12 Quotes From “The Art Of War”

Sun Tzu wrote in China in the fifth century BC to help military leaders hone their warcraft, but you might be surprised at the truths you can apply to your life today. Check out my full book review by clicking here. 

“Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” 

“Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. (2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. (3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. (4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. (5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.” 

“Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” 

“The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” 

“That general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.” 

“Disciplined and calm, to await the appearance of disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy—this is the art of retaining self-possession. To be near the goal while the enemy is still far from it, to wait at ease while the enemy is toiling and struggling, to be well-fed while the enemy is famished—this is the art of husbanding one’s strength.” 

“Do not linger in dangerously isolated positions. … If, on the other hand, in the midst of difficulties we are always ready to seize an advantage, we may extricate ourselves from misfortune.” 

“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: (1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction; (2) cowardice, which leads to capture; (3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults; (4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame; (5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.” 

He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them.” 

“Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death. … If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder: then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose.” 

“Carefully study the well-being of your men, and do not overtax them. Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength.” 

“Keep your army continually on the move.”

Stand Your Ground!

“If you are going to live the life that God created you to live, if you are going to live to your full potential, if you are going to live the kind of life that never settles, you have to come to a place where you decide to stop running and instead choose to take a stand. 

“You have to eventually stop trying to be what everyone else wants you to be, and you have to stop choosing to become only what comes easy to you. You have to decide what will define you. What will mark you as a person? How will you be known by others? Your decisions are the direct result of truly knowing yourself. … 

“When we run in fear, we are only postponing the inevitable. We will eventually have to face those fears. We will eventually have to fight those battles. Running only makes us weaker and makes our opposition stronger. …  

“There comes a time and a place you have to decide, This is worth fighting for. This is where I stand. This is who I am. This is the life I have chosen. I will not run. I will not allow fear to move me from where I should be to where it wants me to live. I would rather die facing the challenge than exist running from it.” —Erwin McManus, in The Last Arrow (emphasis added) 

Check out my review of The Last Arrow here, and check out some quotes from this book here, here, and here.

The Profit Of Persecution

“Jesus Christ not only warned that persecution would come, He went further and said that it was profitable to go through persecution [Matthew 5:11-12; 2 Corinthians 12:10]. …

“No one understands your circumstances but God, and He has given you the fighting chance to prove you can be more than conqueror in all these things. Let God lift you out of the broken place, out of the the bedraggled place. Let Him put within you the Holy Spirit so that you can face the music of life and become more than conqueror in every place where you have been defeated. …

“The Apostle Paul seems to be never tired of comparing the Christian life to a fight, and a fight against tremendous odds, but always a winning fight. …

“We cannot be more than conquerors if there is nothing to fight! Our Lord Himself and the Spirit of God in the Epistles make it very clear that everything that is not of God will try its best to kill His life out of us; yet instead of doing that it makes us all the stronger. …

“The grace of God will make us marvelously impervious to all the onslaughts of tribulation and persecution and destitution because we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and cannot be awakened up to self-pity. God sends His rough weather and His smooth weather, but we pay no attention to either because we are taken up only with the one central thing—the love of God in Christ Jesus.” —Oswald Chambers, in The Fighting Chance

Horatius Bonar On Spiritual Warfare

Horatius Bonar“The devil’s object in the present day is to persuade us that he does not exist, that we have to fight no such battle, that we need no sword nor shield, that we can do without anything beyond our own human power and skill.” [Ephesians 6:12]

“We must fight. There is no choice here. Whether we will or not, we must fight; for we are thrown upon a battlefield, and if we fight not, we perish. Woe be to the man who thinks there is no need of fighting now; that there is no danger and no enemy. Fight the good fight of faith.”

“satan persuades us that we can combat evil by the appliances of modern intellect and science and civilization. Let us beware. To try to suit religion to the spirit of the age, is to play into satan’s hands. Only divine weapons will avail in a battle with the powers of darkness.”

“Is the Christianity of our day of the lofty kind of which apostolic men have left us so bright an example? Is it not feeble, indolent, self-indulgent, second-rate? Is there in it anything of the presentation of ‘living sacrifices’ to God, which is our acceptable and reasonable service? Are we not seeking our own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s? Are we not feasting when the world is starving? Are we not at ease in Zion? Are we not sitting still and in luxurious comfort, when many noble and self-sacrificing ones amongst us are rushing into the toil or the war, and, for want of being supported by their fellow Christians, are sinking under the burden and heat of the day?” [Philippians 4:19]

“It is inner warfare. The 7th of the Romans is the description of this, the battle between faith and unbelief, between the spirit and the flesh. This war is private, solitary, with no eye upon the warrior; fought in the closet, on the knees, with the Bible as his weapon. …

“It is outer warfare. The enemies are legion; the world, with all its enmities, snares, pomps, pleasures; satan, with his principalities and powers; both of these in combination hating, persecuting, attacking. This is ‘the great fight of afflictions’ (Hebrews 10:32). Thus it is so far public, before men; ‘we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men.’ …

“It is daily warfare. It is not one great battle, but a multitude of battles, constant warring: there is no intermission and no discharge in this war. The enemy wearies not, ceases not; nor must we. We wake to warfare each morning, and go out to warfare each day. Everywhere we find the enemy posted, sometimes openly, sometimes in ambush. The conflict is life-long, and it is daily. …

“It is warfare not fought with human arms. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal. We do not war after the flesh. It is in divine strength; with the sword of the Spirit; clothed in the whole armor of God. …

“It is warfare in which we are sharers with Christ. He first fought the good fight, as the Captain of our salvation, the Lord strong and mighty; the Lord mighty in battle. The inner warfare indeed was not His, but all the rest was. He fought, when here, the same battles as we; and it is into His warfare that we are called to enter.”

All quotes from Horatius Bonar’s book Light And Truth.

12 Quotes From “From This Day Forward”

From This Day ForwardCraig & Amy Groeschel wrote a great book for anyone who wants to have a great marriage. Whether you’re single, in a struggling marriage, or in a great marriage, there are some great principles to learn in From This Day Forward. You can read my book review by clicking here. Below are a few quotes I especially liked.

“Healthy couples fight for resolution. Unhealthy couples fight for personal victory.”

“Even when you don’t agree with the other person, you can still validate their feelings.”

“One of the best ways you and your spouse can become slow to anger is by communicating regularly and honestly when you’re not facing conflict.”

“You have only one enemy, and it’s not your spouse. Get focused on that. Your enemy is a thief who’s trying to steal your joy, kill your love, and destroy your marriage. The good news is you don’t have to fight fair with that guy. No, with him, you’re actually going to fight to win. You’re going to fight for your marriage, and you’re going to fight for victory. One of the very best ways you can do that is to learn to fight fair with your spouse—for resolution, for restoration.”

“Don’t fight to win. You both should fight to lose the conflict and gain a closer relationship. Don’t fight each other; fight together to see the relationship restored. Redefine winning to mean that at the end of every fight, you’re closer to each other then you were when you started. That’s winning! And that’s what it really means to fight fair.” —Amy Groeschel

“When you’re married, fun is not a luxury; it’s a requirement. … Without romance, without adventure, without physical intimacy—without fun—marriage is reduced to a simple business arrangement. You’re like partners in a company, two roommates who split expenses like rent and food, yet living entirely different lives.”

“Guys, be intentional about pursuing happiness together with her because she’s God’s ‘reward’ in your life [Ecclesiastes 9:9].”

“Generally speaking, I don’t think anyone would argue that most men tend to desire physical intimacy more frequently than women do. So ladies, you need to understand that when you turn off that faucet and things start to go dry, for your husband, that’s a crisis. It’s the equivalent of the distress you feel when there’s silence, when there’s no emotional intimacy between you. It’s a crisis. One of the most important ways you can demonstrate love to each other is by renewing your spiritual commitment to one another through acts of physical love. Sex is spiritual. It’s two people becoming one in an alliance of intimacy. It’s a blessing from God, a way that you can genuinely serve one another. … One of the greatest things you can do for each other is to engage in frequent, creative, spiritual lovemaking. It is a gift from God that honors Him by renewing your spiritual covenant to one another.”

“Revelation 2:5 says, ‘Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.’ If you want what you once had, start doing what you once did. You got married because you had fun. Start having fun again.”

“Physical intimacy is directly related to your process of growing together, and it can be a good indicator of how healthy your relationship is—or isn’t. In fact, if physical intimacy has been a problem lately in your marriage, I’d be willing to bet that you’ve neglected being emotionally connected in other ways.” —Amy Groeschel

“By the time they reach the sin of adultery, they will have already crossed dozens of other sin lines. Sin doesn’t begin on the outside. It begins in the heart. You see something (or someone) attractive, and you allow them to capture your attention. ‘Mmm, they look good.’ That’s lust. And lust is a sin. Maybe you even take some action—just not full-blown adultery. ‘A body as hot as yours want to come with a warning label!’ Implying to someone else that you’re available when you’re not is called flirting. And it’s a sin. Maybe you don’t take any action. You just see something you want, and you let your thoughts wander after it. ‘Yowza! I’d like to take that home.’ That’s not taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). That’s fantasizing, and it’s a sin. These things are problematic because they draw the line in the wrong place.”

“You probably learned that while it may be true that, at least while you’re dating, opposites attract—once you get married, opposites attack! … One way you can return to opposites attracting instead of attacking is by accepting your spouse for who they are, not who you want them to be. … Being opposites isn’t a bad thing. In fact, the truth is, if you’re married to someone who’s just like you, one of you is unnecessary. God knew exactly what He was doing when He brought you two opposites together. The only way iron can sharpen iron is if your differences are constantly rubbing against each other (Proverbs 27:17). … The challenge is that we settle into a mindset and become convinced that our differences are always going to cause conflict. But that doesn’t have to be true. Just because your spouse does things differently than you doesn’t mean that it has to be a problem. It’s just… well, different. If you refused to except your differences as the positives they are, you may find yourself sometimes trying to keep things from your spouse.”

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & watching from today…

“[God] will be infinitely merciful to our repeated failures; I know no promise that He will accept a deliberate compromise. For He has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but Himself; and He can give that only in so far as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for Him in our souls.” —C.S. Lewis

“To live well is the way to die well. Death is not our first foe but the last; let us then fight our adversaries in order, and overcome them each in its turn, trusting that He Who has been with us even until now will be with us until the end.” —Charles Spurgeon

“It  is sin in the heart that makes one say, ‘This is far too hard for me!’ The yielded heart, on the other hand, becomes free, and obedience is no longer a burden. For the surrendered heart, it is all joy.” —David Wilkerson

Membership in your local church is one of the most important things about you.” Read more from Jonathan Parnell on the local church.

Warning: Essure birth control is deadly for women!

Amazing new insights into how God designed plants to manage their hours of sunlight in the photosynthesis process.

Rick Warren on homosexual “marriage”: The church must not cave-in.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell on the importance of making good decisions…

“Some people don’t lead their lives, they accept their lives.” —John Kotter

Poetry Saturday—Valiant For Truth

John BunyanWho would true valour see,
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather;
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.
Whoso beset him round
With dismal stories.
Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright.
He’ll with a giant fight.
But he will have a right
To be a pilgrim.
Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit;
He knows he at the end
Shall life inherit.
Then fancies fly away,
He’ll fear not what men say;
He’ll labour night and day
To be a pilgrim. —Mr. Valiant-for-truth in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

 

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