There are many times when God wants to reveal his glory in our lives, but the problem is we often try and take the credit for ourselves. God’s way of preventing this is to strip back anything in our lives that might be used as a way for us to boast in our own strength just before the miracle occurs. Gideon experienced this in a high stress environment – he was about to march into battle against a very strong army of Midianites. We see this in Judges 7:2-8,
‘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.’ Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.’
It seems to me that God was trying to make the situation seem impossible, so that the Israelites would know for certain that it was He who delivered them, not their own works. I find this encouraging, especially when the Lord takes away something that I have been relying upon. God has a mind of his own. He doesn’t compromise on his plan so that I may have a comfortable life. I surrendered my life to him, this means that I will have to rely on him daily.
As Christians, we need to stop focussing on what we don’t have. We use our weaknesses in order to excuse ourselves from living the supernatural lives that we are called to live. This is contradictory to what the Bible says! Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9, ‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’
Don’t be discouraged when the Lord takes away something that you think is vital. He is simply asking you to trust him.