The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’Judges 7:2 NIV
The story of Gideon is an interesting one. Israel faced a host of 135,000 men (Judg. 8:10) with an army of 32,000. The odds greatly favored the invaders. Humanly speaking, you would have expected Gideon to look for more men before attacking the enemy camp. Instead, God told Gideon that his army was too big. So he sent 22,000 of them home. And God told him there were still too many. So more were sent home, leaving him with only 300 men. And with that 300 men, and God’s strength, the enemy was routed.
I believe there are some significant lessons here for us today. God saved me, not because of anything I did. I have no power or ability that would even contribute to my salvation. It is only by trusting in God and his strength that I can be saved. I cannot rightly boast that my own strength has any part in my salvation.
And what was true of our salvation is just as true in our service to God. Whether as an individual or a church, we often limit ourselves to what we can accomplish in our own strength and with our available resources. But God calls us to look beyond ourselves and trust in him. And, when we do, there is nothing he calls us to do that we cannot accomplish in his strength and power.