img_1253643266722_251A couple weeks ago, I started Priscilla Shirer’s Gideon study with my ladies’ Bible study group. Although this character has only three short chapters in the book of Judges, he has so much to teach me! And Priscilla Shirer is a whiz at pointing out the commonalities between this meek, insecure Israelite and those of us walking the earth today.

One of the truths that hit home today is that, like Gideon, I ask all kinds of questions of God when I really already know the answer. I just don’t like it. So many of the difficult circumstances in my life have been consequences of my own stubborn disobedience. Yet, instead of admitting this, I find myself asking, “Why?” when I should be asking, “What? What is it God is teaching me—and will I ever get it right?”

But what I love about our God is that He sees beyond the mistakes we make, our disobedience and insecurities—the Israelites proved this over and over again. Instead, He sees the finished product. As Gideon is hiding out in the winepress, threshing wheat, fearful for his life, the Lord approaches him with these words: “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.” Judges 6:12. Gideon appeared to be anything but valiant or warrior-like. It’s a wonder God doesn’t just throw His hands up and give up on us, isn’t it?

Yet, instead, He showed the Israelites mercy and poured blessings upon them even when they were walking in disobedience. Priscilla Shirer is quick to make this point: “…both oppression and abundance can coexist in the lives of God’s people. God’s loyalty does not equal God’s approval.” But is does signify God’s love and mercy for us. This was a key point to me because I could easily assume, since life is pretty good, I’m doing everything right. Wrong!

Every difficult circumstance in my life can be traced back to my disobedience—just like the Israelites. And yet, He gives me a life of abundance and puts dreams in my heart that He somehow plans to fulfill. He looks past my grumbling and grousing, past my self-centeredness and fear, past my…well, past. Can you imagine what valiant warriors for God we could be if we were able to see ourselves as He does? And even more so if we could just get the concept of obedience. I’m just grateful He continues to thresh me like wheat!

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