And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. ~Judges 7:4
Judges 7 is a chapter with many great lessons on leadership. Leadership is our ability to influence people towards a cause or goal. Leadership is winning the confidence and trust of the people who are following you. However, there are committed followers, and then there are casual followers. Committed followers help the leader get things done. Casual followers just do things. God told Gideon that the number of men he had with him needed to be reduced. God told him that he had too many men with him for God to give victory over the Midianites. So, God did a test, or trial, by water to help Gideon narrow down who the real, committed men were.
They were tested in their desire.
This test revealed the degree of their thirst. All of the men drank from the water. When dogs drink water, they tend to drink enough for a momentary quenching of their thirst. However, someone who is thirsty will drink not only to satisfy their thirst but to store enough water to avoid dehydration later. Do you thirst for success and victory? Do you thirst for souls to be saved? Committed leaders share the thirst that their leader has in winning a battle, winning a race, and conquering territory. The difference between a great Christian and a nominal Christian is quickly measured by his thirst.
They were tested in their discipline.
God told Gideon that the men who lapped water by putting their hand to their mouths would be set aside from those men who bowed on their knees and drank. The ones who cupped the waters in their hands and drank were men who kept their eyes and focus on the surroundings. These men were vigilant about the presence of the enemy. These men were thirsty, but they did not let their thirst control their thoughts. These men proved that they were ready to fight. They were resistant to attack. They were responsible in looking out for the welfare of all the men with them. Discipline is an important criterion for leaders. A leader who is not disciplined in spirit, soul, mind, and body is a leader who leaves himself vulnerable to attack and defeat.
They were tested in their devotion.
The majority of the men bowed down upon their knees to drink water. These men proved that they would not work out as men who could submit to leadership. It is significant that the Lord tells us that they bowed upon their knees to drink. Casual followers bow to their weaknesses. They bow to pride. They bow to criticism. They bow to pressure and conformity. They bow to convenience and luxury. They bow to laziness and slothfulness. Leaders cannot afford to have followers or team members who bow upon their knees to drink the water.
They were trustworthy in their demonstration.
God told Gideon, “By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand.” The 300 demonstrated their faithfulness with pitchers, lamps, and trumpets in their hands. These men had faith, courage, and unity. They gave Gideon no trouble and did as they were told to do. Before you build a team for an endeavor, it is important that you test the candidates at the water.
Have a wise God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Job 14-16