Saturday, May 02, 2009

Ready at any Moment

Judges 7:5
"So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon,
"Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog
laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone
who gets down on his knees to drink."

Let me explain the background of this verse. God has called Gideon to rise up against the oppression of the Midianites. Thirty-two thousand people came up along with Gideon and said we will fight with you. The Lord told Gideon he had too many people so Gideon told all those who were fearful to return home. He was then left with ten thousand -- a number which was still too great. God sent Gideon and the men down to the water and told Gideon to send home any that laid down on the ground to drink with their mouths as well as any who got down on their knees. The three hundred men who were left used their hands to bring the water to their mouths.

You may ask me "What is the significance of how they were drinking?" Well, those who drank from the stream directly with their mouth were not guarding their backs. They were so focused on meeting their physical need for drink that they failed to be aware of the danger that might overtake them. Were the enemy to come up behind them they would be caught off guard and the battle would be lost.

I believe this verse can be a great warning to us as Christians. I Peter 5:8 states, "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" A lion is not going to announce his presence to you. He is going to sneak up and crouch down in the brush until the moment he catches you unawares and then he will pounce.

In today's failing economy, it is very easy to get caught up in providing and caring for your own needs. This mentality can quickly cause us to be consumed with greed and selfishness that we aren't even aware of. Like Gideon's men who drew the water to their mouths while watching and expecting the enemy to attack, we need to be watching for attack from both our flesh and Satan.

Now you are probably wondering why I say it's easy to become consumed with greed and selfishness. Greed is seeking to horde more than you need. Do you find a great deal at a store and then purchase all of them so that you stockpile and no one else is able to take advantage of the deal? There are many other ways that greed creeps up on us that we don't realize either. Selfishness is even more difficult to identify. It is very easy to look into the pantry and say, well I have enough food to feed my family, but I'm not going to be able to provide a meal for my sick neighbor this time or for the lady at church that just had a baby. I'll have to let someone else do it. Or what about cutting back on your offering for church? With prices going up and incomes remaining the same or even shrinking, one easily tries to justify restricting how much she offers back to God. These little attacks that we don't even realize our things Satan rejoices in. The more we focus on ourselves, the less we focus on serving God and others.

I am challenging myself, as well as you, as I write this. Take a few moments every day to pray and ask God to help you be aware of when you are allowing your circumstances to put blinders on you. Ask God to help you see the peripheral and be able to acknowledge the attacks and overcome them.

For as the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without works is dead also.
James 2:26

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