Walking on logMy Friend Barney Barnes offered me some insight on a military term “Center of gravity.” Center of Gravity (CG) is a term that applies to various realms such as physics, aerodynamics, warfare, and human anatomy. In all these realms an understanding of CG is helpful, sometimes critical. In war, the essence of a military campaign plan is to attack the enemy’s CG while protecting your own. In the Gulf War ’90 to ’91, General Schwarzkopf’s war planners determined that Iraq had three CGs: Strategic leadership, the Republican Guard, and Iraq’s nuclear, chemical, and biological capability. The rapid unbalancing of these CGs made for the speedy defeat of the Iraqi military and Kuwaiti liberation.

In humans, CG is located behind and just below the navel. Much of martial arts is based upon keeping your balance while unbalancing your opponent. If we understand the spiritual warfare application, as taught by Jesus, we will have a clearer understanding of the authority of the Word and the proper exercise of this authority delegated to us for this purpose.

These two familiar Scriptures which perfectly describe this principle of CG in the spiritual warfare realm, Matthew 4:1–11 and Luke 4:1–13. The scenario, you will recall, is that Jesus had been led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. This is described as a place of fasting and of being tempted by the devil for 40 days.

The devil, knowing that Jesus was in human form, targeted the three major chinks in “man’s armor”: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life. And Satan attacked deploying his major weapons of deception and half-truths. In the Luke 4 text, the devil said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus let the devil “throw the first blow.” But when Jesus countered with truth, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone,” He had the devil’s CG and had him off balance.

In response, the devil gave Jesus a visual image of all the kingdoms of the earth, “If You worship me, it will all be Yours.” This time, Jesus struck an artful blow to the devil’s CG of “deceiver.” “It is written, worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” (Deuteronomy 6:13)

Then the devil moved to strike at pride, and at the temple in Jerusalem of all places. The devil hedged his move by quoting Scripture. But Jesus saw through his improper use of God’s Word and blocked this blow with the clear truth, “It is written, do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Deuteronomy 6:16) The point is clear: to strengthen your CG and attack the devil’s CG, know the Word, and apply its truths to your whole life.

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:17–32

Personal Application

How has Satan tried to trip you up lately? In what ways are you equipping yourself to resist Satan’s temptations? Put on the full armor of God every morning.

Jim and Wendell signatures Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton

We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5