Friday, February 27, 2009
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Every time the economy or corporate profits take another dip in their roller coaster ride, you start hearing corporations saying that word again - downsizing. Many companies have and probably will come to the conclusion that one way to increase their profitability is to decrease the number of employees they have. So they downsize to be more successful.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Downsizing For Success."
Actually, God believes in downsizing, too, as His strange means of bringing about something bigger. In fact, that may be what He's doing in your life right now.
He sure did it to Gideon in our word for today from the Word of God in Judges 7, beginning in verse 2. Here's the situation: the Midianites have invaded Israel year after year during harvest time to plunder their harvests, and nobody has been able to stop them. God calls Gideon to do it even though Gideon argues that he is maybe the least qualified guy around. Of course, this happens a lot in the Bible and still today.
Gideon is able to muster an army of 32,000 men to go against a Midianite army of 132,000 men! And the Bible says, "the Lord said to Gideon, 'You have too many men (Don't you love it?) for Me to deliver Midian into their hands." I'm sure Gideon didn't laugh, but I can't help it. Outnumbered four to one, and he's got too many men? God tells him to let go anyone who is afraid, and suddenly Gideon has 22,000 men. Now he's outnumbered about six to one. After God has him downsize again, Gideon has 300 men left. He's outnumbered more than 40 to 1 now! But miraculously, that force wins the battle, and the Midianites aren't seen again!
Now why does God follow this strange plan for winning: reducing, taking away, cutting back, making smaller? God gave His reason to Gideon, "in order that Israel may not boast against Me that her own strength has saved her." It's a pattern throughout the Bible - God loves to win major victories with inadequate resources. He arranges mismatches and impossible situations so we will see how big He is and He will get all the glory!
God knows we all have pride issues, we tend to be controlling people, and we tend to rely on the methods that have always seemed to get it done for us. But God puts us in situations where, like Gideon, we're left saying, "If there's a victory here, it's going to have absolutely nothing to do with me." So if you find yourself out-manned, out-gunned, and under-resourced right now - if it seems like God has been cutting you back and putting limitations on you - realize this may very well be the prelude to an amazing victory!
God is working on that wonderful addition and subtraction thing He does. John puts it this way: "He must become greater; I must become less." As God reduces the amount of you there is, He is increasing the amount of Him there is in the situation. He's been downsizing you so there can be more of Him, so He can show you a victory bigger than you ever thought you could be a part of. God isn't downsizing so you'll lose, He's downsizing you for a victory so big that only He can get the glory for it.