Just a few years ago they had the battle of Little Big Horn again, and Custer lost again. Actually it was part of a movie on the life of the great Oglala Lakota, Chief Crazy Horse. My Lakota friend, Jerry, was asked to be one of Crazy Horse’s warriors in the movie. Now, one challenge was riding bareback. They had to do that full speed in the battle scenes, and of course, the big scene was the portrayal of Custer’s last stand. Interestingly enough, Jerry can’t even find himself in those scenes because the warriors were going by so fast in a cloud of dust. Someone asked him how many warriors they needed to reenact a battle that involved so many Native Americans. He said, “Oh, about 80.” Hollywood of course is all about illusion, so they just had these 80 guys keep charging up to the soldiers, turn their horses sharply and circle around again and again and again. There weren’t nearly as many warriors on the other side as it looked like in the movie. Custer might have wished that the real odds might have been that even.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “The Mismatch Illusion.”
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Kings 6:14. The King of Syria really wants Elisha captured. It says this, “He sent an entire army to get the prophet. He sent horses and chariots and a strong force and at night they surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning he saw the army and horses and chariots that surrounded the city. ‘Oh my Lord, what shall we do?’, the servant asked. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.'” At which point his eyes are opened and he can see that unseen army all around him.
The opposing forces looked overwhelming – they weren’t. Rather than being overwhelming, they were actually overwhelmed, as the story goes on, by the armies of the Living God who was protecting the Servant of God – which God always does. Based on the forces the servant could see, he reacted with anxiety and fear. It looked like a total mismatch, but the mismatch was an illusion! Kind of like the movie portrayal of Custer’s last stand, the attackers looked much stronger than they really were. When you get all the information about who’s out there, it doesn’t seem nearly as intimidating.
Right now maybe you’re in a battle and it looks like a lop-sided mismatch with you almost overwhelmed by the opposition, by the darkness that’s attacking, by the responsibilities you have. The tendency, of course, is to retreat, give up, hide, compromise. Maybe you’re worried about the bad influences on your son or daughter and what they might become. Or about some strong opposition to a work you’re trying to do for the Lord, or the financial odds against you. It could be the pressure that’s intimidated you into silence where you should be telling them about Jesus. Whatever it is, what stands in the way looks huge doesn’t it? But you need to look again at this battle. This time look at the forces of Jesus who are committed to the battle on your behalf.
The enemy isn’t nearly as big as he’d like you to believe. You have in you the risen Christ who said, “all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). You have all the power of Jesus’ blood and Jesus’ name. Sure the devil keeps circling to make you think you’re outnumbered, and you are, but this battle will be decided by the awesome forces of your Living God. And listen again, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”Listen to His promises, “The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4). “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.” (Psalm 91:7). “The chariots of God are tens of thousands, and thousands of thousands, the Lord has come” (Psalm 68:17). Romans 8:31 says, “If God be for us” – you probably know the rest – “who could be against us.” You’ve been intimidated long enough, you’ve played defense long enough, you’ve shrunk back in fear long enough and let fear win. The Bible says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)