Gideon is so much like us. You can almost guess what’s coming next without even reading the story. God has called Gideon a mighty hero — one He is calling to rescue His people from their dreaded enemy, the Midianites — and He has promised to be with him so he does not have to do this alone. So what does Gideon offer then?
“But Lord…” (We’ve heard this before. Heck, we’ve said this before.) “But Lord… 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!”
Little does Gideon know that the things he is offering as excuses are the very reasons why he was chosen! He is offering his weakness as an excuse, when God chose him for his weaknesses. God looked down from heaven, saw Gideon, and said: That’s my man. He’s the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and the least in his entire family. Perfect! So you can see how much good Gideon’s excuses are going to do him!
God does not like His strength confused with ours. He is always letting us be reduced in some way so that His intervention in our lives is the only possible explanation for what just happened. God usually doesn’t work along with our strengths, He uses us in and through our weaknesses, so that He receives the praise, and we don’t mess it up.
“But Lord…” we still say, even after God has sent us and said He would be with us, because we are looking to ourselves for what we need to do the job.
“But Lord…” and I’ve got a lot of things to put there. For me, it’s the tape that’s always running in my head. It’s a constant loop. It plays through everything and then loops back to the beginning and starts over again: I can’t do it; it’s overwhelming; I’m not good at that; no one taught me how to do this; it’s not in my genes; I’m too old; I can’t remember things well… (Do I need to keep going? I think you get the gist.)
Now here’s the deal: It’s the same as with Gideon. My excuses are the reason I’ve been picked for the job. God wants to show Himself capable through my incapableness.
So I go, “But Lord…I can’t do this, I can’t do that…” and God says, Good. Now that we agree on that, let’s get going! Stop the tape, we have a battle to fight!
Or, in the words of God to Gideon: “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man” (Judges 6:16).
So drop all those “But Lord…”s you’re carrying around, and let’s count on the power of God and go find some Midianites!
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