READ: Judges 7-8
THINK: How do you feel when you do something significant but don't get credit for it? Be honest, it's difficult to be disregarded. Most of us like to be honored and appreciated for our accomplishments-even when the credit isn't ours to take. We tend to rely on ourselves and feel that we're largely responsible for our success. But God wants us to recognize Him as our Source. While He expects us to give our all to Him, He enables us to serve and He deserves the honor for our successes. To make this more apparent, He often demonstrates His great strength through our glaring weaknesses and does His most powerful miracles when we're most vulnerable. So don't be discouraged when it seems you have nothing to offer or that your situation leaves God little to work with. If you humbly follow God's guidance, He can do something so significant through you, that no one dare give credit to anyone but Him.
RESPOND: Why did God want Gideon to reduce the number of men in his army before they battled the Midianites? (See 7:2 note.) What spiritual truths does this illustrate? (See 7:2 note, subpoints 1-4.) Why do you think Gideon continued to struggle with fear and needed to be encouraged (7:10-11)? What should you do when your faith needs encouragement? (See 7:11 note.) Why was it obvious that Israel's victory over the Midian was completely an act of God? How did the Israelites at Succoth and Peniel work against God, and what happened to them as a result (8:15-17)? (See 8:6 note.) In what way might some in the church today work against God without realizing it? Why and how must we support fellow believers as they take a stand for God? How did Gideon show humility when people wanted to make him king (8:22-23)? Why do people in churches tend to give excessive admiration or recognition to certain leaders or achievements, and what problems can this cause? (See 8:27 note.) How can we be sure to bring honor to God without drawing unnecessary attention to ourselves? (See 8:27 note, subpoints 1 & 2.)
PRAY: Give God the glory for specific things He has done or is doing for you. Ask God to strengthen your faith and to help you take advantage of opportunities to stretch it during difficult times.
ACT: Do something specific and practical to help someone who is taking a stand for God or is in the midst of a tough spiritual task or battle. This could take the form of a simple encouraging message or phone call. Better yet, ask the person if there is something you can do to help them in this situation.
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