The art of war begins with securing the lines before pressing in to an offensive against the gates of hell. The God who saved you has equipped you for and before each and every battle.

If you watch the nightly television news, you learn that major ministries tend to fail because of things that are within their own borders of authority, not because they have been overcome by reaching out to take new territory for God.

Ministers fall into sexual sin because they have not taken the proper precautions to guard themselves against it, or their finances fail because they do not discipline their spending or accounting procedures properly.

Many fail because they fall into pride, and it opens them to all kinds of difficulties. They stop relying on prayer or think they don’t have time to seek the Lord of their work because they are too busy and too involved with the work of their Lord.

Defeat comes because they have not guarded the home fires, not because they have not launched the proper off ensives.

The first priority of spiritual war is protection from sin and temptation. Once the borders of your domain are secured, only then can you think about taking the fight to the enemy.

Cindy Trimm is the founder of Trimm International ministries. She is also a former Bermuda senator and a best-selling author. Her recent book is The Art of War for Spiritual Battle, from which this article was excerpted.

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