We can see this throughout the Old Testament as God made the first move and Satan countered with his move. God made the first move when He created the angels. Lucifer countered that move when he rebelled against God (Isa. 14:12–15) and took one-third of the angels with him (Rev. 12:4).
God countered that move by creating man in His own image, “a little lower than the [angels]” (Ps. 8:5). Satan rebelled against that move by tempting Adam and Eve to sin and turn the earth over to his control. But God countered by providing a redemptive covering for Adam and Eve so they could return to fellowship with Him. Of course, Satan tried to counter that move by getting Cain to kill Abel in order to cut off the godly line.
That’s when God countered through the birth of Seth, so that “men began to call on the name of the Lord” again (Gen. 4:26). Satan tried to counter that move through the birth of Nimrod, who built the civilizations of Babylon and Syria and gathered the people at the Tower of Babel to build a civilization and a religion in defiance of God (Gen. 11:1–9). But God countered with a move to Ur of the Chaldeans, finding a man named Abram through whom He would establish a nation, Israel, that would obey Him.
However, Satan countered that move by getting the people trapped in slavery in Egypt so that Pharaoh would not let them go. God countered again by calling Moses to go to Pharaoh with the message, “Let my people go” (Exod. 5:1). We could go on, but you get the idea. The entire Old Testament is move, countermove, move, countermove as Satan battled the work of God. Now don’t get the wrong idea. Spiritual warfare is not a battle between two equal forces. Satan is the creature; God is the Creator. The devil is a defeated foe; his defeat was first announced in Genesis 3:15 when God Himself said that One would come who would crush Satan.
God's Final Move
That One is Jesus Christ. So God made the big move when He became man in the person of Jesus Christ. Satan tried to counter that move by tempting Jesus in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1–11). Jesus overcame that through the use of God’s Word. Then Satan made his final move at the cross, thinking he had gotten rid of Jesus. But God made the final move by raising Jesus from the dead.
And that move is now your move! No matter what’s going on in your world, Jesus’ resurrection move was God’s move, and now it’s your move for victory in spiritual warfare. What you need to do to make that victory real in your life is to take up the armor God has provided. Paul describes the armor for spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:10–12).