Four Things Needed to Succeed in Warfare

When we embark on the path of unseen warfare we are sure to encounter times of discouragement, fatigue, despondency and the desire to give up. After explaining that we must wage a constant and cruel war with ourselves, the writer of Unseen Warfare explains:

“If you really desire to be victorious in this unseen warfare, and be rewarded with a crown, you must plant in your heart following four dispositions and spiritual activities, as it were arming yourself with invisible weapons…”

--Lorenzo Scupoli

  • Never rely on yourself for anything.
  • Bear always in your heart a perfect and all daring trust in God alone.
  • Strive without ceasing.
  • Remain constantly in prayer

This is excellent advice. Trusting entirely in God, and proceeding with unwavering resolve and perseverance, is required. Trying to fight our broken self without the help of God or without resolve is like attacking Godzilla’s ankle with stick. You will tire quickly and in the end you will be crushed. Therefore you must be prepared to persevere and not give up.

Yes, the struggle is difficult, but there is a reward for those who "strive without ceasing". Besides acquiring interior peace and restoring your life in God, there is contentment that is indescribable. Amma Syncletica, one of the great desert mothers of 4th century Egypt said encouragingly,

“In the beginning there are a great many battles and a good deal of suffering for those who are advancing towards God and afterwards, ineffable joy. It is like those who wish to light a fire; at first they are choked by the smoke and cry, and by this means obtain what they seek (as it is said: ‘Our God is a consuming fire’ [Heb. 12.24]): so we also must kindle the divine fire in ourselves through tears and hard work.”

-- Amma Syncletica