Attacking While Defending (Matthew 4:8-11)

I have always loved the martial arts. In my childhood and, briefly, during college, I trained in judo. More recently, I trained in Kempo Karate. What I find appealing in all of these disciplines is the principle of attacking while defending. While variations exist, in the best circumstance, the defensive action actually becomes the offensive attack. For example, if I use my hand or arm to block or ward off my attacker’s punch, I could continue the action and it can become a simultaneous attack to the assailant.


The lessons I learned in martial arts have practical parallels in my Christian life. Every moment, we are engaged in spiritual warfare with Satan and his demons. The attacks are far more insidious than an attacker’s punch or kick. The attacks are lies, appeal to pride of life, the desires of my eyes, and the lust of my flesh. And while I may be able to recognize some of these attacks, many of the attacks may be carelessly and erroneously welcomed by me as something desirable.

The Bible commands us to defend ourselves against the devil and his wiles by relying upon God’s Word. His Word is also our sword with which we may attack our accuser. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, did that as Satan attacked Him during a time of hunger and deprivation.

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Matthew 4:8-11 (ESV)

Satan’s attack on Jesus was an appeal to the flesh when He was physically and mentally exhausted.  But Jesus defended Himself with God’s Word and silenced His accuser. He simultaneously defended and attacked, using the Word of God!

God’s Word is sharper and active than any sword or attack than anything Satan can ever use against use.

Read, memorize, and believe God’s Word. It allows us to attack while defending.

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.