There is no greater feeling than being on the mountain top. Life is good when you have just come through a dark and difficult valley, full of challenges and hardships, and now you are on the other side. You almost want to shout, “I made it!” It can become so tempting to prop your feet up and finally take it easy at this moment. A word of caution must be given though; there is great danger in this point of success and happiness.
It has been my experience that some of the biggest failures come at prosperous times, not down times. For some reason, our human nature understands dependence in our times of needs, but forgets all about it in our times of abundance. When things are hard, we beg God to stay close. When things are easy, many could care less if God is near or not.
There is indeed great danger in ease, comfort, success, and accomplishments. At these moments, we become susceptible to pride and self-sufficiency.
The end of Gideon’s life really is tragic, because it could have been so great. Gideon started at the bottom, and God used him in an amazing way. Even after the victory against Midian, Gideon seems to have a right attitude of humility as he refuses being king. Unfortunately, his character deficiencies arise to the surface. When dependence on God was no longer needed in a real and present way, he quit seeking after God.
Gideon built a golden monument. Whether he intended it to become an idol or not, eventually it did. He took several wives, and had tons of kids. Gideon’s legacy became a golden statue, and kids that would all be dead soon. His children would be slaughtered in a power grab by Abimelech, and Israel went right back to Baal upon his death. On the mountain top, Gideon failed to see the potential danger.
Like riding a bicycle, it is easy to coast while going downhill, but becomes difficult when the incline starts. If we take it easy when the going it easy, we will find extra hard work when the uphill starts. Instead we should gain momentum during the good times to push through the bad even easier.
If you are in a period of comfort, rest, and ease right now, don’t take it easy. There could be a hill just off in the future, and you need this time to be prepared for it. The old saying goes, “idle minds are the devil’s playground”. Stay busy in the work of the Lord, pray, study, read the Word, fast, and be all in with the Lord. Express dependence on the Lord today whether it is a trial free time or laden with difficulties. You need Him in the valley and the mountaintop.
There is danger in success, be aware and don’t allow ease to lull you into a sense of false security. Trust God, not your circumstances.
Daily Scripture Reading
Judges 8 - 9
“And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side:”