“Get ready, get set, go.” It had been a long time since I had used that message with anyone until our great-granddaughter, Zola was at our house and wanted to show how she could run really fast. So she wanted me to use the ready, set, go message for her to take off running through the house and back to where I was. In I Peter 1:13 we are challenged to “Prepare your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” It is always possible to be prepared physically for action but still not be ready in our minds.
Remember the story of Gideon back in Judges 6-8. The Midianites were in control of Isreal and were tormenting them in every way they could. When we first are introduced to Gideon, he is thrashing out the grain from their harvest but is doing so inside the winepress so they won’t see him and steal the grain. It was then that God called him to lead the people of Israel to stand against the Midianites and take control of their land back. God called Gideon a “Mighty man of valor,” and Gideon’s response was “Who me?” He was from the smallest tribe, and his family wasn’t a well-known family. But God called him to be their judge and leader. Gideon put the Lord to the test with having a wet fleece one night while the dirt around it was dry and another night with the fleece dry and the ground wet. Then God called him to show his faith by tearing down the altar to Baal. The Midianites and Amalekites came together and crossed the Jordan to camp in the Valley of Jezreel. “But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called to follow him. He sent messengers throughout all Manasseh and urged the men to come for battle. He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali and the people went to meet him.
When all the men arrived, there were 32,000 men. God told Gideon there were too many of his men. If they went out to battle with that many men, they would think it was by their own power that they had defeated the enemy. He told Gideon to send away all who were afraid. 22,000 men went home that day. They didn’t have their minds prepared for action. They were there physically, but their heart was not in the mission. Now Gideon has 10,000 men to go out to battle. The ratio at this time would have been one Israelite soldier for fifteen of the Midianite soldiers. But God told Gideon that he still had too many men. He was to take them down to the water and watch them drink. The one who laps the water with his tongues like a dog, set by himself and the ones who kneels down to drink set aside. 300 men lapped the water with their tongue. He told Gideon to send the others home, and they would fight the battle with the 300 men.
Gideon divided the 300 into groups of 100 men and gave each man a torch and a trumpet. He told them when he gave the signal of breaking the torch open they were to sound their trumpet and hold up the torch shouting “The Sword of the Lord and Gideon be upon you.” Every man stood in his place and did exactly what God told them to do. The Midianites were so frightened that they were killing each other. 120,000 men of their army were killed. The kings ran away with 15,000 men, but Gideon and the army chased them and ultimately destroyed the whole army with the kings.
Was it the mighty power of the army of 300 that led to the battle being won? Was it because they were better-trained soldiers with better equipment to do battle? Was it the fact the Israelites had some elite soldiers that were able to infiltrate the Midianite army to help destroy them? No, it wasn’t any of those things. It was that they were obeying God and God was fighting on their side, and it was that they had prepared their minds to do exactly what God told them to do. With the 300 men, each obedient, each standing firm where Gideon told them to stand God brought victory. Don’t you wonder a little at least, what would have happened if some had walked around and stood where they thought was best instead of holding in their place what would have happened? God saves! He leads us to victory! But our situation is always to prepare our minds for action by being what He calls us to be and do and then taking our stand precisely as He leads.
Prepared minds, lead to clear thoughts and forceful action. But how do we get our minds ready for work for God? First, by being sober-minded or thinking clearly. When we become so emotionally invested in something that our minds aren’t thinking clearly we are likely to make wrong decisions and unravel the very things we were planning to accomplish. Second, he said we must set our hope entirely on the grace to be brought to you by the revelation of Jesus Christ. We don’t have our minds prepared for action if we think that we can someone earn our way to God’s blessings. Our hope must not be in ourselves or our works but in the amazing grace of God. That grace will be fully demonstrated when Jesus is revealed from heaven at the second coming. When we get our minds ready for action, it will lead to our whole selves being prepared.