Back in 2014 I wrote about asymmetric warfare, i.e., a war in which there is more than one style of attack especially when opponents are not matched in power and strength. It is re-posted, below.
Asymmetric warfare is a well-known term in combat, and, particulary nowadays, includes more and more technologically-enhanced forms of psychological warfare. Here is just one example, in this case one of the most potent, of how people get sucked into an addictive, thought-limiting and emotionally-charged technological mechanism (called social media) where it’s easy to manipulate and control users, if that is the objective, by multiple, programmed-in means enhanced by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
One of the reasons for this commentary in the series is because one could easily conclude just now that the world is engaged in such a multi-front, overt and covert, war against, in this case, western civilization. Of course it’s not called that outright.
Various battle strategies go by various names: war against other races, war against religion, war against man’s influence on the climate, war against the police–whatever seem to be the most vulnerable aspects of society where the Pied Pipers leading the way are not musicians but propagandists.
And, of course, there is always some truth, real or spun, in every asymmetric warfare strategy by which to better persuade the people, a strategy that goes by the name “wordfare,” a portmanteau of the words “word” and “warfare”. There’s also “lawfare“.
In short, you might say that asymmetric warfare is not a “one-size fits all” method of war, rather, it’s an “all sizes fit one”–the better to confuse and conquer with–on as many fronts as possible.
All at the same time, if it can be arranged…
I also present the re-post below [with a few added notes and updates] to remind believers of the importance of keeping our eyes on the real leader of the ultimate revolution against evil: Jesus Christ, Lord of lords, King of kings, and Prophet of prophets who has not only alerted us in His Word but also by the signs of the times who that real enemy is, what our spiritual protection is, and what this summer, as chaotic, unprecedented, and fearful as it is, may truly portend.
During Jesus’ time on earth He, too, was assaulted by several varieties of, in this case, psychological as well as mental warfare by His–and our–arch enemy, Satan. The post outlines how Jesus dealt with each specific attack. This is a model for us, too.
In short, Jesus’ couner-attacks might be summed up as: Truth versus Lies (lies wrapped up in clever wordfare, that is).
Jesus, of course, provided by His life, death, and resurrection the eternal solution for the real war that powers all the rest from “behind the scenes,” as it were. Here is some information on that.
But on this side of eternity, may I encourage you to also keep your seat belt on, your mind awake, your emotions reined in, and your eyes focused on Jesus Christ because every action–and counter-action–begins in the spirit. I’ll be doing my best to work the same plan.–PBN
Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Asymmetric warfare [as noted in the link in the introduction] “is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly. This is typically a war between a standing, professional army and an insurgency or resistance movement militias who often have status of unlawful combatants.”
He knows he has to use it. Satan, that is. Asymmetrical warfare, that is.
Against the power of the blood of God’s own Son given as recompense for the evil of mankind to all those who so choose it by putting their faith in Jesus Christ and following Him, Satan has nothing comparable.
Not that he is interested in redeeming anyone. Quite the opposite, actually.
But he’s a brilliant tactician.
Our true enemy is not about to show up sporting horns, wearing red, and wielding a pitchfork, or anything as obvious. Rather, he deceives more as an “angel of light,” a subtle suggestion, a seductive experience. Satan, the Devil, Beelzebub is his own “fifth column,” with a little help from his fiends, snaking into high places [and minds and hearts] intent on bringing them down.
For starters, he knows he has to keep the truth about Jesus’ sacrifice quiet, get rid of the record, the Bible—the “Believer’s Field Manual,” you might put it—in any way possible: hide it from the masses for a few centuries, say, or try to convince the many that only the few by virtue of gender or worldly position can understand it, teach it, and preach it.
If those tactics don’t work, he sets about to discredit The Book, mock it, add to it, and/or subtract from it. Or, perhaps most cunning of all, “modernize” it for a new century, replacing the Holy Spirit with the Spirit of the Age… a “new spiritual zeitgeist” for a supposed “new man”.
Because the truth is potent to save, heal, and deliver, Satan also knows he must try to dust up all kinds of counterfeit belief systems to fool the gullible, the guileless, and the guilt-ridden. Because if he can just convince non-Christian and Christian alike that grace is a sham, Jesus, mere man, and Hell, flim flam; if he just could accomplish all this, for starters, he’d be happier in his own misery.
Or so the Father of Lies would lie, to himself.
But by whatever method works, Satan is bent on “killing, stealing, and destroying” (John 10:10) however he can.
What’s a believer to do?
We are advised to keep in mind some of Satan’s greatest (temptation) hits, if you will, his most effective “asymmetric warfare tactics.” For example, the ones he tried on Jesus [as chronicled in Matthew 4:1-11, NIV]–how Jesus dealt with them, and applications for us, now:
- Appeal to the flesh:
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
[In other words, be on the lookout for temptations directed at the flesh, or for that matter, financial gain–or plain old foolishness.]
- Appeal to presumption:
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
[In other words, beware of false prophets who hawk their own gospel.]
Appeal to worldly ambitions:
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
[In other words–we need be careful who or what–we worship.]
But obviously, in all the temptations, Satan picked the wrong candidate in the Son of God.
And the power that trumped his, Satan’s, own? The Word of God in the text spoken by the Word of God in the flesh.
The good news for battle-fatigued believers is that this same power to overcome temptation, by grace through faith [in Jesus Christ], is available to us today, too, if we employ it. And here’s an encouragement to go with:
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
[Understanding this also helps greatly to control warring thoughts, as it were, ginned up by wordfare, lawfare, and, well, lies. A clear head is where critical thinking thrives. Critical thinking is key in every victory.]
We still need to be aware of Satan’s ploys and his hidden spiritual landmines, however, and we are advised to keep our “weapons” ready for spiritual warfare.
Like Nehemiah re-building the wall around the Holy City, it’s best to keep a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other because although our arch enemy is defeated, he still prowls about looking for the vulnerable. And in the midst of the fray, it also helps to remember the believer’s battle cry:
“Greater is he in us than he who is in the world” (1 John, 4:4).
[For additional encouragement–and comfort–consider also these words from the psalmist:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me. (Psalm 23:1-6, ESV)
And carry on.]