You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast that her own strength has saved her…I will sift them for you.  Judges 7:2-4

If you have never read the story of Gideon, I hope you will. He’s a timid guy who is given a heroic assignment. When Gideon decides he will step up and do what God tells him, he starts with an army of thirty-two thousand men. In stages, God purposely dwindles this army to three hundred men. Only through God could a tiny army of three hundred men rout the much larger Midianite army. Here’s God’s plan: blow trumpets, break jars, and yell. When they did it, Gideon’s army saw their enemies panic and kill each other. It’s a crazy story, a miraculous story!

         However, there are some really thought-provoking principles to take away from this account: 1) God patiently helps Gideon in his weaknesses. He doesn’t shame him for being timid, cautious, afraid. But He also doesn’t allow it to be an excuse for not obeying. 2) God allowed the circumstances to get “worse” so that when the miracle happened, there would be no doubt that God did it. [Sometimes I’m hurt by God’s inaction when things look hopeless. Read the stories of Bible heroes:  in almost every story it gets worse before the miracle.] 3) God confirmed His plan through Gideon overhearing a man telling his friend a dream. You know what Gideon did right then? It says he worshipped God. (Judges 7:15) Then he went back and told his army, “The Lord has given the Midianites into our hands.” (Not He will give, but He has given.) When we worship God, He is magnified—He gets bigger, and so does our faith! 4) Gideon moved forward by faith. When the odds became stacked against him, Gideon still did what God told him.

If we never pray audacious, courageous prayers, how can God answer them? If we never follow Him to places where we desperately need Him, how can He show up and make His presence known?  Don’t let your prayers be full of asking God to keep you from being in desperate places. You won’t know how big, how great, how life-saving He truly is! Your “army” today may be overcoming depression, or learning to love someone very unlovely; it maybe to believe God for financial provision or a job provision. I don’t know where you need a miracle today, but don’t run from the circumstance or get angry at how it looks. Worship God, pray bold prayers, and listen as He speaks. Then move forward by faith. God delights to show up when His children call on His name and trust Him to come through.

     **Is God “sifting” something in your life? Can you trust Him for the victory?

Lord, You are the Lord mighty in battle. When I start to worry that You won’t come through, remind me of Gideon’s story. You have given me victory. Amen!

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