In 1612, one of the greatest duels between two samurai warriors took place in Japan. Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro were acknowledged as the top swordsmen in Japan. They met in a previously arranged duel on Ganryu island. Musashi deliberately showed up three hours late. While he was ferried on a small boat to the isolated island, he carved a wooden sword from a spare oar. Leaping out of the boat and brandishing this oar, Musashi began hurling insults at Kojiro. Kojiro was furious that Musashi was late and drawing his sword, he discarded the scabbard. Musashi then declared, “If you have no more use for your scabbard, you are already dead!” All of the tactics rattled Kojiro. Within a few seconds it was over and Musashi defeated his most famous rival. It was psychological warfare, perfectly executed!
The Bible documents several examples of psychological warfare. On the eve of Israel’s battle with the Midianites, God caused one of the Midianites to dream that they would soon be defeated by Gideon, leading the Israelite army.
Gideon crept up just as a man was telling his companion about a dream. The man said, “I had this dream, and in my dream a loaf of barley bread came tumbling down into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent, turned it over, and knocked it flat!” His companion answered, “Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!”
Judges 7:13-14 (NLT)
When Gideon heard about this dream, he was emboldened and rallied his army.
When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship before the LORD. Then he returned to the Israelite camp and shouted, “Get up! For the LORD has given you victory over the Midianite hordes!”
Judges 7:15 (NLT)
Satan knows he has already been defeated by God but he desperately attempts to use his own psychological warfare to convince me otherwise. Like recognizing what Musashi did to Kojiro, I should recognize the mind games he inflicts upon me. It should be a simple matter for me to ignore his schemes. So why do I pay attention to the psychological warfare of the devil and not trust in God? Am I afraid that this time, Satan will win? Is God too weak? No! My faith is too weak!
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
Romans 8:31-33 (NLT)
If God is fighting for you, no one can be against you. Faith and belief in Jesus Christ will always conquer Satan and the psychological warfare that he attempts to wage against our souls.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.