Week of Monday, April 29 – May 5
Don’t Quit – Man as Defender

And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing. - Judges 8:4 ESV

Stories from the Olympics never cease to inspire. Here’s a great one from

Derek Redmond’s running career was frustrated by injury. … By the time of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, he had undergone five operations, including one on his Achilles tendon less than four months before the Games began. … As he settled into the blocks for the start of his semifinal race, Redmond’s thoughts turned to his father, Jim, and the support he had always given Derek. Derek got off to a clean start and was running smoothly when, about 150m into the race, his right hamstring muscle tore and he fell to the ground. When he saw the stretcher-bearers rushing towards him, he knew he had to finish the race. Redmond jumped up and began hobbling forward despite the pain he felt. His father ran out of the stands and joined him on the track. Hand in hand, with Derek sobbing, they continued. Just before the finish, Jim let go of his son and Derek completed the course on his own, as the crowd of 65,000 gave him a standing ovation.

After Gideon and his men won a pivotal battle against the Midianites, who had oppressed and waged war on Israel, they were in hot pursuit of the fleeing enemy. Gideon wanted to finish the job and destroy them completely. Our Scripture passage gives us a snapshot of the dedication and tenacity of these men God had raised up to defend and protect the land. What stands out to me is their persistence despite their exhaustion. They just would not quit.

As men of God, we each fight battles of our own. At stake are our family’s future and the soul of our nation. The territory we traverse is not familiar ground for any of us, yet we move forward by faith and trust in the One who has created and called us to serve Him! We should be like Gideon and his men, who wanted to finish off the enemy and preserve the victory. It is often in the homestretch—with the finish line in view—that our dogged determination and perseverance are needed the most.

When Gideon came to the Jordan, he and the 300 men accompanying him crossed over, some likely wounded, all exhausted, but still in pursuit. Although they were physically stretched to their limit, they were still trusting, still serving, and still running ahead! Our battles, for the most part, are not physical but mental and spiritual. This is why it is so very important that we face and fight the schemes of the enemy who has come to kill, steal, and destroy all that we love and cherish. We must also faithfully pursue the victory God has in store for us as we trust Him! We have a Heavenly Father who will be right by our side all the way to the finish line of life. So don’t quit!

- What are you putting in place in your spiritual life that will enable you to stay strong in your faith as you endure spiritual warfare to the finish line? Do you have a Battle Buddy who has your back in that fight and is with you for the long haul?
- How are you effectively preparing your children and grandchildren to not only face the enemy’s spiritual attacks but also pursue the enemy? Are you teaching them the value of persistence?
- Ask the Lord of Hosts to strengthen your hands to pursue the enemy, reclaim territory, and finish well.