Tue | Jan 19, 2021

The God of the underdog

Published:Sunday | January 12, 2020 | 12:12 AM

There’s something about the start of a new year that fills many of us with hope of who we can become and what we can achieve – and the fact that we are in 2020 seems to intensify our desires to reach new heights this year. However, many times we shy away from aiming for what we really want, because we don’t think it can be achieved. We’ve been cautioned to set realistic or achievable resolutions and while I agree, let’s not forget that we serve a miraculous God.

Now, I’m not saying that we should expect to lose 100 pounds overnight or to kick a bad habit to the kerb after one day. Yet, I do believe that when we feel like the odds are stacked against us, that is the perfect time to ask our Heavenly Father to step in and turn things around for our favour.

Lack of resources, economic challenges, crime and lack of opportunities can make it seem impossible for any significant change or improvement in our lives. But even in the most impossible situations, when the odds are stacked against us, God is still for us!

Let’s take a look at Judges 6. The Israelites were being oppressed by the Midianites and the Bible says “… Israel was reduced to starvation by the Midianites. Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help.” (Judges 6:6 NLT). The people of God knew that they were the underdogs. They were small in number, they didn’t have the money, their army did not have the same level of skill and their weapons were few and rudimentary. Realistically, there was no reason they would succeed in overcoming their oppressors. Yet, God stepped in and brought them the victory!

God Works Mightily When the Deck is Stacked Against Us

First, God used an unlikely source to bring the victory. He called one man, Gideon, to lead an army. Gideon was fearful and untrained, but God called him a mighty hero! It doesn’t matter where you are from, God can and wants to use you to be His change agent.

Second, God used an unlikely resource. Although the Israelite army was no match for the Midianites, God said the victory would come through battle. The enemy had 135,000 men. Yet, God cut the Israelite army from 32,000 people to 300 men. God may call us to do seemingly ridiculous things for His glory and our victory. Trust Him even when it looks impossible.

Third, God did not regard the excuses as a reason to not act. When God called Gideon, there were many reasons Gideon could give as to why he would fail. The one excuse he voiced was about his background. His status and circumstances declared that he was weak, but God was not daunted by this. Have we been making excuses as well? Remember when God is in it, all we need is to be available.

Last, God called Gideon and his men to respond with Bold Obedience. It made no sense that 300 men with rams’ horns and clay jars would defeat a trained, weaponised army of over 100,000! By blowing ram’s horns and breaking clay jars, Gideon’s ‘army’ confused the enemy and caused them to turn on and kill each other. Only God could get the glory for that!

God uses uncommon logic where you + God = victory every time. So, are the odds stacked against you? Rejoice! For Christians, the God of the underdog is your God too! The same miracles that happened for the Israelites can happen in your life this year. All you have to do is align yourself with God, obey and watch Him move.