I got so excited when the doorbell rang at home today!
“Is that my computer?” I said aloud, eyes bulging with eagerness. It’s been a bit more than a week since I parted ways with my newest laptop. It has the most memory and is the fastest one I own. Over the years, I have bought numerous tech devices. So I have several. But none of them work as well and make workflow as efficient as the one I had to ship off recently.
You see, I dropped it one morning (Oops!) and jammed the charger cord. Because I didn’t want to be without it though, I kept it as long as I could. Even though it still worked initially, it had a bit of trouble keeping a charge. Eventually, the issue worsened and I could no longer delay the inevitable.
I have been counting down the days, eager for its arrival on my doorstep. I was so giddy when UPS dropped it off. I squealed like a kid at Christmas. I couldn’t get it out of the box quickly enough! Once I got it set up and running again, I thought about how I shouldn’t have waited so long to send it back to the manufacturer. By delaying the repair process, I had all sorts of glitches and minor issues to deal with that could have been avoided.
I held out until it became abundantly clear that my system was shutting down and didn’t have enough power to work without being fixed. There I was, with an insurance plan I had paid for, and a guarantee that if anything went wrong the maker would fix it. I just didn’t want to deal with the inconvenience of waiting.
Though the wait time was annoying and frustrating, now I am glad I went through with it. My computer is in tip-top shape, running smoothly, with no problems.
As I’m sitting here thinking about my hesitance to do what I needed to do, it dawned on me that many life situations mirror my computer saga. We want things to go smoothly, don’t we? We desire positive outcomes. We hope to see situations work out. But the process of getting what we want can be trying.
Insert a loud AMEN right here.
It would seem like way more fun to skip over having to wait for the Chief Manufacturer, God, to fix what’s wrong in our lives. Besides, His strategy for righting wrongs can be quite unpleasant. He uses trials, pain, hardship, extended waiting periods, and rocky roads to get us to the level of maturity, blessing, and increase He wants for us.
It’s human nature to prefer that things be done a certain way. As much as we love God, we don’t always agree with His methods of perfecting, building and strengthening us. In our estimation, things should go differently; but God isn’t like us. We simply must have faith that He knows best. We have to surrender to His divinely-ordained will and way, knowing that He has our best interest at heart, and does all things well.
The things we like.
And the ones we don’t.
He does all things well.
This afternoon, to illustrate this lesson, God called my attention to Judges 6. I have read it many times and shared about it here on the blog, as well as on my podcast. He led me to revisit it anyway as an example for you today.
Here we find Israel being judged for their rebelliousness and refusal to obey God. Their decision to follow after their worldly desires instead of His will led to big trouble. Though God had warned them of the hardship that would result from disobedience, they failed to listen. As a result, for seven long years, the Lord handed them over to their enemies, the Midianites.
These folks were terrible bullies.
Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other people from eastern nations, invaded the country, camped out on their land, and ruined the crops. They had no mercy and did not spare any sheep, cattle, or donkeys. There were so many Midianites, the Bible says they were like “swarms of locusts.”
It was impossible to count how many rode in on camels, raided, invaded, and sabotaged the Israelites’ territory. Midian left Israel poor and crying out to God for help. Yes, it was their own fault that they were in this predicament. Even so, God, who is ever faithful, merciful and patient with us—undeserving or not—called upon a man named Jerubbaal, whom we know as Gideon, to defeat the Midianites.
But what if Israel had just done it God’s way from the beginning?
They would not have had to deal with these wicked, greedy, oppressive people in the first place. They would not have been broke, busted, disgusted, and hiding in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds, begging for mercy.
Have you ever complicated a situation because you tried to circumvent God’s process? I think we all have at least once in our lives. Unfortunately for the Israelites, they did this kind of thing over, and over, and over again to their own detriment.
God's way is the best way, even when it isn't your way. When you say yes to His will, amazing benefits and blessings will fall at your feet!
This run-in with Midian, which happened during the biblical period of the judges, is so significant. In Hebrew, the word “judge,” in the context we are to understand it here, means deliverer. God used men and women to deliver, rescue, and protect Israel from their enemies. But here’s the thing. Israel yet had to deal with the consequences. They made life unnecessarily difficult. They made their bed hard and then had to lay in it.
God so desperately wanted to shower them with His goodness, but they were selfish and more interested in going their preferred way. When we make the same error, we forfeit the blessings. We do harm to ourselves and our future.
That doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us and won’t forgive us. He will. Notwithstanding, His forgiveness does not absolve us of responsibility and consequences.
So, friend, God knows waiting is hard. But not doing things His way is even harder. Today, if you’re feeling low, discouraged and are fighting the temptation to do your own thing, heed this word: stay the course. Keep trusting God.
He has great things for you. Continue walking in His will. You have no idea how amazing the destiny God has for you is. The more you submit to His will, He’ll cause greater blessings to flow to you. Situations will work out in your favor. The enemy will be defeated and fall before you. God will sabotage Satan’s plans to disrupt His purpose.
All you have to do is remain faithful. Stay loyal to God. Keep on praising in the midst of the storm. Consistently read, study, and declare the Word. Don’t quit praying and worshiping.
Your faith will produce powerful results. Your confidence in God is not in vain. Blessings are coming. New victories are on the horizon. Breakthrough is headed in your direction.
The Lord rewards the faithful. He strengthens the arms of those who serve Him. He undergirds the ones who love and obey Him. He seeks ways and opportunities to bless those whose hearts are pure before Him.
It’s so worth it to trust Him.
To remind you of this truth, I’m stirring the first portion of 2 Chronicles 16:9 NASB into your cup of inspiration, which says, "For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, know that, again, God is looking for ways to bless you. He wants to make ways for you. It is His desire to pour out His goodness and shower you with His benefits.
Just hold on. Hang in there. Keep on living for Him and serving Him with everything you have. The rewards will be great. Your faith and faithfulness will produce powerful results.
Now let’s pray.
God, I don’t always know or understand what You’re doing or why. But I know You know what is best for me. In times when my flesh rises up and I feel tempted to go my own way, please strengthen me. Give me a heart that is submitted to Your will, that I might receive all You have for me and live a life that pleases You. You are worthy of my commitment, my love, and my sacrifice. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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