By Chad Taylor    


Reconnoiter is defined as; "to examine, as the surrounding country, especially before making a military movement."  The act of spying out, or assessing the battle field.  To reconnoiter means to scout out and prepare to possess the land or region under surveillance.  Joshua was one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to reconnoiter the land of Canaan.   This is the strategy taken before employing troops and armed military might.  It is the strategy that wins battles, it is the maneuvers that conquer nations.  In military terms the procedure is as follows.     



1--Receive the mission. Often, the most critical resource for a new mission is time (especially daylight hours) in which to prepare.  (John 9:4).  

2--Issue a warning order. Issue it right after receipt of the warning order from higher headquarters. Tell the unit what the mission is, when it is to take place, what initial preparations should be made, and when to issue a detailed order. This permits the best use of the available time to plan and prepare.  (Joshua 1:10-11).  

3--Make a tentative plan. If the mission and terrain are known, a quick decision can be made about how the unit can complete its mission. This is a plan that can be changed when going through the rest of the steps. It gives a start point for coordination, reconnaissance, reorganization, and movement.  (Luke 14:31).  

4--Begin movement. This step more often applies to platoons than to squads; rarely does a squad move any distance without the platoon. Often, the company commander will gather the platoon leaders, take them to a position that overlooks the area in which they will operate, and gives the order.   (Mark 16:15-18).  

5--Reconnoiter. To make full use of men and weapons, think about the terrain on which they will fight. There will be times when only a map reconnaissance can be made. If time allows, and if the first four steps are known, take a look at the terrain. It is during this reconnaissance that the first plans are confirmed, or that plans are changed to get the best use of weapons and to plan for the greatest protection for the troops. If only part of the terrain can be seen, then a detailed plan can be made only for that part. (Numbers 13:17-20).  

6--Complete the plan. Based on the reconnaissance, the plan may be changed, but detail will be added. In the defense, decide exactly where to put weapons and how to tie the defense together. If movement to contact is planned, decide how to move. If an attack is planned, decide exactly how to seize the objective.  (Luke 19:12-13).  



The armies of Israel had gathered in mass at the Jordan river.  They began by deploying 12 spies into the land of Canaan.  Moses commanded the scouts to take to the high ground and spy out the land.  To find the cities and evaluate how fortified they were, to observe the fruit of the land and its produce, and to map out the land.  For forty days they reconnoitered and gathered information to report back to headquarters so that a strategy could be formulated and the armies deployed.  But to Israel's dismay, ten of the twelve spies brought back an evil report, "We are not able to go up against this people, for they are stronger than we... They are giants and we are but mere grasshoppers in comparison..."  (Numbers 13:31-33). 

  Instead of gathering the information they were ordered to attain, they returned in fear instead of courage as commanded.  Fear began to rule the camp which resulted in retreat.  They had forgotten for Whom they fought.  They had overlooked the One for whom they fought for.  And in its place fear tormented them and forced a hasty retreat.  They were defeated before they had even begun.  In this hour the Lord is positioning His army for offensive maneuvers and strikes.  To aggressively begin to strategize and occupy new terrain.  Perfect love is driving out fear and intimidation and we are beginning to reach out beyond the perimeters and boundaries of the wilderness, and possessing the land.  Today the spies are returning, not with a report ruled by fear, but of victory and triumph.   



Joshua and Caleb rent their clothes when they heard this evil report.   They exhorted the people saying, "If the Lord delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it to us.  Only rebel not against the Lord, neither fear this people, and the Lord is with us, fear them not..."  (Numbers 14:6-12).   Israel's first response was to stone Joshua and Caleb!  Fear had so ruled in their hearts that it provoked them to kill and fight each other!  The Lord's anger was kindled against Israel to the point of destroying them.  But Moses interceded and they were spared.  Then to the peoples shock, "The glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel..."  (14:10).  

The glory of the Lord is even now beginning to appear in the midst of us like never before.  His glory is being manifested not for us to revel and relish in, but to the contrary, to be empowered and emboldened to cross over the Jordan and possess the land!  This is a time for offensive strikes, not defensive parlays!  This is the hour to launch out into the deep and begin to net a great catch!  Not just in hallowed church buildings but in the streets!  The marketplaces and the business places.  The cry is going through the camp, "PREPARE!  For in three days we will cross over this Jordan..."     



Harvest is defined in the Webster's Dictionary not only as, "to reap and gather," but also, "to win, as a reward or gain from service."  Harvest is not only a season of increase and abundance.  It is also a time of conquest and overcoming.  Of advancement and warfare.  Of military maneuvers that advance the Kingdom of God in foreign fields and gang turf.  Taking back the land that has been afforded to the enemy.  Harvest is not the sound of retreat but rather the trumpet call to arms.  To employ our greatest forces and tactics and set the captives free.  To invade enemy territory, to reconnoiter and amass a strategy to best possess the land.   

Paul wrote understanding military terms, "No man that goes to war entangles himself with civilian affairs, that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier."  (2nd Timothy 2:4).  A militant mentality is coming upon the church.  That she may advance with tactical supremacy and take back land surrendered in fear and spiritual ignorance.  God is enlisting soldiers that will obey orders from Heaven and take critical ground,  releasing prisoners of war that have been taken captive by the enemy. 



From July 1st to July 3rd, 1863, in the fields and woods just outside the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, an historic battle, one that would be considered the turning point of the Civil War, was taking place. Over 97,000 Union troops set out to stop a full-force northern invasion of the Confederate Army.   As July 2, 1863 dawned, high ground called "little round top" was unoccupied by either side. But both commanders clearly saw the possibilities here. Union commander Gen. George Meade saw the need to defend the big hills in the south "Round Tops", while his adversary Gen. Robert E. Lee saw those same hills as an opportunity to outflank Meade's troops and get around behind them.  The Confederates came up just a bit short, with their vanguard stopped by a single Union regiment in the woods below Little Round Top.  

The Battle of Gettysburg was a decisive engagement in that it arrested the Confederates' second and last major invasion of the North, destroyed their offensive strategy, and forced them to fight a defensive war.  Once the high ground was taken the battle that was seemingly swaying towards the South was drastically changed.  At this important junction the war was won.  Though the battles raged on for nearly a year, this blow and victory decided the future of both armies.  And the future of a nation.   During the three days of battle, the Union Army had about 23,000 casualties, and the Confederates had at least 25,000.  At the high ground destiny was decided...  

Recently a friend and I stood on this very battle ground in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  As I walked through the rock defenses and bulwarks hastily made at night by the union soldiers, as they dug in to protect the high ground on Little Round Top.  I was overwhelmed with a sense of urgency for the Church to begin to occupy the high ground in the Spiritual realm and not give another inch of soil to the enemy.  So many neighborhoods, streets, businesses, and cities have been given over to the enemy with out so much as a fight.  Before Gideon engaged the enemy he took the high ground.  Moses stood on the mountain overlooking the battle as Israel prevailed.   

We need to get a strategy from heaven for our own cities and begin to march its streets in prayer and intercession.  Implementing the tools and weapons God is giving to us in this hour of harvest.  Gettysburg was won by the resolve and determination of one regiment of soldiers who refused to give the enemy ground.  If they would of given an inch the rebel forces would of flanked the union army and defeat was imminent for the North.  But because of their courage and fortitude the civil war was won for freedom.  We must remember, Harvest is also defined as, "to win, as a reward or gain from service."     



"This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies that were spoken over you, that you might wage a good warfare."   Paul instructed Timothy.  It was the prophetic word spoken over him and through him that would determine the outcome of the battles that lay ahead.  Paul knew the power of the spoken word, "the power of life and death in the tongue."  He exhorted Timothy to use this secret weapon to wage war on the enemy.  Ezekiel also implemented this strategy over the slain army of Israel.  He prophesied to the dry bones and they lived!  When we begin to prophecy the destiny and purposes of God over our neighborhoods and cities, we will begin to see the battle turn even as they did in Gettysburg.  As we begin to possess the high places in prayer, and invade the dark areas of our cities and prophesy, we will experience the same results of revival and reformation that they did.    

Like Gideon we cannot ignore the idolatry and new age strongholds any longer.  We must purpose our efforts toward these areas and intercede and prophesy the heart of God.  These areas are only concentration camps in disguise.  And behind their neon "psychic" signs, their red harlot lights, and their loud distracting music, is hidden an army of prisoners, imprisoned and ensnared in the enemies traps and deceptions.  Only when we begin to prophesy their destiny and purpose in Christ will they awake from their deadly slumber and be saved. 


Joshua L. Chamberlain is perhaps most widely known for his role in holding the Federal position on Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg.   Joshua was a unassuming college professor from Maine.  The 20th Maine was positioned at the far left of the line on Little Round Top.  A number of Union officers were killed in the midst of the battle, including Colonel Vincent. Chamberlain was now left in a desperate situation. Having been given an order by Vincent to hold the Union's ground at all costs and not to retreat, yet learning that his men's ammunition was virtually depleted, he had to make a quick decision. Chamberlain decided to counterattack and thus ordered a bayonet charge down the hill. The Union's position was saved.  There was no time for conferencing and counsels, only swift confrontation would save the high ground.

Without confrontation there is no victory.  There comes a time in every army when they must charge forward, they must advance past enemy lines and take ground.  It calls for great bravery and courage.  Moses orders to Joshua were straight forward, "Be strong and of a great courage, be not afraid, neither be overwhelmed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go..."  (Joshua 1:9).  In this critical hour of human history the church must now make her bayonet charge into the streets and cities of the nations of the world and push back the darkness that is threatening to prevail and prevails over so many.  We must take the high ground at all cost!  We must invade the Samarias of the world with our worship and our intercessions and take our conference to the streets!  There we will see the victories secured and the opening of the prison to those that are bound. 

Our greatest victories are yet ahead.  God is putting his hand on normal people like Joshua Chamberlain to do exploits.  To take the high ground that has been occupied by enemy forces and push back the evil that pervades our cities and streets.  History is yet to be written by those that hear the great call of harvest and respond.  Like arrows from the quiver of heaven they will be aimed and shot out into the nations and streets.  Flaming and igniting everything they touch.  Generals of revival.  Visionaries that see the possiblities of eternity.  That catch the vision of those that once walked the earth and left the marks of greatness.  Uncomely parts.  Bondslaves of Jesus Christ.  

Joshua Chamberlain said it best in his dedication of the Maine Monuments at Gettysburg (Evening of October 3, 1889),  

"In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream; and lo! the shadow of a Mighty Presence shall wrap them in His bosom, and the power of the vision pass into their souls..."


Chad Taylor
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Lamentations 2:19