As Purposed worKING crosses the 100 day mark, I am reminded of the story of Gideon and how I heard it referred to the other day in a meeting, as “Gideon’s numbers problem”. In business it is all about the numbers. We are working to grow revenue, expand margins, increase profits, decrease costs, even counting people as “headcount”. Supposedly the numbers never lie (don’t we wish) and all day long we stare at numbers and try to figure out how to make them better. In some instances the numbers just won’t get better and we find ourselves stabbing into the dark to try another approach, a different solution, anything we can come up with to try and rectify the problem. It’s hard and it gets harder and harder as the numbers get worse. The great story of Gideon in the book of Judges is the same story. Gideon had the numbers stacked against him as God told him to go to battle. He kept looking at his headcount of soldiers vs. the numbers of Midianites and he told God that he was outnumbered and that he couldn’t go into battle with so few less warriors than the opposition. God agreed that something was wrong with the numbers and he took care of the problem, but not the way Gideon imagined. God kept narrowing down the number of men that Gideon had until he was well beyond deficient staffing. From the outside looking in, it looked like he was going to fight with overwhelming odds against him and was going to battle with little more than a skeleton crew. But what happens? God delivers a victory with far fewer resources than anyone would have ever humanly planned. And, from the story we learn another valuable lesson about numbers problems. When it looks like the numbers are stacked against us and there doesn’t seem any way to win, what God is calling on us to do is to listen to Him and what he said to Gideon in Judges 6:14: “The the Lord turned to to him and said, ‘Go with with the strength you have…I am sending you”. God wants us, when the odds are against us, and the numbers look worse than bleak, to remember that He is there and through our faith He will provide strength and like He did in the case of Gideon make strength in the numbers. Today may be another day when you are seeing nothing but red numbers all around you and you don’t have the answer or solution that others are expecting from you. This is the time to turn over the numbers to God and let him give you strength you need to make the numbers work.
Reference: Judges 6-7, 6:14 (New Living Testament)