The Asymmetrical Advantage

How to be aware of God’s presence and know that all the battles we fight are asymmetrically rigged in our favor to help us emerge as victors

“For by You I can run through a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall” – Psalms 18:29

Asymmetry, which is the opposite of symmetry, is by definition an inequality. If you draw a line in the middle of an object, an asymmetric object will be unequal in size on either side of the line. One side might be smaller and the other would be larger. For the purposes of this article, I’d like to define asymmetry as an unequal or unfair advantage we possess when we have God on our side.

The Bible is filled with such instances of asymmetry, which reveals how God loves to intervene on our behalf when we are at our weakest or when we are stacked against a foe who is many times stronger or larger than us, which is often the time God’s power is at its greatest. It’s always a good exercise to go over these instances for our own encouragement and to get a realization of what we can achieve when we have the asymmetric or unfair advantage with the Creator of the universe is beside us and within us. 

1 > 1000 

“One man of you shall put to flight a thousand, for it is the Lord your God Who fights for you, as He promised you.” (Joshua 23:10)

Joshua, in his final speech to the Israelites who entered the promised land, makes an astounding statement that one man shall put to flight a thousand because God fights for them. That’s a 1:1000 asymmetry! When God fights along with you, then you are equal to one thousand. The best example of this is Samson who triumphantly exclaims “With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey I have slain 1,000 men!”.

This is a very good reminder that God requires just one willing person, no matter how weak he or she is or how strong or large the opponents are, the victory is always asymmetrically rigged towards that one willing person. This should give us the courage and confidence to face any obstacle. The tools or the know-how we have is immaterial here. All Samson could find was the jawbone of a donkey and a thousand Philistines were no match for it. Even David, when facing Goliath, fell back to what he knew to handle – a sling and 5 smooth pebbles. He was literally bringing a stone for a sword fight. The tools did not match. But all it required to kill a giant was a smooth stone in a sling. I think what’s required on our part is to show up for the fight with what we have and know, God will take care of the rest, whether it’s a giant or a thousand men.

300 > 135,000

…it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few. (1 Samuel 14:6)

The first instance of asymmetric warfare in the Bible is Abraham’s attack and routing of 4 Kings and their armies with just his 318 trained servants (Genesis 14:14-16). That’s an unequal match. Now, how could Abraham even think that he can defeat 4 Kings and 4 armies with just in-house trained non-professionals? He reveals his source of courage when he refuses King of Sodom’s offer of spoils by saying that his source of confidence is from the God Most High, the possessor of heaven and earth. 

During the time of Judges, we see God raising up Gideon and his army of 300 men to fight and defeat an army of 135,000 men – that’s 450 times larger than Gideon’s 300!  (Judges 7 and 8). Again, the war is asymmetrically rigged towards the smaller and weaker army because God is fighting for them. We also read that God intentionally trims down the strength of Gideon’s army from 22,000 men to 300, so that He gets the glory. 

As long as God is with us and working for us, as Jonathan tells his armor-bearer, the numbers on our side or on the enemy’s side doesn’t matter at all for victory. If God is for us, who or who can be against us?

God’s Supply > Your Need

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20)

It’s not only in warfare or battles that we see this asymmetry in play but also in God’s way of meeting needs or supplying provisions. During a famine, Issac sowed and saw 100X returns! “Then Isaac sowed seed in that land and received in the same year a hundred times as much as he had planted, and the Lord favored him with blessings.” (Genesis 26:12). A 100X return amidst a recession (famine) is God’s asymmetrical and exponential style of growth! 

Five loaves and two fishes were no match for 5000 men(besides women and children) who Jesus asked the disciples to feed. After the meager loaves and fishes multiplied into thousands and when everyone was satisfied, the disciples collected 12 baskets of extra food. Now, that’s asymmetrically amazing! 

Therefore, do not be anxious, and don’t worry about the recession or any financial or material lack. Just do what you can with what you have and with God on your side an asymmetrical growth will follow. 

Light & Momentary Affliction = Exceeding & Eternal Weight of Glory

St. Paul sheds some insights on how the troubles and afflictions that we face every day are rigged in our favor and are actually working for us an asymmetrical advantage. He encourages the Corinthian church with these words: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”. (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Notice the words ‘light’ and ‘exceeding and eternal’ – that’s an asymmetry! 

Therefore, next time when you face an affliction, just stay calm and remember that it’s all asymmetrically working in your favor. 

Be Aware of the Asymmetry

I think we should heed to Elisha’s words of encouragement that he gave his servant and also pray the prayer he prayed when the young man panicked when he saw an army surrounding the city: “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6: 16, 17)

Let’s always remember that no trouble we face is greater than God’s power, no sickness is greater than God’s healing power, and no need is too great for God to provide. 

Once we are aware of the asymmetrical advantage we possess in and through Christ, we can boldly declare “He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4)

One man with God is a majority” – Brother Andrew

4 Comments

  1. True one man with God is a majority.
    When God is on our side, made me think about it . Does God take sides? Joshua after Moses death finds an angel of the Lord standing , not recognising the angelic being as he is Joshua questions him are you on our side or the enemy’s side? The angel of the Lord simply replies ,”Nay (negating both the proposition and affirms) as the captain of the Lord’s Army” (indicating God has his own side). “The eyes of the Lord run to n fro to show himself strong on behalf (asymmetrically smaller version) him whose heart looks to (greater power in other words Almighty ) for help.

    Your article rekindled a fire within me that is meant to Affirm God’s faithfulness towards his children and the kind that is meant to quench a sense of betrayal felt when you fail despite doing things the right way.

    God bless ,
    Sheeba

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment.
      It was very interesting to note that God has His own side when the Angel of Lord replied ‘Nay’ to Joshua’s question. Thanks for that insight.
      As you rightly pointed out, God is eager to partner with us especially when we seek His help in our weakness and powerlessness which puts in the right place to experience the asymmetrical advantage.

  2. The equation is strong and the references from the WORD drive home the point. The human mind crunches number but GOD’s mathematics leaves us stumped, especially when Abraham takes on Kings without even exposing his household servants to the battle against the neighborhood. Thanks Martin for that beautiful write up. You seem to write with the aid of a FOUNTAIN OF FAITH than with a FOUNTAIN OF INK 😊👍

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