The words came to me in the middle of a message and I hurried to write them down on my yellow legal pad, wondering what relevance they have in my life today. So I went home, looked up the old story, and found that the words spoke deeply into my world today.
If you don’t know the story, you can look it up in Judges chapters 6-8, but the long and short of it is, Gideon was called to deliver his people from the hand of Midian. He set out with an army of 32,000 men, but God told him that his army was too big. So Gideon commanded anyone who trembled with fear to turn back.
This left Gideon with 10,000 courageous men – less than a third of his original army. You would think that would be good enough, but God still wasn’t satisfied. See, God knew that men are prone to take all the glory for themselves, and He didn’t want the Israelites to claim that they had defeated Midian by their own power. If God was going to deliver Israel from the hand of the enemy, He was going to do so with a faithful few. So Gideon stood by as God sifted through his army until there wasn’t much of an army remaining.
And the entire Midianite army fled from a mere 300 men.
I feel this is what God is doing in our world today. I look around and see so many people in church, but only a few who are truly committed to the cause. All around the globe, God is sifting through His army, looking for the ones who will remain faithful to the end.
In many areas of the world, Christians are fleeing their countries, running from the persecution that threatens their very lives. In Egypt alone, an estimated 300,000 believers have abandoned their homes since the revolution began last year. And while it’s good to know that they are safe, it also makes me wonder… Where does that leave the rest of us? Who remains to fight for Egypt? Who remains to fight for my world?
Because sometimes it isn’t about being safe. Sometimes we must take risks. Sometimes we must go into battle with a mere 300 men, trusting that God knew what He was doing when He sent everyone else home. Because when you look at statistics like these through physical eyes, victory seems unattainable; but when you dare to look into the spiritual realm, you’ll find that God is about to do something that borders the miraculous.
And what I know with most certainty is that when the option is given to turn away from the upcoming battle, I don’t want to be one of those who tremble in fear.
I pray that you will find the courage to stand strong in the face of adversity. May you never lose sight of the vision God casts before you and may you always cling to the hope that is given to us in Christ Jesus.
The war is already won.
May He find us faithful.
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