JUDGES 8:4 – And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing.”
THEME OF THE DAY: PRICES TO PAY. The story of Gideon is riveting and lessons abound for us in the Christian life. Please take time and enter his story in the Old Testament book of Judges, chapters six, seven, and eight. When we arrive to the point in his story found in today’s scripture, Gideon and his army, his small army, are exhausted. They defeated numerous foes, fought hard battles, and yet did not suffer a single casualty. But what they did suffer is what all of God’s children will suffer as well – fatigue; utter exhaustion, and the kind that would make a person want to throw down their sword, shield, and say, “vacation time.” Not Gideon. Not his soldiers. They knew the mission wasn’t over. The time for rest had not arrived. Pay attention to what God’s Word says of these valiant servants of the Lord – exhausted yet pursuing. We could paraphrase this by saying, “God’s servants were tired, very tired, but their fatigue and desire for rest would not override their commitment to mission and the urgency before them to complete their mission.”
What was true of Gideon and his soldiers is true of every Christian. The greatest theologian and philosopher America ever produced, Jonathan Edwards wrote, “God has appointed this whole of life to be all as a race or a battle; the state of rest, wherein we shall be so out of danger as to have no need of watching and fighting, is for another world.” When it comes to the Christian life, there are prices to pay – heavy prices. Our Lord told us that daily we are to “take up our cross, deny himself, and follow Him” (Luke 9:23). The cross is an instrument of death so that means we will suffer; to deny oneself is a war of great intensity, and to follow Jesus demands a willingness to embrace weariness, exhaustion, and fatigue as the prices to pay in the Christian life. Forsaking the world and denying self for Christ and others are calls to extreme exertions of physical, spiritual, and emotional energy. This defines the Christian’s daily warfare, and like Gideon and his army, though exhausted, we pursue. And the question is why? The answer is what keeps us going.
Gideon and his army knew they were on God’s mission, and thought difficult and exhausting, they could not rest, quit, or slack off. The mission was too great. The opportunity was now, and even with extreme fatigue upon them, they must press on. And they did. And God proved to be their sufficient strength, as He will with us.
So, weary Christian, tired Christian, exhausted Christian, and Christian tempted to “take a break from the mission” God has placed us upon, stop and remember Gideon and his army – exhausted yet pursuing. The God of all grace who strengthened them in their exhaustion will do the same for us if we do two things. Pray and stay on mission. As we do, watch God be our strength in our weariness, and His joy empowering us to continue to pursue though exhausted.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to trust Your grace to strengthen me in all that I am called to do.”
QUOTE: “The Christian life drains us physically, emotionally, and spiritually, yet, grace both saves and strengthens.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,