I Can’t

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan  is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”  The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” [Judges 6:15-16 NIV]

Photo by Adem Kader

Photo by Adem Kader

The story of Gideon is such an inspirational one. Here is a man who is hiding away to do his work, but God chooses him to lead the Israelite army to a great victory. Straight away we see the message that God can and will use anyone, as long as we are willing. And Gideon is willing — after asking for and receiving confirmation several times. But that doesn’t mean God made it easy for him.

The Midianites joined forces with a number of other eastern armies and so a vast enemy came against Israel. Gideon called all the Israelites together to march against the Midianites and thirty-two thousand (32,000) men joined him. Gideon might have thought, ‘with this size of an army, maybe we stand a chance.’

But then God said, ‘you have too many men to go up against the Midianites.’ As if Gideon wasn’t already petrified enough and feeling as though he wasn’t good enough to do the job. Now God wanted to make it even harder?

In obedience however, Gideon offered the men a chance to go home. ‘If you’re too scared, you may go.’ I reckon Gideon himself would have liked to take up that offer, but he didn’t. Twenty-two thousand did though (that’s a lot of scared men!), leaving 10,000 to stay and fight.

But even that was too many for God. He wanted the miracle to be obvious. I wonder if Gideon thought God might be crazy, but again he obeyed. After another whittling down, there were only three hundred (300) men left. The perfect number to defeat a gigantic, terrifying enemy according to God. And defeat them they did.

Do you ever feel like God is stretching you too far? Asking too much of the little you have? Well, be encouraged. With God on your side, you can accomplish anything He asks of you. Just trust Him and obey.

Published in: on 1st April, 2013 at 9:43 am  Comments (2)  
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It’s Complicated … or is it?

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” [1 Corinthians 1:25 NIV]

Photo by Kent Murray

We humans, as small and finite as we are, like to complicate things. We seem to have a tendency to make things harder or bigger than they really are. It is not a new problem. When Paul was dealing with the Corinthian church, he came across it. The Greeks wanted salvation to be a little bit more complicated than it was. But, salvation was given as a gift of grace – just believe and receive. To them this was foolishness.

Are we not the same. Something so profound, so simple, as salvation by grace cannot be reconciled in our ever-reasoning heads. We think there must be a hitch, it sounds too good to be true. We want to tangle ourselves up with rules and requirements and conditions, just like the Jews did before Christ came. But it is what it is. Believe. Receive. Saved.

So it is with other aspects of our faith. Healing, deliverance, provision. It is all just as simple as a promise from God. Yet, we try to work so hard to deserve it all. We struggle to earn favour.

But Jesus said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (see Matt 18:3) What are children like? They believe everything you tell them. They trust. They don’t reason and rationalise. They are innocent and simple in their faith. That is how we need to be. Foolishly wise, or wisely foolish. Simple and unconditional – believe.

Published in: on 20th March, 2012 at 3:46 pm  Comments (2)  
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