William Craig wrote a nonfiction book called Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad The book describes the events surrounding the battle for Stalingrad in the winter of 1942/43. His story tells of a sniper named Vasili Zaitsev, who was faced with an all out offensive by the germans on Stalingrad. This book was depicted in a fictional movie starring Jude Law and Ed Harris. In the book Vasili finds himself on the front lines and uses his extraordinary marksmanship to save himself and his commissar during the suicidal charge by the barrier troops. He learned to shoot when he was just a child from his grandfather and his honed skill was the difference in keeping himself alive during the assault. He became so adept at killing Germans, that the loss of many soldiers by the Germans prompted them to bring in a famous German sniper by the name of Erwin Konig to take out Vasili. Konig was an expert marksman, but the country-trained Vasili won the battle of wits and killed Konig. The enemy at the gate was a real threat to the entire army, but the battle between two individuals brought that enemy to their knees through their one on one battle.
The Battle for our heart is a battle that is waged every moment of every day as satan again and again brings assault after assault against our heart. Knowing that if he has our heart, he has all of us. We must be diligent in protecting our heart and we must also lean in to God for His protection during this assault. Proverbs 4:23 says “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” Like Vasili, we are to be trained in God’s Word to live a life in the battle as marksmen. If we look at life in such a way as to worry about the whole thing it can be overwhelming. The battles we face are in the trenches or the small things and in those battles we must learn to kill the little things that can drag us away from God’s purpose for our life. We must be snipers who use God’s scope to spot and gun down those advances on our hearts by satan. Sometimes we might think that we lose our heart in the big things that come our way, like liberalism, worldliness, and other big issues. Those things are assaults we must guard against, but the smaller things are where
we can start to drift and before long the bigger things overwhelm us. The Proverbs scripture above tells us two things. Our hearts have the springs of life in them and we must guard our hearts. It cannot get any more plain spoken than that and the reality of the battle must be looked at and fought with precision. Jesus dealt with the attack of satan face to face when Peter tried to convince him not to go to the cross and Jesus said in Matthew 16:23 “Get behind me satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Enemy acquired and defeated!! Man’s interests will always be for man’s gain and many times compromise is a big part of that quotient. We DO have an enemy at our gates and he is trying to “shut us down!” Job was a man the Bible states that feared God and turned away from evil. Satan accused God of having a hedge of protection around Job which made him untouchable to the devil’s advances. Here was Job’s part…he feared God and turned away from evil. That’s it, and God blessed him and protected him. Perhaps a good start for any of us in this battle of life would be for us to fear God and turn away form evil. In the area of movies and tv, it might be good to turn your mind and heart another direction instead of compromising your beliefs to go see something that is contrary to your belief system. Enemy spotted through your scope….a kill. Perhaps you have bought into the new way of serving in a church, by not serving in a church, and you can tell it is compromising your faith. Pray for God to give you a purpose statement for serving in a church that preaches the Bible and get involved specifically in a ministry that furthers the kingdom. Enemy spotted through your scope….a kill!! Perhaps you have an unresolved problem with another believer and you just let it go on and on and it keeps you from forgiving them like you should and it eats away at your soul. Go to that person and make things right and get on with your life free of the unforgiveness that satan wants you to wear around your neck like a weight. Enemy spotted through your scope…..a kill!!
As you can see it is important to identify the enemy, surgically remove him by killing his advance on your heart and using God’s power to seek him out and kill him. Satan will even bring in his own snipers to defeat you, but God gives you wisdom to handle them also and you win again. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” I’m not much of a name it claim it guy, but one thing I will claim is the blood of Jesus to handle the enemy. That blood from the Lion of Judah, who can fight my battles for me and give me the power to live a life spotting satan at every turn and snipe him when he gets close. The enemy is at our gates, but the great equalizer is at my side, fighting for me and with me all along the way. Remember, Paul told Timothy to “fight the good fight” in 1 Timothy 6:12 and just so you know “This is the good fight!!” With eternity close and Jesus in sight and the power of God on our side we can fight this fight against our enemy the devil and win every time. Get back on the winning side and set your sights on victory from here on and you will win the battle of the heart every time.
The Pilgrimage continues…