The Gideon Principle Re-Visited

Posted: June 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

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My guess is that when you think of Gideon, you think of a “fleece” that he put out to discover God’s will. When I think of Gideon, however, I think about what I call the “Gideon Principle”, which simply stated is, “You can be too big for God to use, but you can not be too small.”

The story is found in Judges 7. God has raised up Gideon to deliver his people, and they are facing destruction at the hands of a group of people from Midian. Gideon has mustered an army of 32,000 rag-tag soldiers. They are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the Midianites, who also have better weaponry and military skills. But God says an interesting thing to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands. . .” Honestly, I would have been tempted to say, “God, are you kidding me?” But God tells Gideon to instruct anyone who is afraid to go home. And 22,000 leave, a third of his army.

God then says, “The people are still too many . . .” I kid you not; read the story. So God tells Gideon to take the people down to the riverside and tell them to drink. And God tells him to separate the people based on how they drink. Gideon is to only keep in his army those who cup their hands and bring the water to their mouth and then lap it with their tongues. Gideon is left with 300 men.

WHY DOES GOD DO THIS? God does not want the people to believe they have overcome the Midianites by their own military prowess. God desires all the glory. There is to be no doubt about what happens. Again, read the story, it is all there.

In February 2007, Missionary Steve carried three men and myself to a remote village in the bush country of Mali. Along the way he explained that the Gospel had come to that village for the very first time three weeks earlier when he brought a large church with an attendance of 10,000 to the village. He had asked them to adopt the village and plant a church but they had told him it was too big a challenge. Here we were, a small rural church in a blue collar community with an average attendance of less than 150 and an annual budget less than $300,000.
I bet you can see where this is going. God led our church to adopt that village. We saw God do remarkable things. Not only was a church planted in that village, but in several surrounding villages.

Sometimes others have asked me, “How did you do it? And don’t give the ‘God-answer’.” There is no other answer. God is all about doing things in and through us for which only He can get the credit and the glory. I want to remind you today, you can be too big in your own mind and attitude for God to use you. But you cannot be too small or humble.

God has a heart that the nations hear the Gospel. There are 1.7 billion people on our planet who have absolutely no access to the Gospel. You are not too small and insignificant, and neither is your church. God is doing some of the most incredible things of history around our world. Be a part. Get involved today.


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