Recently, I delivered a message to our church entitled “Against All Odds”. My text was taken from the 7th chapter of Judges, a familiar story to many of you about how God used a man named Gideon and 300 soldiers to defeat an army of well over one hundred thousand Midianite soldiers.

The account of Gideon and how that the Lord kept whittling away at his army in order to reduce its size is a study in faith and trust in the word of God. Starting out with 32,000 soldiers, a nearly 4 to 1 disadvantage against the army of Midian, God eventually reduced that number to 300. Why would God do that? He did that so that when the victory came, Israel would not praise Israel for the victory, but God. God knew if He had left the number at 32,000, then Israel would have declared the victory was a direct result of their own strength. God was out to prove to Gideon and you and I that when we bring God into our battle, the size of the opposition does not matter. What matters is that we understand that God’s strength is far greater than our weaknesses!

When Gideon was first told that he would lead Israel into battle against overwhelming odds, he, like many of us, was quick to remind the Lord of his inadequacies. Through a series of faith building assignments, Gideon was finally convinced that he could do what the Lord had called him to do. So, assembling his little army of 300, Gideon positions them where he believed they would have the best opportunity to launch a surprise attack. There was just one little problem with Gideon’s strategy: it wasn’t God’s strategy!

You see, while Gideon was positioning himself for a battle involving spears, arrows, and the like, God was positioning Gideon for a different type of battle. His was to be a battle of faith and trust in the promise of God vs. his own capabilities. What can we learn from this? For one, isn’t it amazing how that God will place us in the most unlikely situations to test our faith? So often, when we’ve been stretched and tried beyond what we believe to be our limits, and all we’re looking for is a way out of the situation, God will instead choose to use that situation to teach us something!

Secondly, if we really believe the word of God that tells us “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6) then our inadequacies do not matter.  If we will take to heart the word of God that says, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7) then our limitations do not matter. If you’ve ever felt outnumbered in life, then this should tell you that the strength of your opposition doesn’t matter. Again, what matters is God’s strength is far greater than our weaknesses!

When God reduced Gideon’s army to a paltry 300 men, then and only then did he have Gideon right where he wanted him! God had placed Gideon in a situation where the only thing he could do was trust God to do exactly what he said he would do. And that, my friends, is why when we question “O God, where are you?”, that God whispers to us these words from Proverbs 3:5…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.

My prayer is that if you are feeling overwhelmed and outnumbered, you will remember that it isn’t the size of the enemy that’s important. Neither is it important how great a treasure chest of resources you have at your disposal. What’s important is the size of your God who is mighty to save. Yes, you will have times when it makes absolutely no sense to trust God. I’ve been there, I’ve lived there. There will be times when God takes you down to the water’s edge to try you, to prove you, to see what you’re made of. Will you trust Him with all your heart, or will you try once again to rely on your own resources?

Here’s what I have learned across the many miles and decades I’ve been serving the Lord: faith and trust in God are the most powerful weapons at our disposal. Against all odds, I have seen God move in my life time after time. Through insurmountable heartache and despair, God has been faithful to deliver. And now, after all these years, it has become clear to me that He has been positioning me all along for such a time as this.

How about you? The twists and turns of your life have shaped you into the vessel you were meant to be. None of this has been for naught. God is positioning you to what only you can do. I encourage you to be strong and courageous in His service. Your story is of great value to the Kingdom of God!

Ron