The modern church is one which continually works from our own genius – our own strength. Q – How can we grow the church? A – Let’s attend the latest conference with those charismatic speakers who have all the answers. Q – How can we … A – Let’s put a committee together to brainstorm and …
This wasn’t the model God had in mind. As we read God’s Word, we are continually confronted with the fact that God delights in showing His genius (His strength) when the odds are heavily stacked against His people. One of the greatest examples comes from Judges 7. For seven years the Israelites had been oppressed by the Midianites when God called upon Gideon to help deliver the people.
And here comes the cool part — “The Lord said to Gideon, ‘You have too many men for Me to deliver Midian into their (the Israelites) hands. In order that Israel may not boast against Me that her own strength saved her, announce now to the people that anyone who trembles in fear may turn back and leave'” (Judges 7:2-3a). Thousands leave that day but because the group is still too large, God does some more weeding. Before this story ends, Gideon’s troups have been reduced from 32,000 to a mere 300. In the end, God only took .9% of the 32,000! And, of course, God does defeat the Midianites.
We seldom see God show Himself strong in our lives because we seldom get our backs against the wall and actually need Him. Instead, we work out of self-sufficiency. We think we have all the answers. The result is a powerless church that builds massive buildings and produces half-hearted bored members who fail to see Jesus actually make a significant difference in their lives. That must all change. “Lord, help me stop trusting in myself. Help me stop boasting in my own achievements. As frightening as it seems, bring me to the place where I must trust in You. For it is in that place where I will learn what it means to rely solely on You. And it is in that place where I will see Your strength.”