Have you ever had a habit that you just couldn’t seem to quit? You would vow once more to never do “that” again. For a few days, maybe weeks, or even a month or more, you do fine. You think, “I’ve got this! This is never going to trip me up again.” Then, who knows why, Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired (HALT) – you give in – again! Well, you have lots of company. In fact, the Bible gives us many stories that chronicle the same sad history of God’s chosen people.
Starting with the prophet Moses – who led the Jews out of Egypt to the Promised Land with so many miracles of God’s provision and mercy, through all the other prophets of the Old Testament – God’s people have been quick to turn their backs on God. Why? We read these Old Testament stories and wonder how these people could continuously forget about God. We would never do that, well, right up until the time when God asks us to trust him with… whatever!
Can you trust God with your problem? “Sure!” is the quick answer; but do we really believe this? Even though you have trusted Jesus with your eternity, are you really sure he cares about your ‘today’? As you pray, or even think to ask, for the things that concern you today, are you confident that God hears and is ready to answer your prayers? What if an angel showed up and sat under your oak tree while you were hiding from the thing you feared would take away your livelihood? What would you say then?
Take a minute and put yourself in Gideon’s place. The Midianites have been stealing everything the Israelites have produced for the past seven years. Why? Because God’s people did not trust in his provision. They worshiped other gods. Over and over in the book of Judges, the sentence is given: The people of Israel went back to doing what was evil in God’s sight.
Judges 2:18-19 (MSG) reads,
When God was setting up judges for them, he would be right there with the judge: He would save them from their enemies’ oppression as long as the judge was alive, for God was moved to compassion when he heard their groaning because of those who afflicted and beat them. But when the judge died, the people went right back to their old ways—but even worse than their parents!—running after other gods, serving and worshiping them. Stubborn as mules, they didn’t drop a single evil practice.
So, we find Gideon threshing his grain in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. When God’s messenger comes to him, does he believe that God cares about him and his people? Well, not really! Look at what has happened in the past seven years! Nothing good, that’s for sure! Not what you’d expect from the God Who Provides. Well, truth be told, the Israelites haven’t exactly held up their end of the bargain. But come on! They are the chosen people! Shouldn’t that be enough? Yet God still calls Gideon, as he calls us. He says, “Go in the strength you have.” “Wait, Lord…” (you say with Gideon…) “do you really know me? I cannot be trusted to tend to my own business, let alone yours!”
Have you ever asked the question, “God, how can I trust that you are who you say you are? I know you say you are good, but right now I see no evidence of that in my life.” Certainly, there are circumstances that are hard, not what you expected, not what you ever would have wanted: broken relationships, hard diagnoses, loss of loved ones, job struggles, financial difficulties, and the list goes on. How does God answer? He calls us to action.
In his song, “Do Something,” Matthew West says that God created us to do what we can do:
Woke up this morning, saw a world full of trouble now, thought,
How’d we ever get so far down, and how’s it ever gonna turn around?
So I turned my eyes to Heaven.
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of people living in poverty, children sold into slavery.
The thought disgusted me.
So, I shook my fist at Heaven, said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”
If not us, then who? If not me and you?
Right now, it’s time for us to do something.
If not now, then when, will we see an end to all this pain?
Oh, it’s not enough to do nothing, it’s time for us to do something.
What has God asked you to do? Sometimes I think we get lost in the immensity of the problem. Who has the resources to meet the needs of the millions who are starving in East Africa? How can we possibly provide clean water to all of those who don’t have it? As individuals, none of us possess those resources. But God doesn’t ask us to do those things on our own. He gives us each other, and more than that, he gives us himself. He promises to meet our needs, and not just ours, but the needs of those whom we care about. He gives us the desire and the heart to meet the needs of others, and in that, he provides assets, connections, resources, concepts, ideas, material, personnel, etc. to get the job done. Just as he did for Gideon, meeting not just his needs, but providing assurances, guarantees as it were, of his faithfulness, he promises us of his provision when we step out in faith.
So, what do you need to trust him with today? How can you trust him to be who he says he is? As Andy Stanley says, “You are God’s plan A. There is no plan B.” It’s a challenge, to be sure. But what is life without challenge, without the opportunity to be ‘all that you can be’? It takes courage, relying on God’s strength when yours is not enough. But he has promised never to leave us or forsake us! We can be confident in his unfailing love and power!
12The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”
13“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”
14Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
Where is God asking you to trust him today? Will you?
Is there something in your life that you need to repent of and ask God to remove in order for him to work in that place?
Father, I choose to trust you today. I know you desire the best for me, that your plans are good, to give me a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Help me to lean into that truth today. You are my life, my hope, my love. Let me be your hands and feet! Let me be your love. Amen.
This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people who God used to start CedarCreek 21 years ago, and was on staff until 2013. She and her husband Mike love to travel the country in their motor home with their kitties Jane & Mary. Lauri is passionate about prayer, and about helping women discover who they are in Christ. She doesn’t tweet but you can follow her and Mike’s adventures on Facebook here.
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