Principles Of War - "Strategy for Group
and Individual Evangelism" continued.....
"I git thar fustest with the mostest."
General Nathan Bedford Forrest, War Between the
["git"--offensive, "thar"--objective, "fustest"--mobility,
"mostest"--concentration.] [General Forrest had the
deadliest army in the whole of the Confederate States
General Forrest was neither a West Pointer
nor a War College graduate, but he knew the principles
of war and he knew how to apply them. Although it is
doubtful that he used the double superlatives in the
above quotation, the statement does emphasize several
truths. In this one short sentence we find four principles
of war and others are implied. The one word "mostest"
leads us to the subject of this, "Concentration."
Neither Alexander the Great nor Julius Caesar could
have conquered the then known world if they had neglected
Occasionally in the history of warfare a new method
comes to light that seems so effective or is such a
surprise to the enemy that its users are strongly tempted
to depend upon the new method (which is temporary) and
forget the principles of war, such as concentration.
This tendency was evident when the airplane made its
advent on the Western front in World War I. It glamorized
the war, men became air aces and heroes. The use of
the airplane did not, however, have much effect on the
final outcome, for no one used it in concentration.
Major General Clair Chennault, when a young Army Air
Corps aviator, noted this lack of application of principle.
In his Way of a Fighter he wrote:
"For four months we flew and fought all
over the Texas sky in the fashion of the Western Front--flying
long patrols in formation, looking for a fight, and
then scattering in a dive on the enemy into individual
dogfights. As sport it was superb, but as war, even
then, it seemed all wrong to me. There was too much
of an air of medieval jousting in the dogfights and
not enough of the calculated massing of overwhelming
force so necessary in the cold, cruel business of
war. There were no sound military precepts that encouraged
the dispersion of forces and firepower that occurred
in dogfighting." (Way of a Fighter, G.P. Putnam's
Sons, New York; p. 11)
This failure to apply the principle of concentration
continued through the Spanish Civil War and into World
War II. Chennault himself put an end to these individual
tactics with his American Volunteer Group [AVG], better
known as the Flying Tigers. When he went to Burma
and China, his pilots struck together. Outnumbered in
the air and on the ground, in planes, pilots, and parts,
they destroyed 217 enemy planes and probably 43 more
with a maximum of 20 operational P-40's in 31 encounters.
Chennault's losses were six pilots and sixteen planes.
In order to accomplish this Chennault used concentration.
He simply had two aircraft firing at one enemy aircraft.
Even if outnumbered in the air ten to one, Chennault's
two always outnumbered the enemy's one. [Thus was born
the all-famous wingman principle in the airforce.]
If each Flying Tiger had taken on ten of the enemy,
probably we would not remember the Flying Tigers today.
In 1956 while on the staff of Commander Carrier Division
Five aboard the aircraft carrier Shangrila in
the western Pacific, I watched the Carrier Air Group
in practice maneuvers. The F9F Cougars came down from
the sky low over the waves, firing machine guns or rockets
at the target simultaneously, then pulled up together
to disappear into the blue. One evening I asked one
of the pilots how he could fly wing on his leader and
still aim at the target. It was easy, he said, he did
not aim, he just flew wing. "When he shoots, I shoot."
This is concentration.
Now let us see how the principle of concentration applies
to the spiritual warfare.
Luke 10:1 and 2 read:
"After these things the Lord appointed other seventy
also, and sent them two by two before his face into
every city and place, whither he himself would come.
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is
great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore
the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth
labourers into this harvest."
In the chapter on "The Offensive" we concluded
that the offense in winning men to Jesus Christ is carried
out by preaching and prayer. In the Luke passage we
see Jesus sent His disciples out to preach in concentration.
He also told them to pray in concentration: "Again I
say unto you that if two of you shall agree on earth
as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall
be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For
where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:19). This
is effective warfare.
Paul, one of the greatest of preachers, had
a "wing man" with him in most cases, and when alone
he does not seem to have been nearly as effective.
For instance, in Acts 17 we find Paul going to Athens
alone but asking that Silas and Timothy join him with
"all speed." "Now while Paul waited for them at Athens,
his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city
wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the
synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons,
and in the market daily." Paul could not wait to concentrate
his forces; so he took the city on alone and had neither
an awakening nor a riot. Silas and Timothy did not join
him until some weeks after Paul had arrived in Corinth.
Here also he preached alone with no recorded results.
"And he reasoned in the synagogue every
sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks."
When Silas and Timothy arrived there was
a marked difference in the power, the content, and the
results of his preaching.
"And when Silas and Timotheus were come
from Macedonia Paul was pressed in the spirit,
and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ."
That was the power and content; the results
are recorded in succeeding sentences. There was opposition,
blasphemy and many conversions.
"And Crispus the chief ruler of the synagogue,
believed on the Lord with all of his house and many
of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.
"Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision,
Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace;
For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to
hurt thee: for I have much people in this city."
Paul remained in Corinth among these many
believers for another eighteen months teaching the Word
of God among them.
Concentration was so important to Paul that he wrote
on one occasion:
"When I came to Troas to preach Christ's
gospel and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,
I had no rest in my spirit because I found not Titus
my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from
thence into Macedonia."
II Corinthians 2:12 and 13
Paul passed by an open door for lack
Many of us wish we had an Apostle Paul to travel with,
not realizing how much the leader needs the close follower.
Without his helpers Paul was not greatly used in
Athens or Troas. When the earthquake occurred at midnight
in Philippi it was not Paul alone who prayed, but Paul
and Silas. I am sure you have already begun to think
of other instances in the Bible where concentration
proved important to the Gospel ministry.
If you find you are scattering your witness
in "dogfights" or if the enemy is using concentration
on you because you insist on taking the whole ship or
base or city alone, then you need a partner. You may
be partly effective in your lone witness and you may
think you have no need for a wing man. Perhaps you do
not, but maybe the wing man needs a leader. Remember
that in warfare it is not enough to be faithful, but
only partly effective. We are after the objective. [A
whole book, Partners in Prayer has been written
by Senior Pastor John Maxwell on this subject detailing
how to concentrate your forces in prevailing prayer
to assist you the pastor and your congregation's evangelism
efforts. Be sure to look it up in the "What is Prayer?"
section of this web site, particularly in the subsection
"Start a Prayer Resource Table".]
You may wonder where you are going to find a partner.
Start by asking God to send him along. Start by asking
God to send him [or her] along. You may have to lead
him to the Lord. Once you meet him and before you minister
together, you need to be one in purpose and as complementary
as possible. Study together, pray together, talk together
and reprove one another in the Lord [use wisdom on this
last one]. There should be openness and honesty between
the two and no unconfessed sin to hide. Then you can
meet the enemy with combined fire power. [I can't help
but noticed how this description of the "perfect" prayer
partner matches Pastor Dave Moore's description of how
husbands and wives ought to be spiritually, mentally
and emotionally united as one. What a perfect prayer-partner
our spouses ought to be with us. Imagine a whole congregation
of double-prayer partners like this! Sort of like having
a spiritual squadron of Clair Chennault's P-40 Warhawks
in your congregation, all paired up in twos. We need
spiritual wingmen like this!]
A few years ago aboard a carrier in the Pacific two
junior officers met every afternoon to offer concentrated
prayer for the ship. Soon one other officer received
Christ; this increased the concentration 50%. In two
months ten officers and over thirty enlisted men were
reached for Christ through this concentrated prayer
and witness. The witness continued.
Concentration also plays a vital part in mass evangelism.
In the chapter "The Offensive" it was brought out that
when the army on the offense does not possess an overwhelming
superiority it is not feasible to launch an attack along
the whole front to take the objective. In such a case
a decisive point must be selected against which to strike
a decisive blow. An overwhelming superiority is obtained
by transferring forces from the rest of the line to
the decisive point. This weakens the rest of the line
but enough should be left in order to keep the enemy
occupied. Even if minor defeats occur along the weakened
portion, this is not crucial because in the meantime
you have served the decisive blow at the decisive point
which defeats the enemy.
An excellent example of this is found in Montgomery's
preparations for the first battle of El Alamein. In
his own words:
"Then from the bits and pieces in Egypt
I was going to form a new corps, the 10th
Corps, strong in armour; this would never hold the
line but would be to us what the Afrika Korps was
to Rommel; the formation of this new 10th
Corps had already begun.
Montgomery concluded that Rommel would
make his main effort on the south or inland flank. This
was the Alam Halfa Ridge. Since Montgomery weakened
his northern flank in order to concentrate on Alam Halfa,
he strengthened it with mine fields and wire so it could
be held with a minimum of troops. At Alam Halfa, the
decisive point, he concentrated two mobile armoured
divisions, the 44th Infantry Division, and
his newlyformed armoured division of 400 tanks dug in
behind a screen of six-pounder anti-tank guns. From
the 31st of August to 6 September 1942 the
Afrika Korps pounded against this line, all the while
being hit hard by the mobile and dug-in tanks and by
the British Desert Air Force. Rommel retreated on the
6th with a decimated Afrika Korps. He had
been defeated and Montgomery had won a decisive victory.
Thus, concentration achieved the turning point of the
war in Africa.
Non-Christians and the powers of darkness outnumber
us along the whole front in the spiritual warfare. We
can make advances along this front by using two-by-two
concentration. This is necessary, however it may not
bring decisive victory. In order to win a decisive victory
we must seek the will of God to determine the decisive
points and then Christians along the whole front will:
- Concentrate on prayer for the decisive points. [This
is what Pastor Cymbala's Brooklyn Tabernacle does!]
- Transfer temporarily or permanently to the decisive
point for concentrated preaching and testifying. [and
this can be done in conjunction with doing good works,
say in a work party for someone in need.]
The physical transfer could be make by taking
time off and travelling to the decisive point. This
would weaken portions of the front temporarily, but
no more so than when Christians take leave under ordinary
When Jesus gave the Great Commission the Apostles were
not sent immediately to the uttermost parts of the earth.
They were told to remain together in Jerusalem until
they were "endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49).
Notice the elements of concentration:
- They were all together;
- They all continued together in prayer;
- They were all in agreement;
- They all preached the wonderful works of God (Acts
As a result of concentrated prayer and preaching
3,000 were won to Christ in one day.
The same sort of concentration is practiced in the Billy
Graham campaigns. Thousands of Christian people pray
for him, the team, and the city for weeks and even months
in advance of the Crusade. Hundreds more concentrate
in the city as counselors, choir members, and assistant
missionaries weeks in advance and during the Crusade.
Let us keep in mind that the unique battleground of
the Officers' Christian Union is the Armed Forces and
our unique objective the Officer Corps. How can we practice
mass evangelism in the Officer Corps? We should look
for decisive points where great numbers of officers
are assigned to duty. Once a point is chosen and a plan
made, we may call upon you, all of you, to spend much
time in prayer for that decisive point. We may also
call some of you to visit that decisive place to add
your witness for Jesus Christ, to help us concentrate
fire power in the ministry of the Gospel.
"Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,
that he would send forth labourers into his harvest."
"And thus shall ye eat it; with your
loins girded, your shoes on your feet and your staff
in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste; it is
the Lord's passover."
After 400 years, some of which had been
spent in slavery, 600,000 men of Israel, besides women,
children and possessions, moved out of the land of Egypt
in one night. That is mobility! [And that number including
the women and children is estimated to have been 2.5
to 3 million people!] If we undertook the same feat
today we would use trains, planes, trucks and ships.
We would have better equipment but might not prove as
Mobility as a principle of war is not absolute. It must
not be measured against how fast we could move yesterday,
rather it must be compared with the enemy's mobility.
We must move more quickly, farther and for a greater
period of time than the enemy. Mobility was defined
in the statement of General Nathan Bedford Forest, "I
git thar fustest with the mostest."
The French of World War II could move their armies but
they were not as mobile as the armies of Hitler. Hitler's
Lightning Warfare (Blitzkrieg) was mobility in action.
The early success of the Japanese in the same war were
largely dependent upon the mobility of their striking
and invasion forces. The political and military surprises
of both Germany and Japan could not have been effected
without military mobility.
The opposite of mobility is immobility. To be immobilized
is to be at the mercy of the enemy. An army or any other
unit that is immobilized is incapable of attacking,
evading or retreating. It can only defend until surrender
or to the end. The American defense of Corregidor is
an example of immobility.
The British Army was defeated in France in 1940. If
it had reached the shore and found it was immobilized
it would not have suffered defeat only, it would have
been annihilated. It was the British mobility at sea
which saved the Army at Dunkirk. If the Germans had
been as mobile at sea as they were on land, they could
have followed the British across the Channel. In this
case the defenders were mobile and the victors became
In World War II mobility was demonstrated in the existence
and actions of the U.S. Third and Fifth Fleets. One
component of the Third-Fifth Fleet particularly exemplified
mobility. This was the Fast Carrier Striking Force,
Task Force 38 (or 58, under the Fifth Fleet) under the
command of Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher. This force could
move hundreds of miles overnight in any direction and
strike hundreds of miles farther with the Air Groups.
It consisted of fifteen or sixteen carriers and scores
of screening ships.
The submarine and the Strategic Air Command are probably
the most mobile of present day combat units. In the
infantry the Army's Airborne Divisions and the FMF of
the Marine Corps are probably the most mobile. One of
their characteristics is their ability to strike a decisive
blow any place of their own choosing. The offense could
never be mounted in concentration without the ability
to move. An army must be mobile.
Jesus Christ said, "Go ye into all the world and preach
the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).
From the above command and other texts in the New
Testament we, in previous chapters, drew the conclusion
that "every creature" is the objective and that preaching
and prayer were our two main means of offense. From
the same text we see that mobility is a requirement
if we are to carry out Christ's command to "Go."
Within the Church there must be an ability to move
to the place or to the people where the offense will
take place. We must convey our firepower where it
will be used. Securing this mobility is simply a matter
of obedience to the command "Go."
We can move our firepower in many of the ways that physical
weapons of war are moved. We can walk, Philip left Samaria
and was, in obedience to God, crossing the desert when
he encountered the Ethiopian eunuch. Philip taught Christ
to him from the 53rd chapter of Isaiah and
the man believed. David Brainerd moved on horseback
and led hundreds of American Indians to Jesus Christ.
In Jungle Camp the Wycliffe Bible Translators are trained
to move by foot, raft and dug-out canoe. The Missionary
Aviation Fellowship provides mobility superior to that
of the enemy in territory which is otherwise inaccessible.
[And now Campus Crusade for Christ International and
their JESUS Film Project is taking a movie film version
of the Gospel of Luke into almost every previously unreached
area and peoples of the world, translated into all the
native languages of the areas they move into. People
who previously couldn't be reached due to language barriers
and lack of ability to read and write can now be reached
and are being reached with the Gospel of Christ. Be
sure to look them up in the section titled "What is
Evangelism" under the subtitle "Evangelism: national
and international." Along with Missionary Aviation
Fellowship they are the most mobile and powerful evangelistic
group going. And Campus Crusade's JESUS film crews have
come to fit Nathan Bedford Forest's axiom "I git thar
fustest with the mostest."]
There are other ways of delivering the Word of God,
besides taking the messenger to the physical location.
One is that of correspondence. God put His stamp of
approval on this means of mobility when much of the
New Testament was given in letters, this being necessitated
in part because the messengers, Paul and John, were
immobilized as prisoners. Praise God, His Word is not
bound (II Timothy 2:9).
Another important means is the mobility gained through
Christian books and literature sent via mail or passed
from hand to hand [and now over the Internet]. The
ministry of moving books, magazines, booklets and Bibles
is hardly being used at all. The Christian may be physically
immobilized because of his profession or state of health.
Yet if he used Christian literature he would not find
the Word of God limited just because he himself was
immobilized. The Objective would be taken in near or
distant places, though the Christian was absent.
The giving and sending of books is just the beginning
of fast mobile communication of the Gospel. Records
and tape recordings can bring to anyone's living room
the most powerful preaching and teaching that is available
today. Christian leaders are broadcasting the Gospel
of Jesus Christ on hundreds of radio stations weekly.
[T.V., radio, movies, desktop publishing and the Internet
are some of the new means of moving the Gospel anywhere
in the world now close to the speed of light in some
cases.] But this does not guarantee that people will
have radio receivers tuned on at the time or to the
right station. A telephone call to each of our friends
immediately before the program would greatly increase
the listening audience.
Then too, we should consider mobility with the use of
the weapon itself. If a weapon has a 360 degree field
and the soldier keeps it trained in one direction only,
then he is not using the weapon's inherent mobility.
Our weapon, the Word of God, "...is living and active,
sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division
of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning
the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
We must use it to the maximum of our capacity. It has
no limitations. The limitations are in us. Let us learn
to use the Word as a defensive-offensive weapon. It
is a tragedy to see Christians immobilized in a specific
witnessing situation because they do not know how to
use a very powerful and effective weapon. If we are
versatile in the Scriptures, we can strike an effective
blow at the place of our choosing. Continual personal
study of the Bible is the only adequate means of familiarity
with and use of the Word.
All of this so far has had to do with the mobility of
our firepower, or in other words, our witnessing. But
from the chapter on the offense we recall that our offense
is directed with prayer in addition to preaching. We
must be mobile here, also.
Like the Word of God, prayer has no limitations. The
limitations are in us. Prayer of intercession has greater
range, accuracy, speed and power than the greatest intercontinental
ballistic missile we will ever produce. The prayer of
intercession is one that agrees with God in His desire
and purpose to win men to himself. We can use as our
guide the prayers of Jesus and of the Apostles both
for Christian brethren and for those who are still under
the command of the enemy.
Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call unto me and I will answer
thee and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou
knowest not." Let us ask for big things, things which
we have never previously experienced.
Mobility serves no purpose if we have no intention of
going anywhere. Do not stay at home in your intercession.
Be mobile. It costs nothing to go to Africa via God's
throne in prayer, except time and a concern for men
Dawson Trotman recounts a personal experience in the
booklet "Born to Reproduce." He and a fellow worker
in the Navigators, when that organization was still
very young, decided to pray for the development of their
work in every state of the Union:
"So we made a list of forty-eight states,
and we prayed. Morning after morning in these little
prayer meetings we would look at our list and ask
God to use us and other young fellows in Washington,
in Oregon, in California, and in all other states
of the Union. Five weeks went by, and we did not miss
a morning. We met at four o'clock on Sunday morning
and spent three hours in prayer. During the sixth
week the Lord put it on our heart to get a map of
the world, and we took it up to our little cave in
the hill. We began to put our fingers on Germany,
France, and Italy. We put them on Turkey and Greece.
I remember looking at one little island near China--you
had to look closely to see what it was--and we prayed
that God would use us in the lives of the men in Formosa."
If you know of the worldwide ministry of
the Navigators today, you know that this prayer has
The united witness of which we are a part is also the
result of prayer on the part of many Christians. Let
us not stop now; let us individually and together pray
to take the objective for Jesus Christ. Pray that we
will be used in the lives of others on every ship and
station, post and base in the world.
The effectiveness of our ministry in the spiritual
war largely depends upon the individual mobility in
the use of the capabilities of the Word and of prayer.
We must know something of the range and depth of the
Word of God and we must experience the range and accuracy
of intercessory prayer.
"And it shall come to pass, that before
they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking
I will hear."
Principles Of War Continued On Next
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