God Gives The Victory

We had a phenomenal Easter at Grace Fellowship; huge crowds and many people who made decisions to trust Christ.  I’m grateful for the faithfulness of our staff, volunteers and people to pray and invite.  I’m also grateful for the hard work of our staff and volunteers, but am reminded that it is God who receives the glory and praise for what is taking place at Grace.

Reading in Judges 7 this morning reminded me that God will not give us the victory if we want to claim any credit! God told Gideon (Jerub-Baal) to attack the Midianite army. Gideon had 32,000 men, but check out what God told him.

Early in the morning Jerub-Baal and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. Jerub-Baal was another name for Gideon. The camp of Midian was north of Gideon’s camp. It was in the valley near the hill of Moreh. 2 The Lord said to Gideon, “I want to hand Midian over to you. But you have too many men for me to do that. Then Israel might brag, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Judges 7:1-2 NIrV

And Gideon ended up with only 300 men to attack the entire Midianite army.

The Lord spoke to Gideon. He said, “With the help of the 300 men who lapped up the water I will save you. I will hand the Midianites over to you. Let all the other men go home.”  Judges 7:7 NIrV

If you read all of Judges 7, you’ll find that the Lord routed the army of Midian using Gideon and his 300 men. They made themselves available to serve the Lord and had faith the God would give them the victory, but it was the Lord who gave the victory.

If we’re not careful, we can be deceived into thinking we’re responsible for the “success” we have in ministry. We have to be available, have faith and do the task God’s given us, but it is God who gives the victory.

As I was reading this, I also thought of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 3

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?  5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed,Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.  10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:1-11 NIV

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have five grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Legacy Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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