The Strength You Have

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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?”

- Judges 6:14 (New International Version)

Often, the strength I have is nothing but a meager offering.

At times, in my weakness and weariness, I feel as though I have little or no strength left to give.

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Reading from my Grandmother’s devotional, Springs in the Valley today, I was challenged by that verse, along with the question:

“Have you ever taken any risks for Christ?” – Chas. E. Cowman

Have I?

Have I ever?

Have I ever taken any risks?

Have I ever taken a risk for Christ?

In many ways, I am the least likely to take risks in my family, be them responsible risks or otherwise. I do not like to swim in the ocean. I refuse to go on rides at amusement parks that involve height and/or speed and/or propulsion (the Ferris Wheel is about as thrilling as it gets for me). Motorbikes and small boats scare me. I fear for my children when they cross the road by themselves or walk to the park ahead of me.

Sure, there are people out there who do not live with fear and act accordingly. My husband is someone who would probably be quite happy to jump out of a plane – he just hasn’t got around to it yet. He loves the thrilling rides at the Easter Show, and he frequently longs to swim in the ocean, and when he does, he is happier for it.

Yes, we are all made differently, and I am certain most people will experience fear of one kind or another in their lives, yet when we are called to take a risk for Christ is it only fear that stops us? P1060166P1060172

For Gideon, in Judges 6, when the angel of the Lord appeared under that oak tree in Oprah, it seems he may have been not only fearful but doubtful. When he was told to go in the strength he had, Gideon politely questioned the Lord, pointing out that his tribe was the weakest in Manasseh, and he, Gideon, was the least in his family (verse 15). While God promised to be with him, this was not enough for Gideon. He wanted proof.

How many of us seek out a miraculous sign, as proof we are to follow His will or prompting in our lives? How many of us do not take a step, or a leap, of faith when we feel that small, still voice rising in our hearts.

I know I haven’t. I have missed opportunities. I have ignored small promptings. I have made excuses.

“What if this happens?”

“I am too weak.”

“I am too tired.”

“I have no strength.”

“I have nothing left to give.”

The truth is, we all have something to give. To God, our broken vessels are enough to pour His love through. But when we think we are not good enough, or strong enough or bold enough, we miss the opportunity to be used by Him for something greater than ourselves. And we extinguish a flame that He may have lit in our hearts. A flame that might have been God’s glow to this broken, hurting world.

The question is not,

“Are you willing to take a risk for Christ?”

The question is,

“Are you prepared not to?”

Because, the reality is you will not be doing it in your strength…

but in His.

The Lord answered, “I will be with you…”

- Judges 6:16