God's Power in Weakness (4): Too Much Going for You- Shades of Grace | Natalie Nichols

God’s Power in Weakness (4): Too Much Going for You

God's Power in Weakness: Too Much Going for You

When Gideon was first called, he felt weak, insignificant, inadequate. He said to the Angel of the LORD (Jesus), “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house” (Judges 6:15, NKJ).

In spite of this weakness, when it came time to fulfill his call, Gideon had too much going for him—so much going for Him that God couldn’t work.

Reduced Numbers and Overwhelming Odds

God called Gideon to deliver His people from Midianite oppression. So Gideon blew trumpets and called a mighty army. Thousands of brave men answered the call. He had an army of 32,000 fellow Jews … facing 135,000 fighting Midianites.

If I’d have been in Gideon’s shoes, I would have begged God for more soldiers. Even with 32,000 men answering the call, they were outnumbered 4 to 1.

What did God do? He reduced their numbers! He told Gideon, “Your army is too great and capable. You have too many men. There is too much strength. If you win a victory, it might seem that you won it by yourself—strictly by your own abilities. You’ve got too much going for you. It might rob glory from me. So reduce your army!” (Paraphrase of Judges 7:2-3)

God instructed Gideon to make a public announcement: “Anyone who is afraid, anyone who has any qualms at all, may leave and go home.”

After 22,000 fearful men left, Gideon was left with only 10,000. Yikes! Only 10,000 facing 135,000! Yet this was still too many men in God’s eyes.

God said to Gideon: “There are still too many. Take them down to the stream and I’ll make a final cut. When I say, ‘This one goes with you,’ he’ll go. When I say, ‘This one doesn’t go,’ he won’t go.” So Gideon took the troops down to the stream.

God said to Gideon: “Everyone who laps with his tongue, the way a dog laps, set on one side. And everyone who kneels to drink, drinking with his face to the water, set to the other side.” Three hundred lapped with their tongues from their cupped hands. All the rest knelt to drink.

God said to Gideon: “I’ll use the three hundred men who lapped at the stream to save you and give Midian into your hands. All the rest may go home.” (Judges 7:4-7, MSG)

What were their odds now that they were down to 300 men? The odds were 450 to 1. There were 450 Midianite warriors for every one Israelite.

As men left Gideon’s army, he must have stood in shock and dismay thinking, “What? Win by becoming weaker? Victory by less numbers and less fighting capability? God instructs me to go to battle, then asks me to disarm? It’s ludicrous! What an insane battle plan!! There goes any shot we had at winning!”

The fighting men who walked away from the battle must have been stunned. No one wins battles by withdrawing soldiers and weapons.

From man’s perspective, it’s insane. Huge victories by small remnants. Walls crumbing without a single shot. Armies retreating and running by a small crew of men.

“By the power of faith alone, weak men confound the world.” ~ David Wilkerson

God did what he said he would do. He delivered the camp of Midian into Gideon’s hand—his insufficient, outnumbered, outgunned hand.

What About You

What has God led you to do that in comparison to the call, you feel you don’t have enough going for you?

  • Not enough money to get the degree or start that business.
  • Not enough talent compared to others in the field.
  • Not enough charisma, charm, or intelligence.
  • Not enough skill or experience for the job.
  • Not enough training to serve in ministry.

The odds against you are there by God’s design. Otherwise, when He gives the victory, the degree, the job, the success, or the fruit in ministry, you might claim glory for yourself saying, “My own hand has done this.”

God chooses to use the weak. He has chosen you and limited your resources for a reason. Let Him do it through you!

Listen again to God’s promise to Gideon:

“I’ll use the three hundred men who lapped at the stream to save you and give Midian into your hands.”

God will use your inferior assets to accomplish His mission. He chooses the foolish, the weak, the lowly, the despised things—the things that are not—to nullify the things that are. Go forward in faith looking to the face of God not the frightening odds. God is on your side! His power will be accomplished in your weakness.

Question: What has God led you to do that in comparison to the call, you feel you don’t have enough going for you? Have you been looking to the face of God and His promise—or to the frightening odds?




*  Idea for this post from “God Can Use You In Spite of Your Weakness” by David Wilkerson: http://www.tscpulpitseries.org/english/undated/tsweakns.html


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