When Gideon defeated the Midianites with a rather absurd battle plan. He did not start celebrating. Instead, Gideon and his 300 pursued the Midianites toward the Jordan River. A battle had been won, but lasting victory had not been secured. In our spiritual warfare with evil, the pursuit must continue.
One person whose unclean spirits have been cast out, does not mean it is time to take a break or sit down. A weekend where several are born again is not a time to relax. Take a lesson from Gideon. Continue Your Pursuit.
Perfect Never Happens
Gideon, of the small tribe of Manasseh, had defeated the Midianites. Immediately, people from other tribes rallied in support. The tribe of Ephraim became involved but with a caveat. They complained that they had not been included in the original plan. The rebuke of Gideon was sharp.
The tribe of Ephraim was considered as “top dog”, at least among the more northern tribes. Ephraim controlled fertile fields, lush hills, and had grown large and powerful. Other tribes deferred to Ephraim. Gideon acted wisely. Rather than be ensnarled in a “spitting contest,” Gideon responded to Ephraim with a soft answer.
Gideon’ pursuit of the evil that had hindered Israel for seven year was more important than winning an argument with the Ephraimites. Don’t let small complaints from the jealous or otherwise concerned keep you from assisting the Lord Jesus Christ in overcoming evil. Stay focused. Respond to the insignificant with softness and keep on chasing after your own Midianites.
I have an idea that what Gideon said to Ephraim was not what he was thinking. But Gideon did not put wood on the fire of Ephraim’s anger. Gideon was doing exactly as he should; he was doing what Joshua and Joshua’s successors failed to do. He pursued the enemy relentlessly.
When you have spiritual momentum take the battle all the way to the enemy’s front door if necessary. Don't let minor things become major.
There would be more for Gideon to contend with. He and his 300 had awoke the Midianites in the middle of the night. When the Midianites fled, Gideon’s force pursued them across the Jordan River. The men were tired and hungry.
Gideon approached the elders of Succoth, a town along their journey, seeking food. The elders of Succoth and the neighboring town of Penuel refused to give Gideon any help. Though they were Israelites, they chose to not get involved.
Their concern was based on the kings of Midian not having been captured. They had so little faith in Gideon’s efforts that they refused to provide his men even normal Middle Eastern hospitality. In Gideon’s fatigue and hunger, he promised future violence against Penuel and Succoth.
But Gideon did not let the "uninvolved" stop his pursuit of the Midianites. The lack of support from people who were going to benefit from the Midianites being defeated did not keep Gideon from continuing. No effort ever has 100% support. Continue! Don’t let the Succoth and Penuel type people in your life keep you from staying engaged in this spiritual conflict.
The evil one (Satan) wants to take people to hell with him. He kills, steals, and destroys. At times we seem to not grasp that evil is only present and active in two forms:
- Spiritual beings
- Human beings.
Evil isn’t abstract. Rocks aren’t evil. Oceans aren’t evil. Hurricanes and Tornadoes, forest fires, none of these things have any element of evil in them. On the earthly side ONLY men are evil.
- Drug dealers are evil.
- Pimps are evil.
- Purveyors of online pornography are evil.
- Those who abuse their spouse are evil.
- Child-abuse - whether sexual, emotional, physical or mental is evil.
- Those who lack integrity and take advantage of others are evil.
On the spiritual side only Satan and his demons are evil. But, if Satan were eliminated today humans would still do evil things.
Throughout the Bible we learn the symptoms of “evil”. Satan and evil people do what the Midianites were doing to Israel. Bully, hurt, wound, destroy with words, ruin reputations, take advantage, steal, destroy just because they can.
Human evil is based on three things:
- what that person is centered on. They are living totally for themselves.
- Who they worship, - the idols of money, success, pleasure, "what's best for me," and entertainment.
- How they behave. They have no consideration of others. Compassion and mercy are not in their vocabulary.
Don’t compromise with evil.
When there is momentum and territory is being taken from Satan, don’t take a break. Revival momentum is hard to get.
Pray more, fast more. Witness more. Invite more.
Continue your pursuit