Often life is hard, but God is always good

Posts tagged ‘dream big’

“The Lord is With You, Mighty Warrior” – Calling us out

might warrior bluebird

Photo Credit: Irene Nobrega

“The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.’

 ‘Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, ‘but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.’

The Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’

‘Pardon me, my lord,’ Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family

The Lord answered, ‘I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.’” Judges 6: 12-16

God has put within us gifts and callings that we cannot see ourselves because we are not yet aware of them, or we have discounted them due to failures and negative feedback from others.

We need eyes to see and ears to hear when God shows us a vision of our purpose and speaks to us of our value as He did to Gideon. He called him “mighty warrior” when Gideon was hiding in the winepress doing the best he could to keep food for his family protected from oppressors.

In his mercy, God often gives us other people who “see” us better than we see ourselves.   In The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien weaves this theme into his story when Gandalf draws out the inner gifts and life purpose of Bilbo the Hobbit. All his life. Bilbo has seen himself as a simple hobbit in the Shire, living a safe and complacent life.  All of a sudden, Gandalf shows up and thrusts him into an adventure where Bilbo is needed for skills he didn’t know he possessed.  Throughout the story, Bilbo saves the day.

On the other hand, we are like Gandalf and the angel of the Lord because we possess the discernment to both envision and call out the unique purposes of our friends and loved ones. My cousin, Jennefer did this for me recently when she encouraged me to blog. I had disqualified myself as a writer many years ago, wrongly interpreting the average grades on college creative writing papers to mean I wasn’t a writer.

I pray that God will speak to us, we will hear our calling, and in turn offer to others the inspiration they need.

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Is it Worth the Risk? Part One

“So on the day of battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.

Now a detachment of Philistines had gone out to the pass at Micmash.  One day Jonathan son of Saul said to the young man bearing his armor, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.

On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff;…. Jonathan said to his young armor bearer, “Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”

“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” (I Samuel 13:23-14:7)

“Outgunned” and outmanned, the Israelite army waits for a plan of attack.  Meanwhile, the king’s son, Jonathan, comes up with a daring idea and sneaks off to implement it.  He has a sword and a loyal sidekick.  The two young men scale cliffs, goad the enemy into attacking and kill twenty men.  What results is a rout – the enemy panics and “melts away in all directions” (verse 16).

This amazing story possesses all the elements of a great action movie and has within it all we need to empower us to take risks in our own lives.

What is the risky idea that God has stirred up in your heart?  Often, we clearly see something, but hold back for fear of failure or others’ negative reactions.

We need God’s reassurance that our particular risky idea lines up with God’s heart and purpose.   Todd Beamer asked the 911 responder to recite the Lord’s Prayer with him before he and the other passengers on Flight 93 tried to take back control of the airplane from the terrorists: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

New strength comes from realizing that often God’s design is for us to take the risk with others.  We are not alone because God provides those faithful ones who say like Jonathan’s armor-bearer: “Do all that you have in mind. I am with you heart and soul.”(verse 7)

Photo Credit: linus_art

Photo Credit: linus_art

The most important element in taking any risk is the unshakeable trust that God will act in our behalf.  Jonathan declares this truth before he starts climbing the cliff: “Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.” (verse 6)

It is not all about us – our abilities, our efforts.  The stupid move on the part of the Philistine lookouts to come over to Jonathan, the panic that routed the larger army – all were sent from God who was fighting for Israel.

So what do we have to lose? Let’s go scale some cliffs!

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