Numbers mean nothing when the heart is not willing. What pride could we have with huge number of people when the majority of them are not willing to do the job? What greatness could we have with a huge crowd of believers if there is just a handful who are willing to serve? What use is an army of thousands when their heart cower in fear? I would rather serve and work with a willing few than be in the company of an unwilling crowd.
In any task, work becomes easier and faster when more heads and more hands are involved. But, it becomes easier, faster, more meaningful, and more collaborative when every one works with willingness. The ones who are unwilling to do the task or unwilling to be involved could be forced to do the job because of responsibility and expectation. But, how aweful the working environment becomes when these kind of people persist to work even when their heart is not in the task. They often have something to complain about. They often find reasons to make excuses. Altercations could arise. Dissension can surface.
In our spiritual walk, a willing heart to obey God is important too. It does not matter much how many church services we have attended or how many books in the Bible we have read. It matters most that our heart has the willingness to obey God. The perfect example of a willing heart to obey and serve is Jesus Christ. He willingly gave up His life for man’s sin in obedience to the Father. God, the Father, with a willing heart gave up His one and only Son because of His great love for us (John 3:16).
“Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father.”– John 10:17-18 (WEB)
God can use the willing few. This is greatly demonstrated through Gideon and his 300 men. How did God choose the 300 men with Gideon to fight for Israel against the Midianites?
The answers are in Judges 7.
- God chose the courageous and willing men (Judges 7:3). God instructed Gideon to command those who were “fearful and trembling” to return and depart. Then, only 10, 000 men remained with Gideon while the 22,000 men returned.
- God chose the prepared and watchful (Judges 7:4-8). Still God thought that 10,000 men were too many for battle. God wanted to make sure that Israel will not take the credit to themselves for winning but that they will know it is the LORD who fought for them and it is He who gave them victory. So, God instructed Gideon again to bring the 10, 000 men to the water and all those who drank water by lapping through their hand were separated from the men who bowed down on their knees to drink water. 300 men lapped water with their hands, and these were the chosen army of Gideon.
God’s will for choosing a few men for Gideon’s army was ultimately because He wanted Israel to realize that their deliverance was dependent on His might and not on their own strength or might. But, God did not just choose any few. God picked the “chosen few”. They were the men who were willing, courageous, and prepared to fight.
Never underestimate the few who are willing to serve God and who are courageous, prepared, and watchful in their obedience to God. They are the ones that God uses mightily to bring His will to completion.
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation. Uphold me with a willing spirit.”– Psalms 51:12 (WEB)