Freed by Foolishness
The year was 1778. The war was against the British. The cause was for freedom at any cost. The man for the job was George Washington.
General George Washington convened with his officers to discuss the expected battle with the British the following day. He left the meeting expecting that his intentions were understood; however, his commanders were sharply divided and the stage was being set for the most controversial battle of the Revolutionary War.
General Washington had led an army through the darkest, winter days at Valley Forge. Though his men suffered sickness, starvation, privation, and desertions, they came through and were in a far better military situation than imaginable.
Amidst strengthening his army, General Washington endured congressional carping over his failures, forged correspondence purporting to represent his unpopular views on the war, and his leadership suffering subtle challenges by successors waiting to take his place. His own second-in-command, Maj. General Charles Lee, described General Washington as suffering from a “fatal indecision of mind ”
What Maj. General Charles Lee could not understand nor see was that Washington understood better than most the symbolic value of certain military actions. Washington knew when British movement meant a chance for low-risk success that would bring morale to Congress and the army. Washington understood the dangers in military moves that would damage beyond proportion to strategic value. He knew how to find the right balance between potential jeopardy and possible advantage.
Maj. General Charles Lee, not having the understanding and insight of his commander, made the mistake that led to a crucial breakdown at the Battle of Monmouth. Lee opposed Washington’s strategy and found his division at cross-purposes and under attack of the British army. Lee had made his own division weak and the absence of cohesion together with differing perceptions of aims and objectives, his division broke down and he turned to retreat.
It is said that this was perhaps the most confused period of the battle for the Americans. The battle field was chaotic and without order. Lee neglected to keep Washington informed of his events and plans. All Washington knew came from scouts who would bring back reports.
General Washington rode out to the scene and upon seeing the troops retreating and Lee on a hill, he approached Lee and asked, “What is all this?”
In the end, Washington turned the battle around and saved what could have been a disastrous loss. The battle came out just about even as far as losses from both sides. He fought back and caused the British to turn back and re-treat, where they were on the attack and confident of a great win just moments before his arrival.
The greatest loss in this battle was not the British, nor the Americans. The great personal loser was Charles Lee. His egotistical stand against Washington turned into public humiliation. He was court-martialed and never held an-other command for the American army.
His critical mistake? He mis-interpreted his commander’s knowledge and experience and misread his commander’s intent. Washington expected there to be a fight and knew how to win. Lee tried to find a way around the fight and failed in a disgraceful retreat.
This story reminds me of a battle far greater than for the physical freedom of man on earth. It is a battle for the spiritual freedom of all mankind. A battle fought in the spiritual realm.
God give us General Washingtons to lead us into battle and into a revolutionary war to bring freedom from sin and slavery to sin.
1 Corinthians 1:18, 21 – “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
Let us not be a Charles Lee and say about our pastor / preacher /evangelist / teacher, “He suffers from a fatal indecision of mind, ” when we disagree with his strategies of war and maneuvering of army divisions. Let us not end up in disgraceful retreat.
Let us stand behind our leadership and trust their God-given insight and anointing to lead us into battle after battle and victory after victory.
Though some see it as foolishness it is the God-given, insightful, and anointed preaching of the Word that will save us. Don’t fight it. Stand behind it with all your might.
Submitted by Jeanine Satterwhite, Section 8 Ladies’ Ministries Director
Reference: The History Net. http://www.printthis.clickability.com.
Charles Lee’s Disgrace at the Battle of Monmouth.
Oregon District Ladies Ministries Apostolic Accent – page 9
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