Being a loser is typically seen as a negative thing, but maybe it shouldn’t. See, losers can have an advantage over winners. What is that you may ask? Simply nothing to lose. Think about it, losers have already lost. Whether it’s a job, a relationship, a grade, a game… you can’t lose something you’ve already lost. And that gives you power. This week we’re looking at a couple “losers” from the bible and how God used them to change their world.
Gideon a Loser or a Might Warrior?
Gideon had that power. He was a loser. Gideon was the smallest of the weakest tribe of Israel. He lived in the time where the Midianites had invaded Israel like a swarm of locus. They ate the Israelites food, took their stuff, and overran their homes. God allowed the Midianites to oppress his people for seven years to teach them a hard lesson. The Israelites were so scared, they hid in caves.
The angel of the Lord visited Gideon and told him that God had called him to free his people. Needless to say, Gideon didn’t believe him and tried to make excuses. He didn’t have the largest faith… at least not in himself.
God convinces him with a few miracles and a well-placed vision to boost morale. Gideon rallied around 32,000 troops, which sounds like a lot, but the Midianites had around 135,000 (Judges 7:3; 8:10). That means that they were outnumbered by 4-1. Since God loves an underdog, he said, “There are too many men” and 22,000 were sent home. That’s two-thirds gone. Now, they were outnumbered 13-1.
Of course, that was still too many. Seriously? God told Gideon to test the men by leading them to the water for a drink. God instructed Gideon to send anyone home to lapped the water like a dog. But why? How would this show God who to remove? The Baal worshippers sank to their knees and lapped the water. This separated the idolaters from the Israelites and left only 300. If you’re keeping count, that made them outnumbered 450-1.
You would think that would have caused the Israelites to lose without a doubt, but God was with them and they won the battle. That isn’t the most impressive part to me. They actually won with dishes, cookware, and instruments! Don’t believe me? Read the story in Judges chapter 7.
Bartimaeus a Blind Loser or a Bold Believer?
Then there was Bartimaeus, the blind beggar. He was a blind loser or maybe instead, a bold believer… The story is found in Mark 10:46 through 52. Jesus was traveling from Jericho to Jerusalem for the Passover and for his crucifixion.
Bartimaeus (son of a blind man) called out to Jesus. He used his hearing, the thing he had, to reach out to Jesus. Not only that, he “saw” who Jesus truly was, the foretold Messiah when he called out, “Son of David! Have mercy on me!” By calling Jesus “Son of David” he was referencing the prophecies of the Old Testament.
Those following Jesus tried to quiet Bartimaeus, but he didn’t stop. Bartimaeus knew that he had to do something different to change his circumstances. He was desperate to change his circumstances and when you’re desperate, you stop caring what others think and just keep reaching for what or in this case, WHO can change those circumstances.
“Insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting the same result.”
Old Bart’s persistence paid off and he caught Jesus’ attention. But not only did Jesus respond, he used the very people that were trying to quiet Bartimaeus to bring him to be healed!
Bartimaeus teaches us two main lessons from his journey from blind loser to bold believer.
You have to allow the desire, purpose, and gifting within you to be louder than the haters on the outside of you. God will be faithful to finish what he has started. He will work all things….
The only way we grow is by taking chances, moving outside of our boxes in life, getting uncomfortable and sometimes feeling some pain. Think about it this way, a muscle is only grown through being literally pulled apart and growing back together with more tissue. That’s why you feel pain after workouts.
It’s hard to wrap your brain around the fact that God uses the less than to be more than enough, the weak to display his strength, and the broken to complete his work. But that’s how God works. He turns the world’s normal on its head and gives the nameless the name of prince and princess. That is the God we serve.
This Week’s Challenge
For this week’s challenge it’s all about changing things up. It’s time to get outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to move towards what God has placed on your heart. Do you have a heart for helping the outcast, but are worried about what your friends might think? Do you love dance, but not sure if you’ll look silly? Do you want to run a charity race, but you’ll have to miss that party to participate?
Are you ready to get uncomfortable?