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Tuesday, 08 September 2015 07:25

Fertile Ground for Growth

Written by  Kim Hendrix
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Judges 7:2: “The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands.  In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘’Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’”

 

Have you ever taken credit for God’s work?  A great presentation at the office; a great play in the football game; an A+ on that all important final exam; a delicious homemade holiday meal? 

God knew if Gideon took 32,000 men into battle and won, the glory would not be His—but with 300 men, it would be obvious ONLY GOD could make this happen. 

I’m sure Gideon and his troops were pretty comfortable when they were 30,000 plus strong—a comfort zone perhaps considered well-deserved after months, even years, of preparation and training.  Have you found yourself in a comfort zone?  Maybe you’re there now. When things go well, who gets the credit in your spirit—God or you?

 

Genesis 8:20-21: “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.  The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.  And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.”

 

Noah had just spent years building a huge ark in the middle of a desert.  He had been rained on for 40 days and nights and spent more than 200 days floating as the flood covered the earth.  What probably began as an uncomfortable season in his life had now become all that he knew; he was no doubt “good” at what he was doing.  He had saved his family and every type of animal, so when the water receded and they could once again walk on dry land, you might think Noah would pat himself on the back and celebrate.  Instead, he praised and worshiped God! Thank goodness he did—we’re all alive today because of Noah’s humble spirit.  Noah is an inspiring example of obedience, trust and humility. 

We often hear God will pull us out of a comfort zone or that you must have the faith to step out of one so you can grow.  I’ve come to realize that a comfort zone is fertile ground for a sense of self—a sense of self-reliance. A job may get so familiar you can do it without even thinking.  A hobby may become second nature and when you’re praised for your work, a sense of self swells inside.  You may become so proficient at a sport that when the victories come, there’s no praising, just a celebration of self.  Most people step into what will become a comfort zone with good intentions—we pray for God’s direction, His wisdom and guidance and at first we also praise Him for the victories.  But with time, as we get comfortable and proficient in our work, what was a desperate plea for God’s help can become a routine prayer.

God wants us to be good at what we do, but not get too comfortable.  There’s great joy in realizing you don’t have the resources to get something done, but somehow it comes to be anyway.  You can feel your sense of trust growing stronger when each day God carries you through unfamiliar territory.  There’s great growth in knowing you’re living within God’s will, being stretched and pulled and held all at once.

The key verse in the story of Noah is Genesis 6:22: “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”  One day at a time, one righteous step at a time, He’s with you, offering comfort when it’s uncomfortable and reminding you of His sovereignty!

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

It’s you and always you.  Thank you for the victories, those that are celebrated and those that are lessons deep within.  Thank you for teaching us to step out when our sense of self is stepping up.  May we always look to you with desperation in our hearts and joy in our spirit.  In the awesome name of your son Jesus Christ, we pray, Amen. 

 

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 September 2015 09:02
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