You Aren’t Big Enough or Strong Enough. That’s OK With God

Sometimes we feel that we aren’t strong enough to handle what life has thrown at us. You’ve been there: confronted with a job too big to do, or a failure too big to overcome. Well, God has an answer for all of us weaklings… Read this exchange between the Lord and Gideon.

“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 6:14-16, NIV)

enough

The Weakest and the Least

In this passage, Gideon expresses his insecurity to God, who assures him that his military mission will be successful. While it is somewhat startling to read about and remember the harsh “kill or be killed” environment that existed when Israel entered the Promised Land, what really jumps off the page to me is how God handles Gideon’s pitiful objection to God’s call.

Gideon responds to a call from the Almighty God of the universe by saying, I’m a weak man from a weak clan, and I don’t even have a plan! I’m not big enough or strong enough!” Interestingly, God gives Gideon a one sentence answer that reverberates through Scripture like a call to arms: “I will be with you.”

When Gideon says, “I am weak”, God says, “I am Enough.” It’s the same thing God told Moses in Exodus 3:12 when Moses objected that he was inadequate to lead Israel: “I will be with you.” It’s also what God told Joshua preparing to go into the Promised Land in Joshua 1:5, and what he told Paul in Acts 18:10. “I will be with you”. Over and over again in Scripture the Lord answers objections not just with a plan, but with His presence.

Not Enough?

Do you ever feel unworthy to serve God? Ever feel like you are not gifted and talented enough to do big things for Him? After all, we are commissioned to go share the Gospel with all the world in Matthew 28:19, and most of us get a little uncomfortable just sharing the Gospel with people on our own street. “Lord”, we object, “surely that commission stuff only applies to the disciples, or to missionaries and preachers. I’m not adequate. You must mean someone else.”

weakness enough

If you face a daunting task, or an obstacle that seems bigger than your resources, then remember God’s answer to Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Paul. It also happens to be the same answer Jesus gave to all believers after telling his followers to go and make disciples of all nations in Matthew 28:19. Go ahead and read verse 20, the answer He gives to you when you feel unworthy or too small to do something big: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

When you feel overwhelmed or inadequate, remember who has your back. God is enough, and more than enough. Your worthiness, abilities, and gifts just got HUGE. Go do something big!

Enough

We can feel so very small, confronted with the Father’s call,
Worried that the world will see our obvious inadequacy.
We can try to step aside, or even try to run and hide,
And go to almost any length to not rely upon our strength.
The Great Commission has revealed God wants us on the mission field,
In spite of weakness we may feel, God’s call to all of us is real.

If being called was not your plan, since after all you’re just a man,
Feel free to call God out and say, “There has to be a better way!”
And He will say about your call, just like to Gideon or Saul,
“Remember, I have chosen you to do what only you can do:
If your journey seems too tough, if circumstances get too rough,
Recall the cross and perfect love, and realize I AM enough.”

To buy my latest book, Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-1&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread
For the Kindle Edition, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Bo-Jackson-ebook/dp/B01K5Z0NLA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-2&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread

Consecrate Yourselves Today. See Amazing Results Tomorrow

“Consecrate Yourself” is a phrase you don’t hear every day. (In fact, you may have lived your entire life without even considering it!) You might say, “help yourself”, or “watch yourself”! Archie Bunker often said, “Stifle yourself, Edith!”, but he never said, “Consecrate Yourself, Edith!”

Have you ever consecrated yourself? How would you do that? Just what, exactly, does that mean?
“Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” (Joshua 3:5, NIV) It was a command with a promise.

Say What?

As the Israelites prepared to take the Promised Land, they were operating for the first time without Moses. It was he who had brought them out of Egypt, led them through the wilderness, and given them the law. He had challenged them to obey the Lord. You might recall that they were not always consecrated even though they had seen amazing things! Apparently it was pretty important to Joshua. I’m sure they asked themselves, “I wonder what he meant by that?”

consecrate

The word consecrate means “to make sacred, to dedicate to a higher purpose.” The Israelites had failed to do that. In fact, they failed so egregiously that they had to wander in the wilderness for years and years. (You may remember the whole “golden calf idol worship” thing, right? That event vividly illustrated how un-dedicated they were.) Even though they were going to the Promised Land, they were still far short of their goal.

You Can Take the Boy Out of the Country…

Now they stood on the banks of the Jordan River, ready to start the campaign that would ultimately create a home for these wanderers, these skeptics, these idol-worshippers, these former slaves… Moses had brought the people out of Egypt. Now, Joshua told them they still needed to bring Egypt out of the people!

“Consecrate yourselves”! He challenged them to separate themselves to God, to assume His holiness and character, and to be devoted to His purpose. If they consecrated themselves, Joshua said, they would see the Lord do amazing things among them on the following day.

Consecrate This

What can we glean from this one simple, challenging verse? First of all, good leadership is visionary. It looks ahead to the future and sees amazing things. Second, leadership recognizes that in order for us to experience “amazing things”, we need to be dedicated. We need to make sure that nothing else keeps us from being part of God’s work. What competes with God for your time and attention? What is it that prevents you from being consecrated? I bet if you followed the same advice Joshua gave the Israelites, you would start seeing “amazing things”!

Think about being dedicated to the Lord above all things: Put your name in the blank: Consecrate yourself, _______________, [Bo Jackson] for the Lord will do amazing things around you!” Which amazing things would you like to see? What victories await? What giants will you slay? Consecrate yourself today. Get results tomorrow!

Joshua Said It, But Maybe it Applies to US

If the Lord commands, obey it. Don’t you wait, don’t hesitate,
Don’t obfuscate, prevaricate, don’t act on it a little late,
Or wait for it to resonate, and don’t you dare procrastinate.
Don’t meditate or vegetate, or even try to delegate:
If God tells you to consecrate, then consecrate, and calibrate
Your life so you can dedicate what once was unregenerate.
Just consecrate your heart to the King of Kings,
And you will see Him do amazing things.

To buy my latest book, Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-1&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread
For the Kindle Edition, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Bo-Jackson-ebook/dp/B01K5Z0NLA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-2&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread

Cowards Who Fled Because They Felt Like, Well, Grasshoppers

The James Allen motivational quote said, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” His little book in 1903 said that our minds are powerful instruments that influence our actions and our destiny. The story we’re looking at today says it this way: Think Like Grasshoppers, Play Like Grasshoppers…

grasshoppers

How We See It

“Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:30-33, NIV)

When the Hebrew spies returned from viewing the Promised Land, they were called upon to report back about what they had seen. Most of them were intimidated by who and what they saw there. They said they had seen Nephilim, who are defined in Genesis 6:4 as “sons of god and daughters of men”. No one knows exactly who the Nephilim were. You can’t build a race of warriors from a single verse, but perhaps the term was referring to some type of illicit antediluvian offspring of fallen angels and earthly women. Legend had it that these powerful beings descended from demons who impregnated human women.

Bear With Me, here

(This is speculation on my part, but I personally believe that there must have been a possibility that such unions occurred. If they did, there could have been some type of genetic contamination that happened before and during Noah’s lifetime. Although the presence of depravity in and of itself would justify mankind’s destruction, the Nephilim logically suggest another reason for God to exercise such severe judgement. It seems logical to me that part of the reason why God implemented the flood was to eliminate all traces of that genetic contamination from the earth. But I digress.)

A Less Than Inspiring Report

The Nephilim were mighty warriors, larger-than life characters against whom ten of the spies they felt they had no chance. (God did not seem to factor into their equation, by the way.) Only Joshua and Caleb believed that they could take possession of the land, but the other spies were unanimous in their insecurity. They said that they felt as small as grasshoppers in their own eyes, and that the citizens of the land viewed them in the same way. Coincidence? Perhaps James Allen nailed it: “As a man thinketh, so is he.”

Think of yourself as small and you will play small. If we feel like grasshoppers, we will act like grasshoppers. Others will see us as grasshoppers. But turn it around! Think of yourself as godly, and you will start to display godliness; if you see yourself as God’s handiwork, others will see you the same way. Put God in charge of things. You will reflect His character and be filled with His strength and courage. Think of it this way: you can go into battle with grasshoppers, or you can go into battle with the Lord of Hosts. Kinda changes the playing field doesn’t it?

Grasshopper Games

If you see yourself as small, then that is how you’ll play.
When you think you’re lost, then you will never find the way.
If you moan and say you can’t, then you are nothing like that ant
Who didn’t gripe and cry and rant
But moved the great big rubber tree plant.
Israel sent some spies to look into the promised land;
Ten of them came back and said, “Oh no! We’re under-manned!
We saw some great big Nephilim, and really, we are scared of them,
We felt like grasshoppers in their sight,
And ran from there in total fright!
They’re not the guys we want to fight!”

But Joshua and Caleb stood, and said, “Let’s take this land! We could!
The Lord of Hosts is on our side, and we don’t have to fear or hide,
Our army can go forth with pride, and we will never be denied!”
But Israel was quite dismayed at what the other spies had said:
The Promised land was long delayed because their leaders were afraid…
When you fear only God and know the work and plans are His,
THINK BIG!! And just be confident in who your LEADER is!

To buy my latest book, Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-1&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread
For the Kindle Edition, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Bo-Jackson-ebook/dp/B01K5Z0NLA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-2&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread