Attitude of Preparation
Judges 6: 4-8
4 But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”
5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” 6 Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.
7 The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” 8 So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.
In Judges chapters 6 & 7 Gideon is recruited by God to overthrow the Midianites. It’s a fascinating story with several portions that still hold signicance in modern day psyche: golden fleeces and small elite fighting forces. One aspect of Gideon’s story that intrigued me is God’s choosing of Gideon’s army. All of Israel is called to fight. Thousands of men show up. In the end only 300 are viewed as actually ready for battle.
All of us contend with various obstacles, detractors or outright enemies in our lives that hamper our ability to live in free pursuit of dreams. Similar to the men of Israel who responded to Gideon, many of us think we’re ready for battle when we actually are not.
Often the victory of a battle is achieved in its preparation. I think we live in a time that is calling for prepared and prudent people. Being anxious, upset & in need of change is great. Yet we can not overlook preparing for the battles that real change often requires. In Judges God chose people who were actually ready battle. This requirement become even more striking when we take note of the fact that Gideon’s army barely raised a sword in achieving victory.
Let us try not to avoid the discipline and drudgery often required in preparing for life’s hardships and battles. With God disciplined preparation is useful because God’s vision of victory and blessing for us will often exceed our own dreams. In the beginning Gideon was just looking for a way to produce wheat without the Midianites stealing it. In the end God made him a wealthy leader of Israel.
Today my friends let us worry less about who’s opposing us and focus more on what we can accomplish if we’re prepared to partner with each other and with God.