Now let us see how the principle of concentration applies to spiritual warfare.
“After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and 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 his harvest” (Luke 10:1–2).
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 that 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 anything 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” (Matt. 18:19–20).
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” (17:15).
“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” (Acts 17:16–17). 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” (Acts 18:4).
When Silas and Timothy arrived, there was a marked difference in the power, the content, and the results of Paul’s 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” (Acts 18:5). 24
That was the power and the 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 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” (Acts 18:8–10).
Paul remained in Corinth among these many believers for another eighteen months teaching the Word of God among them.
(To be continued on Wednesday…)
*Excerpted from Principles of War. To purchase, visit ccmbooks.org/bookstore.