Gideon and the Israelites faced their greatest nemesis that day. This enemy was deadlier than 135,000 Midianite soldiers armed with swords and spears. It’s one we all encounter, virtually every day. His name is pride.
C.S. Lewis said, “According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride.” In his book, Mere Christianity, Lewis calls pride “The Great Sin.” Pride filled Lucifer’s heart in heaven, a perfect place, and birthed a belief that he ought to be adored, just like God. Pride is an infection that wants to poison the work of God in our hearts.
Israel’s army numbers 32,000 that day which seems like bad odds against an army of 135,000 Midianites. But because God was on the side of Israel, they were going to win. So what does God do to combat future pride from welling up in their hearts? He makes the odds impossible. First, He weeds out 22,000 soldiers who are afraid. Secondly, another 9,700 fail a simple test at a small river. Now this army numbers a mere 300. The only way this small company of warriors could defeat the great army from the east was by the hand of God Himself and that’s exactly what happened.
Have you ever been there at the stream facing the impossible? Have you felt that despite the God-honoring choices you have made, the circumstances you face seem to get bigger and scarier? Maybe it’s because God is allowing the odds to look worse so that you would see Him do the impossible; something you could never do, something He could only do, and something that will be a story you’ll share for generations to come.
Today, I challenge you to respond to these thoughts in one of three ways:
1. Ask God to guard your heart today from the infection of pride.
2. Choose to trust Him in your impossible situation.
3. Connect with someone who is struggling to encourage and pray for them.