Israel was at it again. Full of disobedience and blindness, they entertained their sin and found themselves in a dangerous position. The Lord handed them over to the Midianites, who stomped over their land and robbed them of their harvest. Scared and humiliated, they hid in caves and cried out to the Lord. In response, God, with His faithful and longsuffering character, sent to them the fifth judge of Israel—Gideon.
Gideon had managed to gather 32,000 soldiers to fight against the Midianites. That was a weak position against the enemy's 135,000 soldiers—about one quarter of their troops. Israel was outnumbered, but it was still possible to win.
God stepped in and said, "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me'" (Judg. 7:2). Gideon listened and told those who were too afraid to go home. The number fell from 32,000 to 10,000—less than a tenth of the Midianite army. At that point, Gideon may have been getting nervous. He probably didn't anticipate 22,000 soldiers to be too afraid to fight. The circumstances were far from ideal, but with talented soldiers, there was a small chance of victory. It was still possible to defeat the Midianites.
But God wasn't satisfied. The army was still too big. He sent them to the water to drink, and told Gideon to send home the ones who drank without keeping watch. The number of soldiers plummeted to 300.
Impossible. Absolutely impossible. For every soldier in Gideon's army, there were 450 enemy soldiers. There was no possible way that the Israelites could win on their own. The soldiers had to take every step into battle in faith. After all, God was speaking only to Gideon at the time. It was a risk, a call of action to lay everything down and move forward on the hinges of the word of God.
Israel wasn't alone in this calling. In all points of our lives, God calls us to have this kind of faith. And there are times when He may make situations impossible, so that the only way it could work is because His hand was on it. How can you, Christian, live in quick obedience to the Lord? Here are three necessary actions to take when you are faced with taking a risk or doing the impossible:
Every day, determine in your mind that you will be available to God and that your heart will open and your eyes will lay expectantly on heaven. When you avoid the Lord's Word or fill your mind with other things, God's voice won't be clear, and you may miss an opportunity to see His providence in impossible situations. Gideon obeyed because he was ready for obedience.
Do you really believe the power of God's Word? If and when He speaks to you and calls you to do something radical, do you trust in His sovereignty? Trusting means that you will fall in the waters of His love without buckling your knees. Gideon knew God's résumé and trusted Him fully—even when his army dwindled to the hundreds.
If you are listening and trusting, then, without a second thought, take the plunge. God acting upon your life will not happen if you do not act upon His will. You have asked for His voice and trusted in what He has to say—now you must take action. Gideon didn't just walk away when he was left with 300 men. He moved forward.
So what happened with Gideon and his army? They broke into groups of three, surrounded the enemy's tents, and at the same time, blew their trumpets, shone their torches, and shouted, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!"(Judg. 7:18). The Midianites were fearful, probably thinking that a giant army had come upon them from every direction, and they began turning on each other. The majority of their army was killed by their own swords, while others fled in fear, pursued by the Israelites. What an amazing and strange victory that was, and it wasn't anything Gideon had done. All he did was listen, trust, and obey. The victory was in the hand of the Lord.
He may be calling you to go out on a limb. To move somewhere you'd never expect to move. To quit a job when your finances are already unstable. To persevere in a marriage you think is beyond repair. It may seem dangerous, reckless, or hopeless. It may have gotten to a point where you think, This is impossible. But God is sovereign over all and puts these impossible circumstances in your life, "lest [you] claim glory for [yourself] against Me, saying 'My own hand has saved me.'" He doesn't want us to strive in our own power but to fully trust that His power will move in us.
God is never-changing, and His faithfulness to Israel is the same as His faithfulness to us. When we listen to His voice, trust the Lord despite our feelings or circumstances, and obey quickly, He will always win.
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