And the leader of Succoth said,
“Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna
already in your hands, that we should
give bread to your army?”
The pain Gideon must have felt when he heard the response of the leaders of Succoth. His team, fighting to maintain good moral, is in position to receive sustenance but is being questioned as to the value of their life. Though they can see the need of the troop, Succoth makes a decision for Succoth and not for Israel. And who can blame them. They made and assessment and made the decision they felt was best for them.
As a leader, Gideon had to stay focused and not become discouraged. When following God’s plan, we will encounter people and resources that seemingly fit well into the plan of God. I’m sure he felt as though he had stumbled into a blessing. Have you been there? Walking! Praying! Believing! Trusting! And Finding! Only to discover a closed door, and walk away with empty hands and an empty stomach.
The leaders of Succoth were probably thinking:
Talk to me when you win!
No one has a problem backing a winner! Everyone want to align themselves with the most dominant. And while you might have the potential to win, most will say to you, “Talk to me when you win!” When your numbers match your speech. When our product matches your plans. When your blueprints match product. Talk to me! This is a hard thing to swallow when you are carrying out Gods Vision, but it is often the perspective people have towards the journey. It’s not their battle, their responsibility or interest, thus their connection to it, and are support of it will be lacking unless they see how it can personally benefit them. But you can’t let this stop you!
You can’t focus on it because:
Their help will help; but help doesn’t guarantee a win!
Just because someone rolls up their sleeves, writes the check, helps with the fight, or gives resources to your cause does not mean you will win. We must remember this as we walk into our destiny.
This allows you to
1. Not take the lack of faith and support from people personally
2. Properly place your hopes in the one that can bring your into victory.
The one who had called Gideon had not abandoned him. He was walking with him, guiding him, and though hungry; providing for him. God would give him everything he needed, thus anything or anyone that chose not to be obedient to God, or had not been instructed by God to share resources with Gideon or his people were supposed to. This should allow you to keep moving forward, as most tend to park their lives and reminisce or morn over what was lost or never obtained. We often say what God has for me is for me, but our actions say otherwise. Knowing this allows us to keep focusing on the journey ahead. There are still two Kings to fight, and no time to mull over what could be done with what was denied!
Furthermore, we must take heart because:
Their lack of aide doesn’t mean you loose!
We often hang on for dear life while God attempts to remove harmful and distracting things from our path. Much like a dogs tussling with a rope toy, we tend to bite down with such force, that God Himself finds Himself in a battle trying to break our grip. While it is true that ones lack of aid could lead to you loosing, one must continue the journey! While we need the help of others, we must remember that our help comes from the hills. God has called us, and is the greatest provider ever. He is fighting the battle for us, with us, and through us. We have enough power to win because He is how we are sustained and is our sustenance!
We can release others from the responsibility, and move forward knowing that they have not sealed our fate. We can walk forward to the end, fully confident that their refusal will add a paragraph to the story in a chapter about victory that brings glory and honor to the Lord!
We have to also acknowledge:
Sometimes people lack faith in your ability!
Though this too is hard to accept, it is a reality. People only know that they have seen, and sometimes what they have seen cant be comprehended. This is especially true when you enter any scene. Ones ability often must be proven by the “win” before one is determined a winner or a worth while investment.
Who can blame those who watch for not being eager investors in something that is unproven? Truly, frustration and anger can not be directed towards those who are rational, simply realistic, or desire more information or proof of what one can do or what has been done.
When “new” comes, with its unfamiliar presentation, its considered unstable, undependable and unreliable in comparison with that which has already won battles. Though Zebah and Zalmunna were on the run from Gideon they has previously won battles, and thus the leaders of Succoth had to consider this, the size of the army, and the potential and past of Gideon as a leader when choosing who to back in the fight, and so will it often be with you.
I have learned to embrace those that lack faith in my abilities. It is made easier in that I have the same doubts at time (laughing out loud)! But when those doubts come, I am always brought back to the fleece (Judges 6:36-40). We have to go back to the moment when God called and when He confirmed His intentions through us. We have to revisit the moment when God gave us the vision, and celebrate the moment when God sent the resources.
And we also have to realize:
People lack faith in the God you serve!
Just because you have faith, doesn’t mean everyone you encounter will have faith! Some are simply operating in flesh, which means they are only taking in data from their natural eyes. They make sense out of what it tangible, not understanding that the spiritual concerns both the tangible and intangible, making all things possible for those that believe.
For these people, the fleece means nothing, and the call is just a belief and or perspective, not a sign, authorization or guarantee. And who could blame those who have don’t believe for thinking God’s Word and His call to be foolish?
They don’t walk with Him, and He has not proven Himself to them, and the revelation they have seen, has been ignored for that which they feel is solid or concrete. They opt for what they trust as proven, not understanding that proven is the end result of the process of testing and trying. Thus our God says to test Him and to trust Him and allow Him to prove Himself to those who have yet to believe in Him. They dismiss everything as a coincidence and chance, and believe themselves to be in control of it all, not acknowledging God at all.
Why should this person share bread with you? They are not operating in the Spirit, and in the natural they haven’t seen enough proof to trust what they know to be possible. Yet, we must press on! We must fight on! We must overcome by the power that is within us, and speak with the authority given us. Gideon did!
What will you do!