God works within the realm of man’s impossibilities so that He will get all the glory, but don’t think for a moment that our Lord is a glory-monger. The reality is that God knows if we get any credit, any fame, any honor, others will tend to follow us and that in time we will stumble and consequently trip up our followers. In His holy simplicity our Father says, “Just follow me and there will be no mishaps.”
The story of Gideon exemplifies this principle. Gideon’s army is one-fourth the size of the enemies one hundred and thirty-five thousand. The Lord ultimately narrows the field to just three hundred until the Israelis are out numbered four hundred and fifty to one. Historically, it’s the not the first time drew upon this ratio; God’s prophet Elijah faced the same odds.
I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 1 Kings 18:22
Back to Gideon
As directed by the Lord, Gideon gives these three hundred men a trumpet, a torch, and a jar, and says…
“Look at me and do likewise; watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, ‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!’ ” So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands. Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers–they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing–and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” Judges 7:17-20
A Leader Leads
The Apostle Paul made a similar declaration when he proclaimed, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ,” in 1 Corinthians 11:1. The fact of the matter is true leaders lead by example and as directed by the Father through His Holy Spirit. But what I really like about this passage of scripture is the Biblical illustration it provides; a formula, if you will, regarding how a Christian dynamically lives out his or her faith. Believers can easily envelop themselves within the symbolism represented in the verse. Read the Judges passage again and consider these three New Testament references:
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us…The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. 2 Corinthians 4:7; Psalms 51:17a; Matthew 5:16
We are these earthen vessels, being formed by God from the very dust of the earth, having His own breath blown into us. We have not formed ourselves, we have been formed as a jar upon the Potter’s wheel, only to be broken; born again as it were, so the Master’s light; our light that we willing have received, might shine forth into a darkened world. Humbly, we obediently submit ourselves to the process and in so doing are abundantly blessed. Is that your testimony?
No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. Luke 11:33