Have you ever been playing a game and the odds were against you? Have you ever noticed how when we hit a wall in our own resources, that is when we call out to God for help? Maybe this isn’t you, though?? Have you ever felt like God was stripping things away so that He could show you His sufficiency?
In the last few entries, we have been talking about the calling and tasks of Gideon. We have seen God build his faith and even patiently prove His calling to Gideon. We have seen God clothe Gideon in Himself so that he could call his army together. Now, we will get to see how God began to show Gideon His sufficiency.
Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod. And the camp of Midian was north of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
The LORD said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel bost over Me saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.'” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.
Send over 2/3 of my army away? If this were my boss and we were on very good terms, I might have to ask was he/she crazy. Even if this was my commanding officer in a military situation, I might question their judgment with a less than respectful response. However, this is God talking to Gideon. It is not another human. This is his Maker.
So, Gideon does as God has instructed him.
Freaking Out Yet??
In my own human-ness, when the odds are definitely stacked against me, I always know God can show Himself strong and mighty and as huge as He really is. My question is always: Will He?
I have something right now that is hugely weighing on my mind and I believe that He wants to provide for this need Himself. I do not think I am supposed to go anywhere else for help. There is help available and that makes it even harder to just calmly wait on God and watch for Him to provide.
Have you been in this kind of situation?
I know that God wants to show me, again, what He can do and how He can do things – miraculous things.
Looking Back a Few Years
Very Cool Breezes
At one time when David was pastoring we were barely scraping by financially but God was so richly blessing us that we hardly noticed our very broke condition. The odds were against us, but He met our every need! One summer, we had a mission team come. They had asked the church what was needed. One thing that was very needed was new windows in the parsonage. (We could feel the wind blow in our living room. It was rather funny but also very chilly!)
A Gift of New Windows
So among other things, that mission team came up and they paid for and installed new windows in the house we lived in. We were thrilled. Now they would all open in the summer and all close in the winter! We would be so much warmer and there were screens on ALL of them!
We had these old cigarette smoke laden blinds, left by a previous tenant, we were using at the time and I just hated to put those nasty smelly old blinds back on the beautiful new windows. Washing them really made them look worse. At least nasty, they were all the same color. I was thinking about how nice it would be to have some curtains for the windows but I did not say anything to anyone.
One More Precious Gift
When the mission team was ready to go home, we felt like we were losing some very dear friends. It is amazing how quickly God knits believers together. We greeted perfect strangers and tearfully hugged precious friends only a few days later as they left. Upon their leaving, they gave David and I a gift. They had collected more than enough money from among themselves for us to buy new curtains for our beautiful new windows. They even specified that this was money for curtains.
Wow! God really is in control! Why are we surprised when He shows His love through other people?
God is Awesome
God is setting the circumstances up in Judges 7 to show the Israelites how mighty and amazing He really is, especially when the odds are against His people. We will continue next time!
Things to Ponder:
- Do you/I wait until all your/my ready “resources” have been exhausted before you/I cry out to God for help?
- Doesn’t this mean that I am living, day to day, depending on me? Then, when I can no longer depend on me, I start working to depend on God?
- Has there been a time when you knew that God was stripping everything away so that you had to cry out to Him for help?
For that last question, I wanted to share a little true story: I have always put huge value in my godly friendships with other women. In the past, living in my hometown, I had one reoccurring heartbreak. I would develop a very close friendship and for one reason or another I would lose that friendship. Many different life situations brought this same result. Every year or so I would lose a dear friend and friendship – long distance just was not the same. One day, I realized that God was preparing me to leave all my friends and family and go into ministry beside my husband somewhere far away. Through that, I learned to depend much more on God than I ever had before.