Beloved, God is searching for a people who will trust him fully. The Lord did not save us so we could bask endlessly in his goodness, mercy and glory. He had an eternal purpose in choosing each one of us and that purpose goes beyond blessings, fellowship and revelation. The fact is, God still reaches out to lost humankind, searching for a believing people he can shape into his greatest evangelistic tool.
God was searching for such a people in Gideon’s day. When Gideon issued a call for volunteers to fight the Midianites, thousands of Israelites responded. But the Lord told Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands … Proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart’” (Judges 7:2-3).
God was telling Gideon, “If anybody is afraid, tell him to go home now. I will not allow my army to be infected by fear.” God was actually turning away volunteers for his army; at one point, some 22,000 doubters were sent home. Gideon eventually reduced the number of volunteers to 10,000 but God told him there were still too many and the Lord finally settled on 300 battle-tested soldiers.
This ought to tell us something. As the Lord seeks gospel messengers he can send out to the world, he is not going to recruit churches whose pews are filled with fearful, doubting, untested people. He will not look for powerful, efficient religious organizations or highly educated seminarians. God uses organizations and the highly educated, of course, but in themselves none of these has the resources needed to be God’s tried and tested messengers.
So, what is needed to reach a lost and hurting world? God is seeking those who are willing to be tested, tried by fire, those whose faith he can refine and bring forth as pure gold.