Monday, May 23, 2005

Go in the Strength You Have

Last week was pretty foggy. I started a few posts that I hope to finish up. Here's the first, which I started on Thursday...

Wow...Today was a quiet day at work. There are a couple of conferences going on so many of my co-workers were away. I took advantage of the opportunity to get caught up on email.

I love working at a Christian company because God is often able to get my attention simply as I do my work. In my inbox was a devotional from the Proverbs 31 ministry. The key verse got my attention: Judges 6:14, "Go in the strength you have…Am I not sending you?" (NLT)

I had an email from a friend this morning questioning whether or not we should go ahead with the plans we made this weekend. I was telling God that I was beginning to doubt that there would be a time again when I could live my life without worrying about my health, or could at least assume that my body could keep up with whatever I wanted to do. The temptation is do give up on really living life until I'm fully recovered, but that doesn't seem to be the right answer either.

How cool that God answered my question just a few minutes later with this devotional! Just when I think that God can't use me when I'm less than 100%, I sense this Scripture reminding me that He can. In the face of my obvious physical weakness, His strength is much more evident. There's no question that anything I accomplish is because of His strength, not mine.

More from the devotion:

Gideon's family was going through a very difficult time. Their enemies, the Midianites, were stealing crops and destroying their land. Gideon had become fearful. His heart was overwhelmed by what seemed to be an impossible situation. As he focused on the strengths of the Midianites, his own weaknesses were magnified, leaving him with a sense of inadequacy. One day Gideon decided to take his sheaves of wheat into a winepress for threshing so no one could find him. While Gideon was there, an angel of God came to him and said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." Was Gideon acting like a mighty warrior? No. He was acting more like a mighty wimp! Yet God saw beyond who Gideon was that day and gave Him the name of who he could become, a mighty warrior."But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?" 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?" "But Lord," Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My family is the weakest and I am the smallest in my family." The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all your enemies together."

Gideon was filled with uncertainty, fear and unbelief. He questioned the promise of God's presence. He doubted the strength of his personal abilities. And he denied the possibility of victory over his enemies....Fear of not being able to do it all leads me to doubt. Did I hear God wrong when I made these commitments? ...If He is with me, why has God allowed my circumstances to be so difficult?...I may not be able to do all that I want to do, when I want to do it, but I can do all that God is "sending me" to do today. I can choose to focus on the strength that I have - His strength. I can face my day with confident trust, because He promises to be with me. And with Him by my side, I can strike down the enemies of doubt and fear as I face obstacles and overcome challenges that are part of God's plan for me today.

My prayer for today:Lord, help me see myself and my life through your eyes. I often focus on my circumstances instead of focusing on You. When I look at what I can't do and what I don't have, I get discouraged and overwhelmed. I want to run and hide. Please come to me like you came to Gideon, and set my eyes on Your plan and your provision for today. You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever!

To read the whole devotion, click here

Power Verses:

Psalm 73:26, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (NIV)

Matthew 28:20b, "I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age." (The Message)

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, "May our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father, who loved us and in his special favor gave us everlasting comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and give you strength in every good thing you do and say." (NLT)

And just in case He didn't get my attention, I received 2 emails from readers about my book. I am humbled and amazed that God allowed me to finish that work before the injury so that even in my recovery, when I feel most useless, I can see the harvest of what I have sown.

No comments: