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He who thinks he stands should take heed, lest he fall.

This rendition of a King James Version teaching in I Corinthians 10:12 warns us against becoming prideful.

If we think we’re too socially or emotionally or physically strong to be knocked down, then we are ripe for being knocked down.

As long as the Devil has any freedom to act and influence people against us, there will always be somebody stronger or tougher than us and who will be led our way to knock us down.

This is why we need to stand in the strength of our faith, not the strength of our flesh.

Actually, we need to constantly remind ourselves of this need.

Why? Because we so easily are lured into thinking we’re on our feet because nobody can knock us down.


It just hasn’t happened yet.

If we’re not holding onto the Lord, we’re going down when the pushin’ and shovin’ starts.

Even when the pushin’ and shovin’ is emotional or spiritual rather than physical.

Gideon offers a perfect example of this in today’s reading from the One-Year Bible.

In Judges 8:22-27, Gideon makes a terrible mistake just days after the glorious victory over the Midianites where he and 300 Israelites saw the Lord defeat a huge army in their behalf. In the verses preceding the above passage, Gideon and Israelite soldiers had scored additional victories with their swords.

It was a great time of success.

Then Gideon blew it.

He got cocky.

He thought he could change the rules of worship and not face consequences.

He told every victorious, Israelite soldier to donate a bit of gold from the plunder each took from dead Midianite soldiers.

And then he had a worship ephod (breastplate/vest) crafted and placed in a city of his own choosing.

God already had commanded that only Israel’s high priest should wear the official, prayer ephod made during Israel’s time in the wilderness and which was to be used at the tabernacle.

But Gideon, apparently full of himself, thought the rules didn’t apply to him.

Though he had refused to become Israel’s king, he apparently was tempted into setting himself up as a priest, even though he was not of the priestly line of Aaron.

It was a terrible example of presumption and disobedience.

It’s no wonder that Israel’s obedience to God vaporized the instant Gideon died. Terrible things for Gideon’s family and for Israel resulted.

Let’s learn from this sad lesson.

Let’s worship God’s way.

Let’s serve according to how God has gifted us, not according to how we want to be praised publicly.

Let’s follow scripture in its teachings regarding involvement with a church family, rather than freelancing in religion based on what we like.

Think going to church is inconvenient and annoying because you hear teaching there that gigs you? Gideon might have felt the same way and allowed that feeling to keep him away from tabernacle worship.

Look where it got him.

Don’t make the same mistake.

Get plugged in at church in the way that God is calling.

If you don’t, you just might fall for a lie that leads you — and your loved ones — into falling off a spiritual cliff.

As always, I love you

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