Posted by: mikenicholsblog | March 5, 2015

don’t think perfection, but direction

Are there people in your life that are hard to figure out?  Some days they are up, and then inevitably on other days, they are anything but up. Their faith looks strong one moment, but doubt is the primary emotion at other times. They trust God, but want signs of His care and protection. Great victories are followed by times of discouragement and even spiritual failure. In my reading this week, a man from the book of Judges has painted just such a picture for me, and I must admit that Gideon is a bit of a contradiction to me.

In Gideon, we find a man who: seems to fear, asked God for a sign, put out a fleece twice (showing a lack of trust) before the Lord, tore down his father’s altar, and then led one of the most dramatic victories recorded in Scripture. Remember the story of how God reduced Gideon’s forces from 32,000 to 300 and they were victorious over 135,000 well-armed men? He led a God-ordained, unbelievable (humanly speaking, that is) victory. God was certainly patient with this man who I view as a bit fearful and often not very trusting. But God chose to list him as the first in the list of judges in the hall of faith chapter (Hebrews 11). Although he had his wavering moments, Gideon was a man of faith who trusted God. His story is a bit like my story … and probably yours.

Just today in trying to get my arms around Gideon, I realized that I was wavering between trusting, doubting and fearing. So rather than disdain Gideon and his struggles, I would like to honor his trust and speak words of hope into our story. Recently, a book has been especially meaningful to my wife and I. Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young speaks to the issues we all face with fear and trust. Note excerpts from two days in March:

“Exert your will to trust Me in all circumstances. Don’t let your need to understand distract you from My Presence. I will equip you to get through this day victoriously as you live in deep dependence on Me”.  (March 18)

“However, fear can block the flow of My Strength into you. Instead of trying to fight your fears, concentrate on trusting Me. When you relate to Me in confident trust, there is no limit to how much I can strengthen you.”  (March 21)

Gideon had some struggles with fear, and so do you and I; we also struggle to understand things that are out of our control. In the process of trying to fix (and control) others and our circumstances, fear and understanding become even bigger issues.  We tend to fear what we can’t control.  I find that my own natural (and wrong) tendency is to battle my fears and try to figure out what I can’t understand.  Instead of thinking ill of Gideon, I need to a confront the words,“fear can block the flow of My Strength into you.” Could it be that we actually block what we want so deeply? For me, the answer is sometimes yes!

Note the answer to our struggle, “I will equip you to get through this day victoriously as you live in deep dependence on Me. When you relate to Me in confident trust, there is no limit to how much I can strengthen you.”  Deep dependence and confident trust are very spiritual objectives.  When they go from objectives to spiritual realities, something amazing happens. As you look at these words, don’t think perfection, but direction.  Seek Him today with deep dependence and confident trust … and then tomorrow, and the next day, and the …

Gideon had wavering moments (and so do we), but he was a man of faith, and we can be also!

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Responses

  1. Wow we can all relate to this Thanks

  2. I second Brad’s commentt. Thanks for the good word Mike. I definitely relate. I read this verse many times without seeing this. Now I am going to dig deeper in it with my commentary and prayer and see what else God has for me in it. Thanks a bunch!!


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