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Go With the Strength You Have

Go With the Strength You Have

why2The angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” Gideon replied in doubt and in an accusatory tone with questions:

“But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.” (Judges 6:13)

A few things are wrong with Gideon’s perceptions:

Gideon Forgot About Israel’s Sin

Gideon blamed God for the oppression and failed to recognize Israel’s sin and idolatry. Israel had not turned away from the pagan idols.

God loves His people, even in sin.  He is also a holy judge. Because of His love for the guilty, He is merciful and desires to forgive.  He is just and merciful. He provided an amazing answer to the problem of sin through Jesus’ atoning blood and the work of the Holy Spirit; our lives can be cleansed from sin and be transformed to reflect His love.

Gideon’s people were crying out to the Lord for help (Judges 6:7), but gave no evidence of real repentance. Constant self-examination of sin and its removal, coupled with trusting God grows our relationship with Him.

Gideon Trusted in Formulas Instead of God

Gideon believed in the “Law of Linearity.” If you do A, B will logically follow. If you want to win a battle, have a mighty leader and a bigger and stronger army than the enemy.

Gideon questioned God’s wisdom in choosing him to be the nation’s deliverer. He said, “My clan is the weakest . . . and I am the least.”

God chooses the “weak things of this world” to accomplish great things for His glory (1 Cor. 1:26–29). Gideon wasn’t a man of strong faith or courage. His family worshiped Baal (Jdg. 6:25–32). Yes, the angel said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior“–he was a might warrior with the Lord.

An army of thirty-two thousand men rallied to Gideon’s side, but God reduced the number of men with Gideon to three hundred, lest they should feel that they gained the victory in their own strength. True strength is found by trusting in the Lord.

Do you trust in formulas?

Do you trust in formulas? You might not think you trust in formulas but do these sound familiar?

  1. If you are a submissive wife, your husband will love you.
  2. If you bring your children up in the Lord, your family will be happy.
  3. If you tithe, you’ll be financially secure.
  4. If you plant corn, you will reap corn.

Do the formulas work? If you plant corn, will you grow corn? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe there will be a drought or flood and the crops will fail.

Doing A does not always produce B. Whenever God calls us to a task that we think is beyond us, we must be careful to look to God and not to ourselves. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

We all come to God in need of merciful help and power.  He is waiting for us to stop relying on formulas and run to Him. He has called and commissioned us; all we have to do is obey Him by faith, and He will do the rest.

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Gideon Sought the Blessing Not the Blesser

Gideon was seeking the blessing not the Blesser. He sought the victory of God without the responsibility of the relationship. We think that we can contain God within a box and that we can coerce Him into blessing us.

If someone marries a spouse for money and times are hard, the marriage will fail (seeking the blessings).  If the relationship is based on love and times are hard the love will grow (seeking relationship with the Blesser).

God wants us to seek Him. If we remove sin in order to receive blessings we are placing blessing above the Blesser—which is a form of idolatry!

Go In the Strength

The lessons of Gideon are many and rich.  Judges 6 ends with the story of Gideon testing God two times with the fleece.  In Judges 7 God tests Gideon to see if he will trust Him to go into battle with the Midianites. I hope you have time to read all of Judges 6 & 7.

There is so much imagery intended to remind us of God’s faithfulness in the past and future in Judges 6 and 7: the fleece, the water (dew), tearing down the altars,  a meal, unleavened bread, a rock, a staff, fire, a threshing floor, a wine press,  sacrifices, a dream, and so much more!

It is time for me to teach my children so I’ll close for now. Go in the strength you have ((Judges 6:14)

2-corinthians-12-9

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB)

 

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About Robin Sampson

15 comments

  1. oh my…I got halfway through this post and realized that I need to come back when I have time to really read it.
    Thank you for these words and passing them on to me.
    Lori

    lissilulu’s last blog post..I made it to the finals…

  2. Amen Robin! Thanks for another spot on post. With full credit I have posted this on our local hs group.

    Susan’s last blog post..Diary Day: Tuesday

  3. Oh I do love Gideon. Really, many years ago my hubby’s online BBS Text Adventure Game name was Gideon. See I Really did love Gideon. This line…Gideon was seeking the blessing not the Blesser….I loved. The conviction runs through my veins and if I could I would be down on my knees! ( My goal when I have both of my new knees :0) Thanks My Sister in Messiah.
    Because of Jesus, Bobbie

  4. I had the pleasure of teaching the story of Gideon and his fleece at Vacation Bible School this year. The kids LOVED it, regardless of age. They thought it was so cool that God enabled Gideon to win in battle simply by trusting in God and blowing trumpets!

    Tammy’s last blog post..Pickles and Olives and Broth, Oh My!

  5. D'Anna

    Thank you so much for the Word this morning.
    Once again – the call is to Him – to Him – to Him…
    regardless of the circumstances, outcomes, just to Know Him and Love Him!
    Thank you for always reminding us of Him!

  6. Hi Robyn,
    I found your Fruit of the Spirit Friday meme last week and joined. I left a comment over at the page but wasn’t sure how much activity was going on over there. I wanted to thank you for this meme – it is a wonderful idea & I am enjoying it.

    Blessings,
    Tammy

  7. laureen

    glad i stumbled upon this site – i’m sure it will be very insightful for me thanks laureen 😉 😉

  8. I’ve been convicted this morning of giving in to the temptation to rely on formulas rather than continually seeking God alone as the answer to every question, every problem, every sin, every weakness, every need.

    Even if the formulas seem to come from His word, I am deceiving myself if I rely on “A leads to B” rather than relying on His will alone by moving deeper into His heart through study, prayer, and active trust.

  9. I am so glad you said “no trust in formulas” just as you did. This creates freedom. The formulas hurt ppl and separate them from relationship with God the person. He is not manipulated by us at all! Thanks again.

  10. Doesn’t it all go back to our underlying true motives? I’ll do this so that will happen, instead of simply doing it because we love the Lord! “We have not because we ask not or ask so we can consume it upon our own lusts” so to speak. Aha! Now I can finally stop going around that same stupid ‘mountain’! Obedience out of love can be so foreign to our flesh. There is such freedom in the true kind of love!

  11. Heidi,

    I love this! “Obedience out of love can be so foreign to our flesh. There is such freedom in the true kind of love!” So true.

  12. Marian

    Robin, Your blog is a blessing! I wanted to send you an email, but I couldn’t find it. Please let me know what it is. God bless you.

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