READ: Judges 7-9, Psalm 75, John 7, Galatians 2
Cutting the frontier takes a unique forged faith. Those who camp next to hell still live in the flesh and pursue heaven’s aims from the flawed position of the fallen. They live a life in the flesh of faith (Gal. 2:20).
Frontier faith has these essential components:
Reduction: A few well trained and humble warriors are better than a large, arrogant army (Judges 7:2). God can only (will only) use those that will give Him all the glory. God will occasionally intentionally reduce His forces to guarantee that the victories earned are so improbable as to only be attributed to Him. Gideon’s army was reduced from 32,000 to 300 – less than 1 percent of the original force actually won the victory. This minority used their smallness shrewdly (7:17) by employing strategic thinking. Smallness is no excuse for stupidity.
Fearlessness: We must understand that enemy forces both feed on and are fed by fear. Fear (inside errant ideologies) is what drives them and energizes them. Gideon was allowed to sneak into the Midianite camp in order to hear their fear (Judges 7:10-13). The enemy realized that a rolling barley loaf would “tumble” into town and knock down their tents. We are that barley loaf – clumsily, awkwardly rolling down a hill in all our weakness, and God amazingly using us to defeat His enemies. False ideologies intrinsically know they cannot win. What are we afraid of then? Let’s roll!
Emulation: “Look at me and do likewise; watch…and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do,” Gideon says in Judges 7:17. Frontier faith has to be modeled by leadership. We cannot stand at the back of our armies safely ensconced on our horses keeping our boots clean and our swords sheathed. We have to press to the edge of the enemy camp and say, “Follow me as I follow Christ. Follow me as I follow Paul. Follow me as I follow Lull, Martyn, Carey, Taylor, Elliot, Townsend…do what I do, live and fight in faith on the edge with me.” As Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, said: “It must always be ‘come’, never ‘go’.”
Proclamation: We have to make some frontier noise. The enemy is not intimidated by whispering. It is the shouting, the breaking of pitchers, the blowing of trumpets, the sudden light surprisingly unleashed out of the darkness that surprises and routs the enemy (Judges 7:18-20). We have to open our mouths despite the risks and the superiority of the foe. It is the unexpected bold proclamation that strikes fear into the heart of the enemy.
When we live in the flesh by faith on the frontier, God wins the battle. We then stand “in our place” (7:21), let others join us and give them credit for the expanding victory (8:3), and press the advantage to the fullest, “exhausted but still in pursuit” (v. 4). Then we move on to the next frontier – still limited by our flesh, still empowered by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave His life for us.