Scripture Read: Judges 7:4-8 Then the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” 5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.” 6 Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water. 7 The Lord said to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home.” 8 So the 300 men took the people’s provisions and their trumpets into their hands. And Gideon sent all the other men of Israel, each to his tent, but retained the 300 men; and the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.
Application: The interesting thing about our Lord is that most times His Sovereign plan includes the involvement of fallen creatures like us. God could do whatever He desired through His power alone, yet in most of Scripture His plans incorporate our part. This is a very important truth that we need to deal with. The Body of Christ has a schism concerning this issue. Some believe that our “free will” is supreme and God just works with that yielding to our decisions. Some take God’s Sovereignty to the point that when someone trips down a flight of stairs they should get up and say, “boy I’m glad that is over”, as if God made it happen and they had no responsibility for…walking down a dark stair case…or walking with their shoes untied…or walking down stairs while drunk…you get my point.
If we are honest we do not know how this works, only God does. God’s Word makes it clear that nothing…that means everything…nothing happens outside of God’s Sovereignty. He either caused it or allowed it, but it did not sneak by God’s control. At the same time, God’s Word makes it clear that we are accountable to do what we should and know ~ is the “right”, “intelligent” and “common sense” thing to do. You say…but Nate what about Gideon who is being told to take on an Army of thousands with 300 men; or Nate what about when Abraham was told to sacrifice his son? Common sense still rules; Who was asking Gideon and Abraham to do those things? Is it not wiser, does it not make sense to obey the One that made everything, controls everything and has power to do anything, than to follow our finite eyes? God desires us to be involved in all His plans for us, it is not our job to try and figure out what part God plays and what part we play. What is our job, is to use our mind, talk to the Holy Spirit and then step out in faith and do everything we can that the circumstances demand.
God shows how involved we are in this section, and we will look at that in our next devotional, but for right now it is important to take a pause and make sure we are doing what we know we should and leave the rest to our Lord. I fear, that many in Christ, may find that if they had participated more in the circumstances of their life, they might find that God’s desire for what would have happened would be different than what actually happened, because God’s Sovereignty is so sovereign that He includes our part in His control of the outcome. Let’s not get to eternity and find out that we missed some of the desired outcomes God had for us, due to our complacency about life. At the same time it is comforting that His Sovereignty incorporates our fallen nature and we never know how quickly an action on our part will be used by God to bring us into His desired plan.
Meditation Questions: What do you think is more important, figuring out how God’s sovereignty and your free will works, or doing what you know you should do where you are right now and leave the “how it works” to Him? Have you ever decided to ignore circumstances claiming that God is “in control”? What happened? What does that teach you? What is the difference in responding to circumstances versus trusting in circumstances? How can we know what part God plays in a situation? What does your answer show you?