Thursday, November 30, 2023

God's Reassurance

Most of us worry at some point in our lives that God is going to ask us to do some big thing that we're not prepared for, that we don't think we're equipped for. Maybe even that we're not all that interested in. And we're afraid that maybe God doesn't know us very well, or that maybe He'll be disappointed in us when He finds out we don't want to do what He's asked us to do. 

One of the things that I've discovered in my life is that God doesn't really ask us much for the big things. Not the kinds of big things that most of us are afraid He'll ask us for. He's not asking everyone to give up their comfort and move to a tribal village in a long-lost area of a never-mapped place. He's not asking everyone to sell what they have and give the money to the poor. He's not asking everyone to reach out a battered hand on a bloody arm and take one more smack in the face. We're afraid He's going to ask the "big" things, but most of us will live our lives having never been asked by God to do any of these things that keep us from praying too hard for His will to be done. 

(And actually, I think that the persons God does ask these big things from are somewhat prepared and equipped for, and therefore excited about, them. But that's another post for another day.) 

Rather, what I have found is that what God asks of us is something just slightly bigger than we think we can handle. That's it. Not some great, big, ginormous thing, but something just big enough to make us a little nervous. 

Something just big enough to require a little bit of faith. 

That's really all that God wants from any of us, isn't it? Faith? Trust. The act of believing in Him as more than just a mental exercise. The willingness to step out and follow, just a little detour in what we thought was our path. 

But the good thing about God is that He understands that even these smaller sorts of things sometimes feel like really big things, especially when we don't think we have enough faith to step out even that far. 

That's another thing I love about the story of Gideon. 

God calls Gideon to lead the people against the Midianites. Gideon, who has already done some radical things for God in his life, is a little nervous. That's understandable. But he keeps the conversation going. And as they talk, God says, hey, if you're scared, go down into the Midianite camp tonight and listen to what they're saying about you and this army of ours. 

So Gideon owns his fear, sneaks into the camp, and hears how absolutely terrified the Midianites are of God's army - the same army God is asking Gideon to lead. In fact, the Midianites already know they've lost; they just aren't allowed to turn around and give up. Their commander won't let them. 

That's all it takes to reassure Gideon that, just as God promised, He's got this. God's got him, and God's got this. So he goes back to his army, rallies the troops, presses onward, and defeats Midian with a confidence that he didn't have twelve hours ago. All because God knew that he needed an extra little boost. 

God's going to ask you to do some things. He's going to ask you to do some things that are just a little bit bigger than the faith you think you have right now. That's how our faith grows. 

But He understands that it's really not that easy. And that's why our God is a God of reassurances. If you need that extra little boost of confidence, He's got that for you. He'll give it to you. You just have to accept His invitation and go where you can see and hear for yourself - they're already talking about you. And they're terrified that you're going to take that step of faith. 

So go, listen, then come back and take it. God's got you, and God's got this. 

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