Dear God: I Just Can't Do What You're Telling Me to Do

Average reading length: 4-6 minutes

Preparing for my lesson in children's church today, I saw the focus was "Gideon Testing God" from Judges 6. While I won't explain the story in totality, there are some great nuggets in it that encouraged me. Gideon is often the focus of the story, but today, the character of God took center stage as I read it.

What’s the Lie? What’s the Truth?
When God found Gideon in verse 12, Gideon was hiding out of fear of his enemies. Even though he was visibly cowering, God interrupts, assuring him that He is with him AND that Gideon is a valiant warrior. In verse 13, Gideon starts to question God's protection and guidance of His people. God is affirming Gideon's strength AND sending him on a huge assignment, and Gideon just can't see it. Instead, Gideon focuses on all the things in his sight that point to doom.

That resonates with me so much. The Christian life isn't about logic; it's faith-based. So often, God will call us to do something that seems beyond our capabilities, for His glory, and we get caught up in what we see. I begin to tell God why it can't happen, citing my own insecurities, doubts, and disappointments. I know what God is capable of, and oftentimes, I just don't want to have faith because I'm just too scared of disappointment. That's how Gideon is responding. 

The truth is, if God solely used us to logically accomplish small feats that we could do on our own, how would the world, let alone us, see His glory? How would He push us to rely fully on Him if all we had to do was use our own might? God is so purposeful. He knew what He was doing by speaking strength over Gideon's life, despite Gideon not believing it was possible. Look at the summation (my paraphrase) of the conversation:
  • verse 12- God says, "I am with you, valiant warrior."
  • verse 13- Gideon says, "That can't be true. How could you be with us and allow us to be in bondage to the Midianites?"
  • verse 14- God says, "I am sending you on a rescue mission!"
  • verse 15- Gideon says, "God, I can't do it. I am nothing."
  • verse 16- God says, "I am with you."
Moving Forward:

  • Ask yourself: What has God called me to do that I feel incapable of doing? Oftentimes God calls us to small things that help us be disciplined and faithful, but He also oftentimes calls us to do things that are unimaginable. What is He telling you to do that has you worried?
  • Make it visible! Write down what He said and when He said it.  Notice how Gideon tried to talk God out of what God told him to do. We do this often. If we don't memorialize what we sensed God say to us, we WILL allow doubts, fear, and insecurities to convince us we were wrong.
  • Recognize that the intent has never been that you accomplish massive things ON YOUR OWN. The calling is meant to push you CLOSER to God by doing it WITH HIM. Don't let self-sufficiency make you miss out on seeing the impossible come to fruition. 
  • Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)
  • Trust that God is with you EVERY step of the way and that He has equipped and STILL equipping you to handle the calling. When you're tempted to give up, remember that just as you didn't call yourself to it, you aren't the one in charge of sustaining it. God is. Pray for strength to keep going.

Dear God, We love you. You are all-knowing, and you always know exactly what we need and when. Help us to not cower when you call us to things that we are fearful of trying to achieve. Help us not look at the magnitude of what you're calling us to and try to convince you why we can't do it. Let our answer be a firm YES even when we have no idea how You'll make it happen. Help us engage in the process, actively looking to you for next steps, knowing that with You all things are possible. We love you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Kurt Carr- I've Seen Him Do It
Elevation Worship- God of the Promise