Judges 6:12 – And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, Gideon, and said to him, The Lord is with you, you mighty man of, fearless, courage.
Bobby and I enjoy hiking but not just any hiking, waterfalls. Our hiking quest is always in search of outstanding waterfalls. We have hiked many of the norms, Abrams at Cades Cove, Vogel, several around Vogel State Park, but we have such a thirst for out of the norm waterfalls.
Recently, we tried hiking near Hiwassee Ocoee State Park in Tennessee, but this trail was not marked clearly. This particular trail was to lead to three different waterfalls, but after the first fall, we were not able to follow the path any further because it was not clearly marked. We had to turn back with great disappointment.
It does not take any courage for us to hike the well marked trails, but it takes an adventurous spirit to hike trails that are not well traveled or have unclear paths.
When God calls us out to move forward with Him in a new destination, He usually does not give us a step by step, marked, well defined path to take. Most of the time, God gives us enough light and directions for one step at a time, faith.
Matthew 14: 22-33 – v- 22- Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.
Jesus gave His disciples two clear directions: get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side. Jesus did not tell them that in the middle of their journey suddenly a windstorm would cause extremely high waves and their boat would start to sink because the water would be filling the boat. He gave them only two clear directions, but what about the frightening wind, waves and their boat sinking?
Faith is a mind-set that expects God to act.
Bobby and I have two dear loved ones who have allowed the suddenly extremely high waves and wind to cause them to shipwreck their own boats. They have ignored God’s clear directions to them.
Our dear loved ones have become afraid and passive. One is like Jonah running and hiding from God and us because of fear. Fear of judgment, fear of what people will think, fear to step out again to do what God said before January 2012, fear of failure, fear of criticism, fear of other people’s opinions, fear of being misunderstood now and afraid of the sacrifice and hard work that will be involved now.
Our other dear loved one is passive. This one is like Samson and Solomon. Samson and Solomon could not say no to compromise and lustful desires because of these powerful chains they experienced heart wrecking betrayal, Judges 16:15-22, 1 Kings 11:1-13.
However, we know God will not leave our dear loved ones in the middle of their wind and wave tossed path. God still has a divine plan for us all.
For our dear loved one who is acting like Jonah, God gave Jonah a second chance to repent and follow what He had already told him to do. After Jonah’s experience inside the belly of a great fish, he was broken from his chains of pride and then ready to step out in the direction God had already told him to move in, Jonah 1:17- 3:1.
For our dear loved one who is acting like Samson and Solomon, God will not leave this one with a heart crushed and bruised by the sin of compromise and lustful desires. This dear loved one has a true heart of King David, Acts 13:22
Both Gideon and Jesus’ twelve disciples had their faith tested. We too have had our faith tested. When God called Gideon a valiant warrior, Gideon’s comment was who me! When Jesus told his disciples to get into the boat and go to the other side, they had no idea that a hurricane was already stirring on the sea for them to experience in the middle of their journey.
Bobby and I have had the same response as Gideon and Jesus’ twelve disciples. You want us to do what! We have never called ourselves valiant warriors nor have we experienced the winds of adversity that we have experienced since January 2013.
However, God has shown us continually through His Word that this battle is His, 2 Chronicles 20:15, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, to bestow on us a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair, Isaiah 61:2-3, and He is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good, Romans 8:28.
Moment by moment, day by day, week by week and year by year we keep our eyes and thoughts fixed on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ to carry us to the other side of complete victory! With God, Gideon won his battle and with God, the disciples arrived on the other side safe. Both Gideon and the disciple’s faith emerged and so will ours!