PREPARE FOR BATTLE
by Rev. Howard Rosen, Jr.
Pleasant Grove Baptist
It was June 25 1876- This hot June day had held such promise for the blond-haired, buckskin-clad boy wonder. He had been a cavalry leader in the Union Army in the U.S. Civil War had advanced to brigadier general by age 23. He was involved in the last battle at Appomattox where he held off the hope of Lee’s supply trains reaching the Appomattox station helping lead to end of the Civil War.
Now in 1876, he was 37 and many believed he was anxious to gain victory in the Dakota Territory that might well have sent him to the White House. In what is now eastern Montana he led the Seventh Calvary up the Little Bighorn River searching for the encampment of the great chief Sitting Bull.
The general detached 125 men under Captain Benteen to search the west of the river. He led the remainder over a rise, and in the summer haze the village came into view.
Dividing his forces a second time leaving himself with 266 men and sending Major Reno to attack from the south, eager for battle and glory he uttered his last recorded words: “Custer’s luck! The biggest Indian village on the continent!
What General George Armstrong Custer didn’t know was he could only see one third of Sitting Bull’s village. Instead of only 2,500 living in the village; there were combined tribes of Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Black feet living there as well and totaling 10-12 thousand. Instead of facing several hundred fighting braves, he led his troops against thousands of fully alerted, well-mounted and heavily armed warriors.
Reno’s and Beteen’s forces were soon cut off and pinned down, leaving Custer and his troops surrounded as they charged the encampment they were fiercely overtaken by the assault led by the greatest and bravest worrier chief Crazy Horse.
As we all know Custer and all of his men lost their lives that day.
Because of poor judgment, bad timing, dividing forces, not getting all the facts, and in this case his inordinate hunger for personal glory, not following proper leadership, and giving into self will, are some of the highlights of many mistakes this man Custer made that day, but simply put he just didn’t prepare for the battle.
Now with this story in mind I want to bring our attention to the spiritual application, and how we are defeated by Satan because we do not prepare for the battle that is before us in our Christian life. So many Christians today are destroyed because of some the same mistakes that Custer made and we fail because we are not prepared for the battle we are in with Satan.
I. UNCONCERN – V10- Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
1. Unconcern with Proper Leadership – As with Custer we often go about life and the battle with Satan without the concern of God’s leadership. Satan will tell you that you have no need to seek God in the things you do, there is no need to follow Gods Word, why that’s old fashion and has no place for today.
Well, we can see that idea is not working, and our country, churches and families need to turn back to God’s leadership.
2. Unconcern with Bringing Glory to God – So many times we wind up in all sorts of trouble because we seek our own recognition and fail to seek God’s glory. Satan will blind us and lead us to destruction: There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof are the ways of death. Prov. 14:12- But seek ye first… Matt. 6:33
3. Unconcern with God’s Will – Romans 12:1-2 We are so guilty of the same mistake as Custer; we want the attention, we want to run the show, we are the worst for being self willed. Be sure Satan is at the door of the room of self will and waiting to attack, he will leave nothing but a mass of destruction, and chaos if we chose to go through with following our own will. The helpless men that day were killing their own horses for protection, but without hope they were taken out. Oh my beloved don’t we see this happening in our families today?
4. Unconcern with Being Spirit Lead – There is an enemy within. There is a traitor in the camp, it is the flesh, and it wars against the spirit. Let me remind you that regardless of how consecrated and separated you are, you live in the flesh. And the flesh profiteth nothing. Yes, I am crucified with Christ…, but my flesh still wants to be fed and will lead you to death. For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die. Romans 8:13. How we must see the destruction in following the flesh.
1. Underestimated the Power and Presence of the Enemy – Just as General Custer underestimated the power and the presence of the enemy he was approaching, we find ourselves so many times in absolute chaos and destruction because we fail to realize the power of Hell that is against us. V12 Paul warns us of the power of this enemy and the presence of his rulers of darkness that attack us.
2. Underestimated the Preparation and Performance of the Enemy – Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse were not ignorant of the reputation of General Custer, but they also knew his weakness of self will, and they acted on his pride to take control. My friends, we wrestle against spiritual wickedness in high places. The demons of hell have been at this war a lot longer than we have; they are prepared and will perform.
3. Underestimated the Perseverance and Purpose of the Enemy – The Indians were determined to keep the way of life they knew and were willing to go to any means to do so. As we know they did not achieve their goal, and neither will Satan but he is determine to damn as many souls to hell as he can, and cause all the pain and suffering he can on God’s people, he will not give up even thought he will not win the war, but if we are to have protection from him we must use what God has given us to fight him with.
The Word of God does not leave us ignorant of Satan’s methods (wiles of the devil). So my friends pick up your battle gear before and use it before you are totally destroyed and take the victory God has given us, V13-18 for we will never make it unless we do!