Over 20 years ago now, when I had a little more time on my hands, I read Sun Tzu's 'The Art Of War'. For the past few days, possibly because at times I feel like I'm living in a battle zone, I have been reflecting on its contents. In particular, I've been thinking about the power of the blindside, one of the most effective manoeuvres in military strategy. The sweeping victory that takes place from an attack no one saw coming, in an area where your opponent has let down their guard.
The 'blindside' manoeuvre is a consistent theme throughout the bible through the influence of transformed lives. In so many of the battles documented within its pages where God's people appear outnumbered and overwhelmed by the size of their opposition, the strength of the enemies position is undermined and a sudden shift in the balance of power takes place by the conversion to faith of people from within the enemies own ranks.
In the book of Esther, a great blindside takes place in the lead up to the scheduled genocide of the Jewish people, when a mass 'Persia wide' conversion to Judaism takes place. In just one day an empire of enemies suddenly became an empire of allies and an incredible victory is won by God's people. The book of Acts, and most of the New Testament, reveal the breathtaking impact of a life transformed by Christ. Just one moment with Christ transformed Saul into Paul and Christianity's staunchest opponent into the greatest advocate for the cause of Christ the world has ever known.
In the book of Joshua, the tumbling walls of Jericho and the much celebrated victory of God's people over a city that stood between them and freedom began in exactly the same way. The transformed life of a woman no one saw coming, Rahab the prostitute. It was a perfectly executed blindside and all it took was one person. God is the ultimate military strategist! One person in one moment surrendering to the One true God is enough to lead a nation to freedom.
Last April, as I travelled over bumpy roads through the Cambodian country side on a bus filled with young excited girls, I felt completely overwhelmed by the task ahead of me. I said to God 'Why am I here?' and He answered me 'To reach the ones who will reach the thousands.' When I first started this ministry I dreamed of stadiums filled with people, but now my most passionate prayers are for 'the ones', and my dreams are now filled with their faces.
Change has a name.
As much as that name belongs to Rahab, Esther, and Paul, it also belongs to the brave young women who will be attending the Esther's Voice retreats and who have so much to overcome, and it also belongs to you and I. No matter how overwhelming our opposition appears to be, we are not helpless, this is our moment to bring change!