I’m fascinated by Gideon these days. I want to start at the end of the story. He led a small army which defeated a HUGE enemy. God used him. I want God to use ME like that.
Often times, I feel like all the pieces need to be in place so I can be used by God. I need to be “equipped.” I have been saying for the last decade that we have been on the mission field, “God does not called the equipped, He equips the called.” I still believe that firmly, but I’m starting to see it with some new perspective.
Sometimes when God equips us, He doesn’t give us MORE. Sometimes, he TAKES AWAY.
Back to Gideon. His clan was the weakest and he was the least in his family (Judges 6:15) He didn’t start out with much. But God promised him that He would be with Gideon, and that Gideon would strike down ALL the Midianites, leaving none alive. (v. 16)
Furthermore, Gideon asked God for a sign, and God’s proof almost got Gideon killed by his own people! He wasn’t in a good place, from a human point of view.
Once Gideon was confident that God was calling him to this task, he gathered his “small” army of 22,000 to go up against a vast army of the worst kind of bad people. His own army was trembling in fear at what they were up against.
Ever trembled because you felt inadequate? I have!
Then God looked at the situation, and instead of giving Gideon MORE, He decided to take away. He reduced that army down to only 300 men. Are you seeing this? From 22,000 to 300. Stripped down to nothing from a human perspective.
What I LOVE about this story, is that all the while God is whittling down the earthly resources that Gideon had to fight the monumental battle that he had before him, God never left his side. Not only that, he reassured Gideon over and over again that He would fight the battle for him. He even encouraged Gideon through words of other people. As long as Gideon was listening to God, He was continually reassured that he was doing the right thing.
God promised He would be with him, and He was. And that was enough. He was equipped better than he ever could have imagined. And in the end, when the battle was won, God alone was glorified.
As we set about living each day, serving in the ministry where God has called us, I tend to dwell on the things I believe I need to be equipped. After all, God will equip the called, right??
I get caught up in focusing on the financial support we need. I get caught up in wanting training for the jobs he’s given us. I get caught up in searching out people to join our team so we have all the people to do the big job ahead of us. I even get caught up in telling people that God’s provision of resources is confirmation that we are on the right path. Sometimes that’s true, but in Gideon’s case, it wasn’t. I need to be careful to not look at our situation through my limited human reasoning.
I become very inwardly focused. And God doesn’t work that way.
Sometimes, for God to do MORE, He needs to equip us with LESS. And with God by our side, me abiding with Him daily, the battles will be won and He alone will be glorified. The beauty in everything God does is that His way is perfect, which may mean that He will equip us with more resources than we could ever dream- who knows how He will work in each situation? But rest assured, He WILL work, and it will be GOOD.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, submit to Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6