power can divide and dishearten the greater power, the lesser power can win even though he is badly outnumbered. One writer summarized the matter this way: "The ideal war is one that no one realizes war is being waged, that is mostly invisible, not because its actions are camouflaged, but because they look like something else. War need never be declared again because we are always at war."

"We are always at war." You could hardly find a better statement to describe the Christian life. Satan is the ultimate terrorist who led the first rebellion in the history of the universe. His attempt to unseat God was the first insurgency. Though he never had a chance of succeeding, he continues to fight against God. Think of how the Bible describes him:

He is a cunning deceiver (2 Cor. 11:3).

He is the adversary (1 Peter 5:8).

He is the "father of all lies" (John 8:44).

He is the slanderer (Rev. 13:6),

He is the tempter (Matt. 4:3).

He is the destroyer (Rev. 9:11).

He is the thief who comes to kill and destroy (John 10:10),

He is a murderer (John 8:44).

He is the serpent (Gen. 3:1; Rev. 12:9).

He is the dragon (Rev. 12:7).

He is the "evil one" (Matt. 13:19).

He is the "accuser of [the] brothers" (Rev. 12:10).

He accuses us day and night before the Lord (Zech. 3:1).

He is ruler of the darkness of the world (Eph. 6:12).

He blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Cor. 4:4).

He is the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2).

He is the prince of this world (John 12:31).

He is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4).

He is the lawless one (2 Thess. 2:8-9).

He masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14).

He roams the earth looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

He hatches clever schemes in order to outwit us (2 Cor. 2:11).

We can see something of his basic nature in the five "I wills" of Isaiah 14:13-14: "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High" (italics added).

Satan thought he could lead a rebellion that could dethrone God Himself. Evidently a multitude of angels followed him in his desperate insurgency against the Creator. Not only did he fail utterly; he and his followers were cast out of heaven. Since then he has spearheaded an unending war against God that has spread across the universe. Though originally a creature of unimaginable beauty ("O morning star, son of the dawn," v. 12), having been cast down to the earth, he became the epitome of darkness itself.

There is no truth in him. There is no goodness in him. There is no reverence in him. There is no kindness in him. There is no love in him. There is no justice in him. He is evil through and through.

He opposes God with every fiber of his being. He hates the right and promotes the wrong. He lies and cheats and deceives. He disguises himself in order to capture his prey. He attacks all of God's children, all the time, everywhere, by all means possible. He stops at nothing to steal, kill, and destroy. He is a master counterfeiter. He is the ultimate terrorist.

He doesn't fight fair.

THE ENEMY'S WEAKNESS

But there is another side of the story. Though he is far stronger than any human, he is not stronger than God. It is precisely at this point that many Christians go astray, attributing to Satan power that belongs to God alone. He exists only because God allows him to exist. If God willed it, Satan would be destroyed in an instant.

In Job 1 Satan must ask permission to afflict Job. Jesus told Peter in Luke 22:31 that Satan asked (God for permission) to sift him like wheat-a reference to Peter's denial of Christ. That thought may shock you because it is sometimes said that Satan has no authority over the Christian. That's true in one sense, because we know Satan can do nothing without God's express permission. Erwin Lutzer summarizes the truth this way:

The devil is just as much God's servant in his rebellion as he was God's servant in the days of his sweet obedience. Even today, he cannot act without God's express permission; he can neither tempt, coerce, demonize, nor make so much as a single plan without the consent and approval of God. We can't quote Luther too often: The devil is God's devil!

He is powerful but not omnipotent. He is smart but not omniscient. He can travel the universe but he is not omnipresent.

Before his rebellion, Satan was the shining epitome of God's creation. Afterward, he was and is the epitome of evil itself. In one foolish moment of unprecedented arrogance, he gave up his position as God's prime minister to become the leader of the universal forces of darkness.

His rebellion utterly failed. He was decisively defeated at the cross of Christ. And yet he fights on, in a war he is bound to lose.

Having said all of this, one important question remains to be answered: If Christ defeated Satan, why is there so much evil in the world? In the words of a popular Christian book, Satan is alive and well on Planet Earth. He doesn't look very defeated to me. Certainly the devil seems to be having his way. How else can you explain a woman suffocating her own children? Or high school students going on shooting rampages? How do you explain evil in the high places, Satanism on the rise, and a river of pornographic filth flowing over the Internet?

He's Out on Bail

The New Testament presents the truth about the devil in two different ways. On one hand, we are told over and over again that at the cross Satan was defeated as completely as anyone can be defeated. On the other hand, we are warned about the devil who roams about as a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). And we are told to put on the armor of God so we can stand in the evil day (Eph. 6:10-17). Is this not a contradiction?

I think the answer is no, but we need to do some careful thinking at this point. What happened at the cross was indeed the total defeat of Satan. In legal terms he was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to ultimate, eternal destruction. That sentence has not yet been executed, but there is no way for Satan to escape it. (Lo! His doom is sure.) Until the day when he will be cast into the lake of fire once and for all, he is destroying lives, breaking up homes, and disrupting God's work as much as he can.

If you prefer a military analogy, the cross was D-day in World War II. Once the Allies came ashore in Normandy, the German defeat was certain. Although much fighting ensued, and many soldiers died, the Allies won the war on December 6, 1944. Satan's D-day happened when Christ died on the cross. Since then his defeat has been certain, his ultimate surrender guaranteed. Meanwhile, he fights on in his desperate battle, a defeated but still dangerous foe.

He's Outnumbered

There is no better picture of Satan's strategy than the modern concept of asymmetric warfare. Though heavily outnumbered by the armies of the Lord, and having lost his personal battle with God, he now uses unconventional warfare to bring down the Lord's people. Satan rarely attacks us head-on, because we are ready for such things. But he comes at us from unusual angles, playing on our minds, slowing us down, throwing one roadblock after another in our way, dividing us from one another and from the Lord, causing us to doubt and then to fear and finally to give in to discouragement.

There are seasons in life for all of us when nothing comes easy. Even the tiniest routines of life don't work as well as they ought to. The dishwasher breaks, the car won't start, our expenses mount up, a project at work misfires, a cherished friend grows distant, our children frustrate us, and our spouse seems impatient and uncaring. In those moments we are facing true asymmetric spiritual warfare because we are being hit in many places at once. As things pile up, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain our spiritual equilibrium.

THE ENEMY DOESN'T FIGHT FAIR

Most of your spiritual battles will not present you with enormous, life-changing choices, or at least they won't seem that way at the time. Either you get angry or you don't. You stay up late to finish your homework, or you make up a creative excuse. When you visit the department store you pay cash, or you break your promise not to use your credit card. You repeat the unkind story you heard, or you decide to keep it to yourself. You pass by the magazine rack in the airport terminal, or you stop and begin to browse. You get up early to exercise, or you roll over for another thirty minutes of sleep.

No one will know whether you exercised or not. No one will know (at least not till the end of the month) if you used your credit card. And no one will know (unless you are audited) whether you lied on your tax return. God has ordained that our spiritual progress should be measured not by huge battles won or lost, but by a thousand daily skirmishes no one else knows about.

You wouldn't commit adultery, but you don't mind looking at certain Internet sites. You wouldn't lie, but you do make excuses. You wouldn't steal, but you use your credit card foolishly. You wouldn't deliberately hurt someone, but you do pass along gossip because it seems harmless. The whole point of asymmetric warfare (from Satan's point of view) is to discourage us to the point that we feel hopeless about our own spiritual progress. When that happens, he has won the battle even though all the resources of heaven are on our side.

In thinking about spiritual warfare from this perspective, keep two things in mind:

(1) Satan's goal is to discourage you so that you feel like giving up, and you quit trusting Christ.

(2) Satan doesn't fight fair.

He does not observe the traditional rules of warfare. He uses anything and everything that he can to bring us down. This is part of what Paul meant when he spoke about "the devil's schemes" in Ephesians 6:11. The word schemes might also be translated as "traps" or "tricks" or "tactics." A Texas politician was asked why a certain candidate had lost an election. "It happened because he forgot the first rule of knife fighting: There are no rules."

Satan doesn't fight fair. He's not going to give you an even break. He is a liar, a deceiver, a diabolical "angel of light" who comes to you in a thousand guises, tempting you to disobey the Lord. And he's a lot smarter than you are. He knows your weak points better than you do. Because he is invisible, he can attack you any time of the day or night. And because he has hosts of sub-ordinates, he can pick a lot of battles at once.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from STEALTH ATTACK by RAY PRITCHARD Copyright © 2007 by Ray Pritchard. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


CONTENTS

Acknowledgments / 9
Introduction / 11

1. A New Name for a Very Old War / 15
2. Snake Eyes / 31
3. War in Heavenly Places / 47
4. The Devil's Foothold / 65
5. Lessons from Chairman Mao / 83
6. A Prayer from the Battlefield / 95
7. Forward-Leaning Defense / 107
8. Singing Your Way to Victory / 117
9. Cataclysmic Times: Spiritual Warfare in the Last Days / 127

Conclusion / 151
Notes / 155

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