STANDING IN YOUR PLACE                                                                                                               Andy Hollifield 8-3-18

Judges 7:21  And they stood every man in his place about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.

Three companies.  One hundred men each.  Each one holding a pitcher with a candle inside in one hand and a trumpet in the other.  Just a little past midnight in the beginning of the middle watch of the night.  This small army quietly getting into position for a night assault on the enemy.  No mention of swords in this scripture, just trumpets, pitchers, and lamps.  Kind of ridiculous equipment to make war with don’t you think? No more ridiculous I guess than a night assault which wasn’t the normal way of fighting back then.  It was certainly no more ridiculous than the thoughts of 300 unarmed men preparing to attack this great army without weapons.  The strategy; “It shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.”  When I blow my trumpet and then break my pitcher, you do the same.  Blow your trumpet, break your pitcher,  shout “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon,” and oh yeah, just stand in your place.  “Let me get this straight” thinks a soldier.  “We’re going to blow a trumpet and let the enemy know where we are.  Then we’re going to break our pitchers with a light in them so they can see to find us.  Then we are going to yell out that sentence and then we’re just going to stand there and not move and wait on them to come and kill us and we don’t even have swords.  That don’t sound like much of a plan to me but if that’s what you say that’s what I’ll do.  We’re not going to attack?  We’re just going to make noise and give away our position and wait; OK if you say so.”

Can you imagine being one of Gideon’s 300 soldiers and getting told; “This is our strategy?”  It would take some serious faith and dedication to a man to follow a strategy like that knowing if it didn’t work it would be a suicide mission.  There was one thing that made them willing to do it.  They had confidence in their captain and knew he was trusting in the Lord.  They may have seen him and his servant walk down near the enemy camp earlier that evening, maybe with a worried look on his face.  They may have also noticed that he had a little pep in his step as he came back up the hill.  When they seen him coming back into the camp and he told them to “Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian” they knew something had changed.  Do you reckon they might have thought; “Wait a minute, a night attack.  I have got to see this?”

That was exactly what they did; they saw it.  They didn’t fight it but they stood and watched as the Midianites in their confusion and fear begin slaying each other while they just stood there.  Do you think they might have thought about Moses telling their forefathers in Exodus 14:14 when they came out of Egypt; “The Lord shall fight for you and ye shall hold your peace?”  Or, in this case, hold your light and your trumpet.  Or do you think they might have known about the three times in Deuteronomy when Moses told them basically the same thing?  Well, you can read the rest of the story in Judges chapter 7 but here is a hint for you from Judges 8:28 “Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so they lifted up their heads no more.  And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.”

You may be thinking, “That’s a real good story and I sure wish the Lord would give me some quietness in the situation I’m in.”  The good news is that he will.  The bad news is that you have to go stand in your place before the enemy without your own weapon and just trust God to fight for you.  That puts a whole new spin on things don’t it?  It does for me.  I am by nature a fixer and God don’t yank stuff out of my hands to fix it; he waits until I take my hands off, let him have it, and stand in my place and wait trusting him.  Do you think maybe Gideon’s men stood there in amazement as they saw that huge army killing each other and fleeing and they never even had to fight?  How do you reckon that would have turned out if they had of done that night assault with swords drawn?  How long do you think they would have lasted?  You are right.  About as long as we do when we don’t just stand in our place and let God fight for us.  We wind up limping back to camp, licking our wounds, and wondering why God didn’t do something.  All the while not even realizing that he would have if we would have taken our paws off of it and let him do it his way.

This sounds like real good sound doctrine don’t it?  Well it is, but it is a lot easier to preach it than it is to practice it.  I know something about limping around licking my wounds.  One of the hardest things I have ever done is to keep my mouth shut and let God fight my battles.  Sometimes you may suffer deep hurt and pray but God won’t even give you the liberty to defend yourself.  Sometimes he tells us to just walk away and leave it to him because we have better things to do.  The good side of that is that when we leave it in his hands, we will sometimes get to see him fix things in ways we never dreamed possible.  I had to face that pretty early in my ministry when I just had to trust God with things like that.  I had one situation where I had made a stand on something and ruffled feathers to the point where the person didn’t hardly speak to me and would leave a room if I walked in.  This was someone I loved dearly but I couldn’t apologize for having made a biblical stand based on my convictions.  This went on for five months and then after someone we both were close to was hospitalized and I went to see them, it was over.  Not a word was ever said and no questions were ever asked.  I have no idea what transpired or why.  All I know is one day they weren’t speaking to me and the next day everything was back like it had always been.  God just fixed it in a way I didn’t expect and didn’t understand even when it didn’t look possible.  You know what else?  I didn’t care how he fixed it as long as it was fixed.  That part was his business.  Over that five months he was obviously fighting my battle and all I did was stand in my place.

That is just one example from my life and hopefully it will help you get through whatever you’re facing.  By the way, I am not super-spiritual.  I did lay awake some at night during those months just praying and wishing things were better.  I was heavy laden and he did give me rest when I came to him.  And later on, he fixed it.  I’m not going to keep rambling on because you get the point.  Just stay out of God’s way, stand in your place, and watch him work.  Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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