The journey with our God is an interesting one.
We quickly learn that God’s timing is not our timing, and that God’s ways are not our ways.
In fact, there are many times when God simply says ‘No’ or ‘Not this way’.
It is at times like this that our motives and heart are tested and tried.
We tend to make Plan A with God. We come up with our best scenario, and then we invite God into it.
But Plan A is usually not the best plan. For the first plan we think of is usually the easiest, and with the least amount of risk.
Much like Gideon in the Old Testament, we want surety and guaranteed success.
“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” Judges 6:15
But much like the story of Gideon, God comes along and says, “No you can do with less. For I will be with you.”
The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.” Judges 6:16
And in the process God tests our resolve and our faith.
Do we really believe in him? Do we really trust him? Are we able to walk his way?
Do we really get it that ‘God With Us’ is all that is needed?
The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength. Therefore, tell the people, ‘Whoever is timid or afraid may leave this mountain and go home.’” So 22,000 of them went home, leaving only 10,000 who were willing to fight.” Judges 7:2-3
Or do we insist on our own way, demanding from God our plan and our way?
Fact is, God’s ways are better than our ways. And Plan B is always a better plan. For Plan B comes with much risk, and demands more from us internally.
“But the Lord told Gideon, “There are still too many! Bring them down to the spring, and I will test them to determine who will go with you and who will not.” When Gideon took his warriors down to the water, the Lord told him, “Divide the men into two groups. In one group put all those who cup water in their hands and lap it up with their tongues like dogs. In the other group put all those who kneel down and drink with their mouths in the stream.” Only 300 of the men drank from their hands. All the others got down on their knees and drank with their mouths in the stream.” Judges 7:4-6
Our hearts must engage in greater measure with the real plans of God.
Our faith is exercises beyond the normal and beyond what our minds can comprehend, and what makes sense to us.
“The Lord told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.” So Gideon collected the provisions and rams’ horns of the other warriors and sent them home. But he kept the 300 men with him.” Judges 7:7
God will always decrease our provision until we get it that with him we have everything. That with him we have all we need. And that with him all things are possible.
It is a tricky balance to be sure. Too easily we begin to trust in the ‘greatness’ of numbers or of those around us, when really, all we are to get is the ability to really trust God himself, and no other.
God will come through for us, but not how we are expecting, and usually not how we would like. But like Gideon we can make a shift in our being, and allow the living God to show up on His terms and in his way.
Then, and only then, will we experience and witness the glory of God.
“That is the story of how the people of Israel defeated Midian, which never recovered. Throughout the rest of Gideon’s lifetime—about forty years—there was peace in the land.” Judges 8:28
What are you wrestling through today? Where are you needing a miracle of the Lord?
Perhaps while you are thinking, “We need more.” He is saying, “No, you actually need less.”
And like the Lord told Gideon right at the beginning, “Go with the strength you have.”
“Then the Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!’” Judges 6:14
God shows up through our present circumstances and strength.
Our strengths and circumstances are sufficient for the task, because of who God is, not because of who we are.
Will you trust him?