Thursday, January 7, 2010

What I’m reading lately

In Judges 6, the account of Gideon’s encounter with God struck me with three differences between God and human beings, including believers.

#1 God knows us
God knows us personally as individuals, created us to be in a personal relationship with Him and works to lead us into such a relationship. He recognizes our voice when we call on him.

We, on the other hand, don’t always seek to know God. As a result, like Gideon in verse 22, we don’t always recognize his voice immediately; or, as in verse 36-40, we aren’t familiar with his character and question his promises.

#2 God provides signposts
God lays out the path to a life of peace with Him. Like Gideon, we often ignore the spiritual signposts God has provided. When Israel cried to God about the oppression of hostile forces, he sent a prophet to remind them of what he had done for them and that they were experiencing the consequences of taking themselves out from under his care.

Gideon completely ignored that message, failed to see the big picture and questioned God, even though God was there to start the process for saving Israel. In verse 13 Gideon sounded a lot like we do today: Why are you letting all this rotten stuff happen to us?

#3 God sees what is really real
God sees us in the fullness of what he created us to be. In Judges 6:12 and 14 God greeted Gideon as a “mighty man of valour” and told him to “Go in this thy might.” God had already established all the external and internal resources Gideon needed for success in his God-given mission.

We humans perceive only what our physical senses and our emotions tell us. Gideon, like many of us, focused on what he could see: his limitations, not his possibilities. He asserted he was not up to the task because his clan was the weakest of the Manasseh tribe and he was the least in his family.

In trying circumstances, I have a tendency to forget to act on a truth I believe: that God has already established his highest and best good for me. I cannot see it. It doesn’t even seem logical or possible. But I can choose to accept that God has established it. It is hard for me sometimes to make that choice--to talk, walk and work with confidence that his highest and best good will eventually become apparent. But when I do, he is faithful to affirm that the choice was the right one.

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