“No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:4 NKJV).
After Gideon’s divine encounter with the Angel of the LORD in Ophrah, he blew the trumpet and sounded an alarm of war to muster up the men of Israel for war against their oppressors, the Midianites.
At the sound of the alarm, thirty-two thousands men of Israel responded and volunteered enthusiastically.
But, God was not pleased with the mixed multitude, so He said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.” (Judg. 7:2 NKJV).
Therefore, Gideon proclaimed in the hearing of the people, saying, “Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.'” And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained.” (Judg. 7:3 NKJV).
Nevertheless, God still insisted that they were too many for His purpose. But all the men were willing, ready, determined and resolute to go to war, so God had to bring them down to the brook or stream of water for a test.
When the ten thousand willing, enthusiastic and resolute volunteers in Gideon’s camp were brought down to the brook for a test, only three hundred men were approved of and endorsed by God.
What was the brook test all about?
The brook test was primarily a test of mindset, focus, priority and attitude!
When the ten thousand soldiers were brought down to the brook or the stream of water, only three hundred men lapped the water with their tongues, the rest of the soldiers got down on their knees to drink.
Then, God said to Gideon, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place.” (Judg. 7:4-7 NKJV).
At the brook, the three hundred soldiers who only lapped or licked up the water were said to have passed God’s test and thus qualified to fight in God’s battle.
However, all the soldiers who got down on their knees to drink from the brook were disqualified from being part of the victorious army of Gideon.
What was the big issue at the brook?
Certainly not about drinking water from the brook, for they were brought down there to drink water. What then could it be?
The big issue was about how they drank from the brook!
God expected them to only lap or lick the water and then march on to the battle. Sadly, many of the soldiers settled down at the brook, laid aside their weapons of war, and got down on their knees to drink from the brook. They allowed the brook to engross them completely, thereby distracting them from their mission.
At first, it appeared that all the ten thousand soldiers who volunteered to go to the battle had completely devoted themselves to the battle, but their attitudes or conduct when brought to the brook clearly revealed that not all of them had their minds entirely and firmly fixed or focused on the battle.
The three hundred soldiers who only lapped the water from the brook were men with undivided focus, attention, passion and love for the things of God.
What does it means to lap?
It simply means to pass the tongue over or to take up with the tongue!
The three hundred men who lapped the water with their tongues were men whose minds were still set, fixed or focused on the battle in spite of the comfort the brook offered them. They were men of a single mind, focus, or vision.
Their minds were set on accomplishing God’s purpose or mission. Though they were brought to the brook – to a place of comfort, pleasure, and abundance – yet their focus was still on fulfilling their mission.
God is raising and calling forth His end-time unique and victorious army for the deliverance of souls, cities and nations from the oppression of the devil, for the expansion of His kingdom on earth in the hearts of men, and for the unprecedented demonstration of the preeminence of Jesus Christ over all things.
In these last days, God is stirring up the hearts of men and instructing them to, “Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain.” Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the LORD is coming, for it is at hand.” (Joel 2:1 NKJV).
As it were in those days when Gideon blew the trumpet, many believers today have volunteered enthusiastically to be part of the unique end-time army of God which will demonstrate or display beyond any shadow of doubt the preeminence of Jesus Christ over all things.
Although there are many believers in the world today, yet not all will be part of God’s end-time victorious army. God is primarily interested in quality, not in a mere quantity!
How would God determine the believers who would be in His indomitable and invincible end-time army?
Just as He determined or selected the three hundred soldiers in Gideon’s victorious army!
God will select His end-time soldiers among the believers based on their mindsets, attitudes, or conduct towards the things of this life.
Any believer who allows his mind to be immersed in or preoccupied with the things of this life cannot be an effective soldier in God’s army.
When a believer becomes entangled, engrossed, or preoccupied with the affairs of this life, he disqualifies himself from God’s army.
Paul warns, “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” (2 Tim. 2:4 NKJV).
Beloved, how are you handling or dealing with the things of this life?
God does not expect you to get down on your knees to worship the things of this life, to pursue, pant after, cling tenaciously or hold fast to, and live for the fleeting things of this life. Neither does God want you to become obsessed, engrossed, or preoccupied with the things of this life.
God has a plan and purpose for your life that transcends this life!
Paul said, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1 Cor. 15:19 KJV).
Friend, as a follower of Jesus, you are in a spiritual warfare to appropriate, demonstrate, and proclaim the victory and preeminence of Jesus Christ over all things.
But, it will take you being single-minded, focusing or fixing your mind entirely, firmly and continuously on the Lord Jesus and the complete victory He has won for you on the cross to fulfil your mandate as a soldier in God’s end-time army.
Therefore, while handling or dealing with the things of this life, don’t be entangled, obsessed, or engrossed by them. God expects you to only “lap water from the brook” just as the three hundred focused soldiers of Gideon did.
Don’t go down on your knees, or lay aside your weapons of warfare, or take off your spiritual armour, or be completely immersed in the things of this life.
The Scripture admonishes you to “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col. 3:2 NKJV).
If you want to fulfil your mandate as a soldier in God’s end-time army, don’t allow your mind to be immersed in or preoccupied with anything of this life that God might have given you or will give you.
1 Corinthians 7:
29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none,
30 those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess,
31 and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away. (NKJV).
This is the mindset of God’s end-time army!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for calling me to be a soldier in Your triumphant end-time army. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me daily to set my mind on things above and not on things on the earth, in Jesus’ name. Amen.