An Army Like Gideon's
The Lord is testing his church. This testing is like the story of Gideon. Here's this great leader of the army of Israel, with an army of thirty thousand soldiers to do battle with an army of fifty thousand. What does God say to him? He said, 'Your army's too great. Tell the cowards to leave.' How many cowards were there? Twenty thousand: two out of three. God thins his ranks. Then he said to Gideon: 'Your army is still too great, for if you win it would seem it was through your own power. Send them to the river and watch them drink.' Some of them threw themselves prone on their stomachs and drank leisurely, comfortably, and to the full. Others ran along the bank, lapping up the water with their hands, and drinking in the fashion of dogs. And God said, 'That's your army, three hundred, and I'll be with you.' So God is thinning our ranks now as then, because we are preparing for a stronger and more holy church.