To God, be all the glory in all circumstances
February 17, 2012
Gideon was a reluctant leader. God had told him to lead his people, but he wanted a sign. So, as he tossed a fleece on the ground, God gave him the sign he was looking for. But God wants all of his people to know that he is able to deliver when all looks hopeless.
Gideon was called to lead Israel against a superior fighting force and as crazy as it sounds God told Gideon he had too many guys in his army. So God had him get rid of most of his soldiers. That seems nuts; but why does God thin down Gideon’s army?
Judges 7:2, The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her.”
God wanted to make sure his people knew that it was not by their own power that this battle would be won. Gideon started with 32,000 soldiers when God told him let anyone who was afraid go home, now he’s down to 10,000. Perhaps Gideon thought “that’s okay, at least I have the bravest men.” But God spoke again telling Gideon that he still had too many, so he thinned that group down to 300. Now no one could boast – it would take a miracle to deliver Israel from the Midianites who’s army boasted tens of thousands. A miracle is exactly what God does, through a series of events the enemy began to fight against themselves and Israel had a great victory.
That story is a great picture of what God wants to do in the believer’s life. He wants you to have victory over your enemies, and not to brag about what you have done. The enemy you face today is not an army, but the world that draws you away from faith. There are powers of darkness that want you to deny Christ and a culture that denies holy and godly living.
But God has equipped the believer. If you’re a follower of Jesus you have the Holy Spirit who empowers you to live godly, to overcome temptation and say no to sin. It’s by the Spirit’s power that God brings deliverance, so, like Gideon, you can’t boast about your strength.
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How do you tap into God’s power? How can you overcome temptations, sin and things that distract from real faith?
James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
First, submit to God with your life lived for him. Submit to his plan and his authority. After you have submitted, you can resist whatever the world throws your way. That’s why James goes on to say, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
What a great promise, as you come close to Him, He will come even closer to you. You come close as you worship, fellowship, pray and meditate on his word.
Are you able to believe that God can deliver you from your circumstances? Even when it looks hopeless, God will bring victory. Victory in your circumstances, maybe. But victory as he delivers you from death to eternal life, either way, when God does it, He gets the credit.