Apr9TueApril 9, 2019
Bungee jumping is fun. Apparently! I have never done it. If I would do it I would want assurance that I would live to tell how fun it was. So, I wonder, "What assurances would I need before I jumped?" One kind of assurance I would want is the right answer to the questions, "How new is the bungee cord?" Trust me it has to be new!
When asked to do hard things we all need assurances. Often these are linked to our sense of identity. How we see and think about ourselves increases or decreases our "can do."
Gideon was no different. He needed assurance the invitation from God was not a dream or his own desire to end the Midianite oppression. Gideon discovered in a few hours that the source of his confidence was in the assurances of God. Speaking to the angel of God Gideon asked for verification, "If I have found favour in your eyes give me a sign that it really is you talking to me. Here is the sign, please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you." And the Lord said, "I will wait until you return!" (Judges 6:17-18)
When Gideon returned with his offering, he found the Lord waiting just as he promised. The Lord received the offering and gave two signs: 1.) Gideon’s offering, sitting on a rock, was consumed by fire; and 2.) After the angel disappeared, Gideon heard the voice of God speak, "Peace! Do not be afraid. You have seen my presence in the angel, but you will not die." (Judges 6:20-23).
Gideon was being asked to do a hard thing! Gideon discovered God does not ask us to do hard things then abandon us to figure out how we are going to get it done. Rather, He gives us assurances along the way, starting with our identity (Judges 6:12) and the promise of His presence, "I will be with you!" (Judges 6:16). Assurances come because we need them!
And, we need to remember them! It is amid the circumstances of life where we must not forget God’s assurances. Hard things are demanding and can, during trials, cause us to forget who God is and who He is for us. Forgetting makes us vulnerable to discouragement, deceptions, being dismayed and fearful and to hearing the voice of diminishment. Remembering God’s assurances helps us to deflect all these away. So, Gideon built an altar on the spot he met God naming it, THE LORD IS PEACE!
Why peace? It is because God asks us to do hard and unnatural things. His ask demands we be ready to do the impossible, irrational and the improbable and that we do it with the assurance that He will show up. In this, we refuge; in His peace! God will help us to do what He asks us to do. Assurance needed... Assurance promised... Assurance delivered.