It’s been said that you go to war with the army you have, not necessarily the army you think you need or want. In the battles of everyday life, we can always point to the things we don’t have that would make life easier.
But would they?
As a self-governing people, we must learn to see the value in what we have – in what has been provided for us – and move forward in faith.
One of my favorite examples of this is found in the sixth and seventh chapters of Judges. We read how the people of God were preparing to attack their enemies; the Israeli force was 20,000 strong against an even larger opponent. But, still, it was an impressive force that had been assembled by the Israelites’ military leader, Gideon.
Gideon had faith the Israelites would achieve victory, but he had to see that it would be on God’s terms.
Today in Israel, you can travel to the spring where God had Gideon winnow the troops in what might be one of the more unconventional military tactics in the Bible (and, let’s face it, the Bible is full of them).
First, God told Gideon to let any who were fearful of taking on a powerful army leave. Half did so. Then, He instructed Gideon: “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.”
There were just 300 who lapped the water; God wanted them. The rest were sent packing. (As a quick aside: Would you want to be with those uncouth water-lappers? It’s a reminder that God’s army usually isn’t what we’d expect.)
It’s no secret why God did this; He was abundantly clear. God said He did not want Israel to “boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’” He wanted them to understand their victory was His working, not theirs.
In the polity of God, He is the unified majority. As was demonstrated at Gideon’s spring, an army of thousands can be routed by 300. But God wants the 300 to understand the true source of the victory.
As we go about our daily struggles and battles, God has given us all we need to be successful and victorious. We must simply proceed faithfully with the allies and tools God has provided, knowing victory will come in His time.