Give God the battle.

As a child, I loved the changing seasons. Growing up as a missionary kid in the West Indies, we had only two seasons: rainy and dry. Coming to the USA every few years, I longed to see the leaves change color, to watch the flowers come out again, and to experience snow (as long as it didn’t last too long). There is something mysterious and sacred in changes that take place. We don’t know exactly what day or hour it will happen, but we know without fail that it will happen.

GOD IS IN OUR SEASONS

[Back in September] I got to meet some of my favorite people again, Christian booksellers. We gathered together like one big family and shared our stories. As I listened, I heard the sound of the seasons. Some folks are at the end of autumn, looking at a bleak winter ahead and not knowing if they can make it to the spring. Many are at the end of the summer, wondering if they will have a harvest. Some are in the midst of winter with storms buffeting them on every side. A handful are planting seeds and cultivating plants.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of Gideon. He thought he was in the worst possible season of life. He was so afraid of his enemies that when the angel of the Lord arrived, he was at the bottom of a winepress threshing wheat so that the Midianites wouldn’t find him.

Even when he realized that God was on his side, he doubted and put Him to the test. Then God does the unexpected: He used this fearful man to change the fate of Israel. Not only that, He did it in the most surprising way—winnowing down the number of men Gideon could use in the battle until only God could get the glory for the victory.

PREPARE FOR BATTLE

My family of Christian booksellers and I also face some pretty fierce enemies. The forces aligned against us look like giants— Amazons if you will. Satan has convinced some of us that our time has passed, the culture is against us, and we are no longer relevant. In many ways, this is our Gideon moment. How will we respond? Just like the 12 spies that went into “the promised land,” we have a report to give. What will we say?

The irony of the Gideon story is that he wasn’t wrong about the enemy. The Midianites had pillaged Israel over and over again. No wonder he was fearful. The people that occupied the promised land were huge and had strong, well-defended cities.

What he got wrong was his understanding of God, who is much bigger than our enemies. He was—and is—ready to do battle.

I don’t know what season we are in because the signs are confusing. What I do know is the same God who helped my grandfather see the possibility for expanding a literature ministry in the midst of World War II is the same God that I serve today. He is the same God Gideon served. And He is ready to do battle. I need to be prepared to worship and give Him the glory.

(Reprinted from FaithLit with permission)