Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday Evening

The message Sunday evening was about Gideon. So was last Sunday’s, so we’ve found there are many lessons to be found in this one man. My thoughts focused on one verse from last night:

And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. (Judges 7:2 KJV)

Pastor covered much more, but I want to think about when we take credit for what God has done. We’ve all done that – prayed, turned something over to God then failed to give Him thanks for the results or to share with others what He did in our lives.

That’s not what happened to Gideon – while he did ask God for some verification (the fleece and the dew, twice), Gideon did what God asked. He gathered an army of 32,000 men. They were still out-numbered by the Midianites about four to one, but that’s when God first said there were too many and sent home those who were afraid. Twenty-two thousand left.

Ten thousand were still too many, so selection continued until:

And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. (Judges 7:7 KJV)

“We can handle adversity, but not prosperity,” pastor said, then gave an example:

Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 26:3a KJV)

He accomplished a lot, as written in 2 Chronicles 26. It was written there that the Lord helped him. Until:

But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense. (2 Chronicles 26:16 KJV)

Aren’t we often the same way. We seek the Lord’s help when we feel weak but when we feel strong we think we can do without Him. Uzziah felt he could even take on the job of the high priest. Saul did that, too.

And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. And Samuel said, What hast thou done? (1 Samuel 13:10-11a KJV)

When we take on the responsibilities that God has given to another we leave the plan God has for our lives, too. Uzziah was immediately struck with leprosy. It took longer for Saul to lose his kingdom, and his life. They felt they were strong.

Do we? Do we become complacent when our lives are comfortable, thinking we’ve become strong enough to live without what God has provided for us – a church home, Christian brethren to comfort, exhort and fellowship with us? Do we think we can do without prayer? Without reading His word?

Or do we pray without ceasing and enjoy life more abundantly in His presence? That’s so much better!!

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