Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hard Start

Hard Start
January 6, 2014
Judges 6:14  "The Lord turned to him and said, 'Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?'"

Starting something new is difficult no matter how you have prepared.  You may prepare for months, even years, but setting out on a new adventure is always a difficult thing.  Starting is the hardest part, often paralyzing.  Taking that first step is something many people never end up taking.  People like to wait until they are ready, or at least feel ready.  It is easy to rationalize why you should procrastinate on starting a new project or new adventure; there is always a valid excuse or reasonable explanation.  We are all good at coming up with excuses.  We reason we are too young or too old.  We define our finances and declare them insufficient.  We evaluate our education and decide it is inadequate.

But when the Lord is involved in your life, starting should not be a point of procrastination.  There is not reason enough to put off starting, especially when you have the Lord with you the entire way.  Gideon learned this the hard way.  The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and declared his success before he even started.  The angel declared that Gideon could do it, that Gideon was ready to lead.  But Gideon had all the excuses in the world.  He was insecure, and rightfully so.  Gideon did not have the preparation to do it on his own.  He did not have all his finances, education, and leadership skills to the point it would seem rational for success.  Gideon was insecure that he alone could pull it off.  He wasn't ready; it was a hard start.

Gideon argued with the Lord, tested the Lord, even tried to walk away from starting the new adventure the Lord had in store for Him.  But the Lord did not let him out of it.  The Lord did not allow Gideon to resist the start of something crazy but still amazing at the same time.  Gideon thought he wasn't ready, but the Lord knew otherwise.  The Lord saw the situation from the Lord's heavenly perspective, not from Gideon's point of view.  The Lord saw the situation knowing what important role the Lord would have to play in Gideon's new adventure.  The Lord was willing and ready but the Lord had to convince Gideon that Gideon was ready, too.  It was a hard start for Gideon's new adventure, but it did not have to be that way.  Though it didn't feel like Gideon was ready, if the Lord declared it to be true, then Gideon WAS ready.

You and I like to do what Gideon did, rationalize why we should not start something new, why we are just not ready yet.  There are a million valid reasons why we can't do it, except for one.  If the Lord is with you, then there is ABSOLUTELY NO excuse.  Though you might not feel like you are ready, if the Lord has started you on an adventure, then you're ready.  Ready or not, here it comes.  A little insecurity is actually a good thing, as it requires you to depend and lean upon the Lord.  If you felt confident and arrogent enough to start on your own, then you might not ask the Lord to go with you.  Your insecurity to start something new is an opportunity to lean heavily upon the Lord, depending entirely upon His strength.

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he told Gideon to go in the strength that Gideon already possessed.  Gideon felt he did not possess enough strength, but the angel declared that it was at least sufficient to start.  The path wasn't always pretty and perfect for Gideon and it may not always be pretty for you either.  Life is not perfect and neither will your adventure be, but you have just enough strength to start.  You don't have to have enough strength to finish, just to start.  So go ahead and set out on that new adventure the Lord has for you.  Sure, you feel slightly insecure, but trust in the Lord for what you lack.  It worked for Gideon and it will work for you, if the Lord has asked you to move forward.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Judges 6-8, 1 Cor 27-29

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