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Gideon's Army

Judges chapter 7 tells the famous story of Gideon defeating the mighty Midianites - though of course it wasn't Gideon at all who won. That’s the point of the story. God made it blindingly clear that it was all His doing, by shrinking Gideon’s army down to a mere 300, armed with clay jars and torches.

We were learning about prayer yesterday from Isaiah 64. Prayer is about realising the work of the church is God’s, not ours - a lesson we are discovering in quite a similar way to Gideon…

We’re a small church to start with. We don’t have impressive numbers, impressive people (no offence!), impressive music or ministries. But now, as we seek to move forward as God’s army, we find ourselves being reduced even more: health issues, family issues, people leaving. Is this God making it crystal clear that it is He alone who will claim the victory? And yet there are signs that he is still working among us, with some real encouragements.

Since the Christian life is compared to soldiering in the bible, I often think about that film ‘We Were Soldiers’. In our battle against the forces of evil, there will be some casualties - some falling to the enemy (as we are seeing, tragically), other being wounded. Yet our job is to keep a clear head, remember our objectives, and to advance on our enemy with perseverance and wisdom, trusting in our God and Commander to win the battle.

When the enemy concentrates his fire on you, you know you are threatening his stronghold. That should encourage us to press on. It’s exciting! Let us battle on together, and watch what God will do through this puny army. Let us throw ourselves on him to act in strength and power, to achieve what we never could.