A photo by Lionello DelPiccolo. unsplash.com/photos/9i9RquPtXsg

But again Gideon said to him, “With all due respect, my Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I’m the youngest in my household.”  The Lord replied, “Because I’m with you, you’ll defeat the Midianites as if they were just one person.” – Judges 6: 15-16 (CEB)

I have some good ideas.  I bet you do too.  At least in our own mind they seem like good ideas.  Here’s one thing life has taught me, a lot of my good ideas didn’t turn out so well.  But as a person of faith, there is a different way.  It’s God’s way.  When I take the time to seek out the Lord’s direction, things seem to go much smoother and work much better.  It’s this simple:  God blesses the work that we do according to the Lord’s direction.  If it’s my idea, no matter how good it is, well…not so much.  It’s a lesson that I, and I suspect I’m not alone, need to learn over and over again.

The scripture today, from Judges 6 is The Lord calling and commissioning Gideon.  Gideon takes a good look at reality, and tells the Lord, “I can’t.”  God says, “You will.”  Gideon again says, “I don’t see how that’s possible.”  And the Lord says, “Because I will be with you.  This is my idea, my plan, my way.”  With that assurance from The Lord, the wise and faithful Gideon signs on.

Now, when something is of God, and God is using me to help accomplish it, it gets done and usually succeeds beyond what I could have hoped for or dreamed of.

Here’s what this scripture reveals again to me today.  Even when it’s my good idea for God, my plans, hopes, and dreams often come crashing down.  It’s not that it wasn’t a good idea or a good program, it’s just when something is “of me” it’s probably not going to work. Now, when something is of God, and God is using me to help accomplish it, it gets done and usually succeeds beyond what I could have hoped for or dreamed of.

This is an invitation and challenge.  God is inviting us to go to work for the Lord.  The challenge is finding out what is “of the Lord”, taking the time to be sure the work we do is “of the Lord”.  For me, I’ve learned that figuring out what is “of the Lord” comes through prayer, bible study, worship, and seeking out the wisdom of other Godly people – for me it’s mentors, peers, my wife, my family, and some close trusted faith-filled friends.

Prayer:  Lord, lead me and guide me.  Give me wisdom to know and hear your voice, and give me the courage to answer the invitation and challenge whenever you come calling.  Amen.

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