Scripture Reading: Judges 8:1-35, Deuteronomy 20:5-8, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Where did we get the idea that the battle should be easy? Why did we start calling the Christian life a “walk” when it is more like a war? After all, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:12).
Yes, we’re the sheep of God’s flock (Psalm 95:7), the tiny chicks He tucks up under His wings (Psalm 91:4) and His dearly loved children (Ephesians 5:1). But these tender images don’t tell the whole story. We are warriors, enlisted for battle against an enemy bent on rebellion against God and the destruction of His image bearers. Truth, peace, faith, and salvation are standard issue armor for Christ’s followers (Ephesians 6:14-17). Why fit us for battle if we’ll never be expected to fight?
In Judges 8 we find Gideon serving as the general of God’s army. He’s already led the charge in a battle that left the enemy bleeding and scattered (Judges 7:19-25). From our view on the sidelines, we wouldn’t have faulted this band of brothers if they’d simply let the remaining rebels limp away toward the hills. Instead we find them in hot pursuit. The front of darkness had been pushed back, yet they knew the fighting was not over. They were worn out, battle weary, low on energy and strength, and yet they pursued because there was still an enemy at large.
These words from Gideon’s story have sunk deeply into my gut: “exhausted yet pursuing” (v.4, ESV). They jar me into remembering that for the army of God, the orders haven’t changed. Until Christ returns for us, there will always been skirmishes between flesh and blood, good and evil, light and darkness. There will be times when God’s strength will empower us to push back the front of darkness, but the enemy hasn’t yet raised the flag of surrender. And in the words of Bible teacher Kay Arthur, “There’s no retirement in the time of war.”
As long as our enemy is on the run and still gunning for the people of God, retirement isn’t an option. Though we may find ourselves weary and worn out from the battle, or celebrating a God-given victory, let us not sit back and rest on our laurels. Let us raise our swords and keep fighting.
Fighting for truth.
Fighting for hope.
Fighting for love.
Fighting to make the gospel known.
In other words, “Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9). Until the Lord blasts His trumpet, signaling the final fall of our enemy, may He find us like Gideon’s army—exhausted yet pursuing, and empowered by the strength of our Savior, who “is the power and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24).
Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.