Do It Alone

Judges 1:3
“And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him.”

Joshua was dead, the children of Israel had conquered enough cities for them to have their own land, but much land still needed to be conquered. When God told Judah to go up against the Canaanites, Judah didn’t want to go alone, so they asked Simeon to go with them. This became the pattern for many years, but it also was the beginning of their backsliding ways.

What is interesting about this story is that Judah didn’t have enough faith in God’s power to do it alone. The only way Judah felt comfortable going up against the Canaanites was if they had someone else to go with them. This lack of faith is what led to their idolatrous ways because their faith was not in God, but their faith was in the power of a crowd.

I see this same mentality affecting our churches and younger generation today. When I was a boy, missionaries didn’t have teams they would travel with to go to the mission field, but all they had was God, and that was good enough for God to build great works overseas. Likewise, instead of a man going alone to pastor a church, today teams are going to start churches because the man doesn’t have enough faith in God to do it alone. Is there anything wrong with a team going to do the LORD’s work? In and of itself, no; however, when God tells an individual to do something, that individual needs to have enough faith in God to do the work He has called them to do.

The fallacy of this mentality is that we are creating an idolatrous mindset. The Book of Judges is filled with stories of Israel serving other gods. Where did this start? It started when they asked other tribes to go with them to battle instead of obeying God to do it alone. Though the influence of a team sounds powerful, where is the faith? If you are depending on the size of a team to help you build a work, you are placing your eyes on man and not God. Anything that lessens your faith or causes you to take your eyes just a bit away from God is wrong. God expects and blesses total faith in Him.

My question is, where is the pioneering spirit of Christians who believe that they and God together make a majority? When I stepped out in evangelism, I didn’t have a team to go with me to make my ministry more powerful. All I had was a faith that God had called me, and God and I have been at this for nearly three decades. I don’t believe God would have blessed my ministry this much if I had to trust in a team to make my ministry successful.

I think of my father-in-law, Missionary Steve Heidenreich, who went to the Philippines alone to start the work God called him to do. When others told him not to go because of the unrest in the country, he felt that God and he alone could do it. It was that faith that God used to build a thriving work through him in the Philippines.

My friend, don’t fall into the trap of needing a team to do God’s work. If God calls you to do something, you need to have the faith that He is all you need to be successful. It is when you step out alone on what God commands you to do that brings Him glory. Be careful that you don’t let the size of a crowd replace your faith in God.