In law enforcement and special forces combat training, one of the most challenging components is an obstacle course known as Hogan’s Alley. This course involves a series of targets, some representing enemies and others innocent bystanders. The objective is to learn how to engage the enemies while avoiding harm to the innocents.
The course is physically demanding, and it’s all too easy to rush through and unintentionally harm an innocent person or overlook an enemy. It takes repeated and intensive training for a soldier or officer to complete the course without causing harm to innocents and successfully neutralizing all enemy targets.
Paul reminds us that we are engaged in a battle and must be prepared to confront the enemy in their own territory. It is a spiritual equivalent of Hogan’s Alley. We must enter the fray fully equipped and ready. First, we should bear in mind that we cannot rely on our own strength to fight the enemy! It is simply beyond our capability. Satan and his army are not novices in this battle, nor are they of inferior quality.
When Lucifer was expelled from Heaven, along with a third of the angels, they were by no means feeble or useless. Nevertheless, they were no match for the Lord. Jesus reminds us in John 16:33, “In this world, you will face tribulations, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.”
That is why our primary duty to God is to allow Him to strengthen us with His absolute and immense power. We were never meant to engage in battle or stand firm in our own power. Even when Jesus confronted Satan in the wilderness following His baptism, the Scriptures tell us in Luke 4:1, “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, being tempted by the devil for forty days.” When we face the enemy, it may be on their turf, but it is never on their terms.
As we encounter the trials and tribulations that life presents, we can navigate through the enemy’s “Hogan’s Alley” knowing that we do so in the power of the Spirit, the same power that enabled the Lord Himself to confront and overcome Satan. More to come tomorrow!
God Bless You
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against [a]flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 [b]in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 [c]With all prayer and petition [d]pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, [e]be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,