The Lord spoke to Gideon again, “There are still too many men. Bring them down to the water and I will thin the ranks some more. When I say, ‘This one should go with you,’ pick him to go; when I say, ‘This one should not go with you,’ do not take him.”
[Judg 7:4 NET]
The way the men drank water from the brook, was the test of their fitness for the work of conquering the Midianites. It seemed to make the smallest difference in the world whether a soldier drank by bowing down with his face in the water, or by lapping up the water with his hand as he knelt; yet it was a difference that settled the question of fitness or unfitness for the great work before the army.
It is in just such little ways, and in such matters of everyday and commonplace action, conduct, and manner–that God is always testing us and deciding whether we are fit or unfit for the greater work for which he is seeking men. By the way a boy lives at home, by the way he treats his parents, by the way he performs his duties at school, by the spirit he shows on the play-ground, by the diligence which he displays in the store or office in which he is first employed–by the way he acts in all these relations and duties, the question is being settled to what greater responsibilities the Lord will call him in after-days. Every young girl, by the way she deports herself in her girlhood, at home, at school, at play, and in all the days of youth–is settling the place in life she shall fill in full womanhood and strength. We cannot know what future honor, may depend on the way we do the simplest, most commonplace thing today.