God: The One Percent Solution
By Eddie Jones
The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?” Judges 6:14 (NIV)
When God closes a door, He opens a window. You can jump or be pushed; but out you will go. As one nation under God, we appear to be a people teetering on the ledge. Will we fly or fall?
A survey of the cultural landscape leads me to believe Christians are not flying; but fleeing to the hills, caves and fortresses. Christian book publishers continue to slash payrolls, cancel contracts and shun new voices. Churches flounder and fold due to soaring debt, dwindling tithes and an anemic spirit within the Body of Christ. Christian couples split and sue for joint custody as the “peace that passes understanding” is trampled on the steps of courthouses. Jobless and joyless we sit in the pews and mouth the words “How Great Thou Art” while secretly wondering as Gideon did, “Why has all this happened to us? Where are all His wonders our parents told us about?”
Born into the weakest branch of his family tree, Gideon considered himself to be the runt of the litter and yet God called him a mighty warrior. Could it be God views you as a mighty warrior, too?
For seven years the raiders of the East pillaged the land, stole crops, killed cattle and forced Gideon’s countrymen to hide in mountain clefts, caves and forts. Cowering in fear, they retreated from the battlefield. Christian businessman Peter J. Daniels notes, “The poverty mentality that has afflicted Christians in wealthy nations is a masterstroke of satanic genius. It has impoverished us for decades. It has denied that every Christian is of royal blood.” Could it be God is calling you from your hiding place?
When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, the boy didn’t break out into a praise-and-worship song. He didn’t fall face down in wonder. He dared to ask, “If I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.” Are you waiting for a sign from God that He is calling you?
Any encounter with a living God will leave you changed. Gideon received a new title: “Mighty Warrior.” He received a new mission: “Strike down the enemy.” He received God’s power: “I will be with you.” He received God’s blessing: “God in the strength you have.” Will you accept the challenge to be changed?
The climax of Gideon’s quest to strike a blow against God’s enemies reads like a military blunder. God commanded this “mighty warrior” to pare down his troops until only 300 remained: One percent of a thirty thousand man army. But one percent of anything with God by your side is a recipe for success. “Our protection and prosperity does not come from the sword, or microchip or factories,” says Peter J. Daniels, “but from the hand of God.”
Is God sending you? Jump from the window and go in the strength you have.
By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days. By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Hebrews 11:29-34 (New International Version)
Eddie Jones © 2010, printed with permission
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Eddie's young adult novel, The Curse of Captain LaFoote, won the 2012 Moonbeam Award in the Pre-Teen Fiction/Fantasy category and 2011 Selah Award in Young Adult fiction. Dead Man's Hand, Eddie's first middle grade novel in the Caden Chronicles mystery series, is now available from Zonderkidz. Eddie sails, surfs and writes in North Carolina.
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