The Qualification of a Leader of Overcomers (Zacharias T. Fomum)
Gideon fulfilled seven requirements that are indispensable for anyone whom God will call upon to lead overcomers.
Gideon fulfilled seven requirements that are indispensable for anyone whom God will call upon to lead overcomers. We shall look at these briefly:
A) HE WAS HARDWORKING
The angel’s first contact with Gideon was
“as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press, to hide it from the Midianites” (Judges 6:11).
He was working hard. Spiritual service and spiritual leadership require hard work. No lazy person will be called upon to lead overcomers. If you are lazy, you will be disqualified by the Lord. There are too many in the Body of Christ who are doing nothing for the Lord. They are just there! Some think that they will only work hard when God gives them something special to do. That is folly. For Gideon, the beating out of wheat was a serious job. Lazy students, lazy workers, lazy husbands, lazy wives, lazy children, will never be called by the Lord to something special. If you are lazy and have spiritual office, know for certain that God did not put you there and even though men put you there in ignorance, God will pull you out of it, and it may be soon if you do not do something to remedy the situation at once.
B) HE WAS STRONG
The angel first addressed Gideon in the following terms, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valour” (Judges 6:12). Gideon was a man of strength. First of all, it was physical strength that was derived from hard work. Lazy people become weaker with time. Those who get tired before they have even begun to work will not go far with God. Do you work hard ? Secondly, Gideon had strength that was derived from discipline. He said “No” to excessive sleep, food, talking, and the rest. A person may be able to work hard but if he is indisciplined, he will not go far. Discipline means that clear goals are set and pursued whole-heartedly; the price being paid. Let me say it again that this country will not be won for Christ by men and women who oversleep, overeat, take away useful hours, take work and do not do it because they allow every small thing to sidetrack them. It will not be won by people who do things half-heartedly.
All who will be used by God will select what they are to do and give themselves whole-heartedly to it. It was said of someone that he gave himself to everything he did so completely that anyone might have mistaken even his trivial occupations for his life’s goal for at that moment he gave himself completely to that. A heart which is partly committed to work, sleep, exercise, indiscipline in one way or the other will cost you much physically and materially, but it will certainly cost you everything spiritually.
Gideon was also strong in his resolve. He pursued one constant direction of overcoming the difficulties by the Midianites. No one will ever be called to lead overcomers who could not concentrate on his main purpose. Men of divided energies, who are too nice to say “No”, who accept every job including the ones meant for others, will be disqualified. If you are indisciplined, mend your ways before God disqualifies you.
When the Lord commissioned Gideon, He said to him by the angel,
“Go in this might of yours and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian” (Judges 6:14).
“Go in this might of yours”, was the instruction. What if Gideon had had no might ? Well, he would not have been sent. Another one who had the right qualification would have been sent in his place. God will never appoint people who through continuous laziness and indiscipline have wasted many opportunities to develop physical, moral and spiritual strength.
C) HE WAS HUMBLE
Gideon was hardworking and strong, but he was not presumptuous. He knew his limitations. When given such an enormous task, he did not say, “That is what I have been waiting for. Why have you been so slow in seeing the fact that I qualify for such an office?” Such people do not deserve any spiritual office. People who are anxious to command must never be put to command. Gideon outlined his smallness for the task. He said,
“My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (Judges 6:15).
He had no confidence in himself nor in his people. In the world, people will say, “I may be stupid but my uncle is this and that.” Before God and in His service, all that matters is not human connections but spiritual life. Gideon was humble and so God chose him. Hudson Taylor, the founder and director of China Inland Mission once said, “God chose me because I was weak enough.” But remember, he was weak but very hardworking. He was weak but not lazy. God will use “weak” hardworking, disciplined people but lazy and indisciplined people are useless to Him.
D) GIDEON HAD FAITH
It is freak to be humble, but faithlessness is another thing entirely. It is a refusal to believe God. Gideon was told by the Lord, “I will be with you, and you shall smite the Midianites as one man” (Judges 6:16). God promised Gideon that He would be with him. He also guaranteed his victory over the enemy. That was all that was needed.
Today, God wants persons who will recognize their inadequacies but who will believe God for great things. Such men will look away from themselves and look up to the Lord. They will seize the promise of God, believe every word of it and go out in full assurance to accomplish all that the Lord has promised. Leaders of overcomers must not only believe that God is able, but that He will do what He has promised.
False humility that magnifies the power and ability of God will always destroy. Are you one of those who always doubt? You have no constant position. Today you believe God, tomorrow you are jumping at something else. This is really terrible. It is deep sin. God cannot give such a man a great thing to do for Him; for he will abandon it mid-way for another sudden idea that has entered his head which he shamelessly spiritualizes as “God has said to me.”
Let me insist that no one can go far without faith. No one can please God without faith. No one can serve God without faith. Faithless people see the mountains and the difficulties and then doubt the original call and invent another one. God is not pleased with them. Men of faith do not jump from one thing to the other. They are fixed in their purpose. They will press on and on until victory is accomplished. They will not accept any secondary offers.
God is looking for leaders of overcomers. They will be men and women of faith. They will believe God and move out in faith to accomplish the impossible for God. Will God find such people ? Will He find leaders to lead His overcomers ? Are you a possible choice?