Know your enemy.
Some of the officers are complaining because General Sam Houston appears to be running away from the advancing army of Santa Anna.
Spiritual Warfare, Strength, Victory, Faith
General Houston explains his strategy to the other officers by recounting for them the battle of Waterloo: "Five years ago, Napoleon returns from exile on Elba and puts together an army and moves east, swiftly, before an alliance of nations can occur. Wellington, with fewer men, and fewer armaments, stays one step ahead of the French -- teasing them with his presence." Wellington knows that Napoleon's large army cannot keep pace with Wellingtons light-footed troups. Houston explains, "Knowing that a large army will have to splinter to keep up, he moves and waits and moves and waits for Napoleon to make a mistake." Wellington is planning Napoleon's eventual defeat. Houston explains, "Wellington chooses the setting for victory before it exists for him, before he lays eyes on it. It has an open battleground, a sloping plain, cover for encampment and an opportunity to flank the enemy." Finally, Houston connects the dots for his officers, "The Mexican army is splintered. And though they do not know it, Santa Anna'a troops subsist on gasps of air, on sips of hope. I share Wellington's battleground vision, though I do not know the name of the place that I imagine. I, sir, do not consider myself Wellington. Santa Anna, however, does consider himself to be the Napoleon of the West. We shall move and wait until he makes a mistake and presents us with his own Waterloo."
This is a brilliant scene of a great man planning a strategy to win. He sees the fierce opponent, desperate to devour his army. So instead of meeting the enemy on unfavorable ground, Houston seems to retreat, but he is actually seeking a solid place from which to achieve victory. The Scriptures tell us that Satan is like a hungry lion, seeking to devour the weak. We can take a lesson from Houston. We should not fight sin from a position of weakness. Some people try to battle persistent sins while remaining in the place where that sin holds the greatest sway. Instead we should retreat to a position of safety from which we may achieve victory. God tells us to seek refuge in Him and His Word. He also tells us to prepare adequately for spiritual warfare, not to rush foolishly in, risking defeat. If we stand on God's good ground we cannot be defeated. In the end, God wins. We may not be able to see where or how the final victory will be won, but we know it is waiting for us if we have faith.