Rule #6: Divide and conquer.
In the center position, a unit purposefully sets itself in the center of the enemy’s forces in order to divide the enemy and attack one side at a time. Alexander writes, “Because commanders so often have sensed danger and not opportunity in the central position, its execution requires imaginative and confident leaders.” (p.121)
When you place yourself in the middle of the enemy, you are setting yourself in a place of deadly uncertainty. You are surrounded on all sides by those who want to destroy you. Danger breathes down you neck and sweat ripples down your back. The world moves in slow-motion, and yet it also moves at the speed of light. Chaos, confusion, concern. All different emotions swarm your brain until your mind begins to feel hollowed out, your eyes unseeing.
I can imagine in these moments of courage and crisis that you begin to forget that in the midst of all the struggle, you are also surrounded by allies. It’s not just you and the enemy having at it. You have comrades, companions to help you battle it out and emerge victorious. The fight may get worrisome and panic may threaten to spill over, but you take heart because your brother on your left has your back, your sister on your right will fight boldly and bravely.
When you’re in the middle of a battle, adrenaline surges through your blood and catapults you forward with courage you didn’t even know you possessed. But in this place of boldness, there is also a immediate realization of vulnerability. You may have people who wish you well to your front and back, but behind them are people who want nothing more than to see you fall and stay down. You’re exposed.
1 Peter 3:8 reads, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”
God calls us to live in a place of vulnerability, a place where we put the needs of others before our own. Where we live in love, and we offer respect and service to those around us whether we believe they deserve it or not. To be like-minded with our brothers and sisters in Christ requires us to dismantle our pride. Being sympathetic requires a tender heart and a listening ear. Loving and being compassionate toward those in our world demands we die to ourselves and put on humility.
We are not called into a place of simplicity and ease. We are called into the center position where the enemy will perceive us as a very real and very active threat. We may feel like we are ineffective and in over our heads, but Jesus is reminding us today to divide and conquer. We don’t have to fight these battles on our own. Stop allowing the enemy to isolate you! Take up your offensive weapon and step out into the center of the battle. Our Mighty Warrior King will never leave nor forsake us. He is fighting for us and strengthening our hands for the battle.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10