I am studying the story of Gideon on Wednesday nights at a women's study group at my church. Here are some of the amazing truths I've already taken away from this study:
~ I don't need as much as I think I do.
Sometimes we either don't begin or don't complete a task for the Lord because we are so afraid we are not prepared enough or talented enough. Sometimes we feel we don't have enough support or enough resources to even attempt such a task. We can go on and on listing our limitations and, honest to goodness, reasons why the task is way too big. God does not call us to do something we can do easily or even to something difficult, he calls us to the impossible. His promises are within our reach, however we must do our part. Sometimes our part seems strange, however, as we submit to His call, the doors are opened for His miracles to be revealed.
~ Pride can change the ending of a story.
The story of Gideon doesn't end well. Pride caused Gideon and the soldiers to take glory for the victory God had given them. May I always be mindful that it is He who wins the battles for us through the empowerment of life, and the Spirit living within us, guiding and showing us the way to victory. And, may I always give Him his rightful place as the author and finisher of my life and faith.
~ God's mandates are in our own best interests.
Some things God asks us to do or not do are difficult to accept. For example, forgiving those, turning the other cheek, and giving in order to receive. We need to know and believe in the character of God. He is Love. It is His nature to love us and protect us an to build us into an amazing and spotless church. When He asks us to do something, it is for our own growth, betterment and influence.
~ Don't confuse God's provision for His approval.
Sometimes we partially obey His mandates. We do the part that seems right in our own eyes, the difficult part that requires intense sacrifice, sometimes we don't do. And, we think we are still alright with God because He is still providing for us. Yes, God will always stay true to His word to take care of His bride. However, we also need to understand that partially obeying Him is not going to bring about the perfect plan He has ordained for us. Yes, God has an amazing plan, an amazing story already written out for us, but we must do our part respond in complete obedience, in order to see it through.
Prayer: Increase my faith in You. Build my trust and confidence in Your call upon my life. Help me obey even when I don't fully understand or see all the pieces. When I am driven to fear or hesitance, remind me to worship, submit, and follow your lead, for You have already won my battles.