thI truly love how the Bible is the living, breathing Word of God. When I hear comments that it’s an ancient book that has no bearing on our lives today, I’m stunned. Those who can make such claims surely haven’t delved into the rich history, divine guidance and timeless lessons that can be gleaned each time its tissue-thin pages are opened. And what I love most is that God speaks to me in a unique way that always gets to the heart of my circumstances—whether I need encouragement, direction or comfort.

So as I opened up the story of Gideon this morning, as led by Priscilla Shirer’s Bible study, I was again in awe of God’s message to me. In the midst of yet another of life’s trials, I needed the assurance that honoring Him in how I conduct myself will always pay off in the end. It may not be in world riches—money, power, or success—but it will pay off in divine riches. The first is temporary, but the last is eternal.

Priscilla writes this: Seeking God and His will must remain our constant desire and aspiration, even after we’ve begun seeing His strength demonstrated in our lives. Otherwise, we will be submerged beneath the momentum of human approval, momentary convenience, personal desires, or misplaced ambitions. And although these words bring to mind those times I’ve forgotten who it is I’m here to glorify (spoiler alert—it’s not me) at this precise moment, it’s a loud and clear reminder that we are often victimized to some extent by others that have forgotten who it is they should be honoring. And when we can count the footprints of those climbing up our backs in order to achieve their own success, it’s important for us to remember our own failures. 

And lest I forget how it is I should conduct myself in these trying times, Priscilla has this to say: Prayerfully consider what’s happening in your life right now and then make a commitment to remain consistent in your conversation with and dependence on God. The courage, direction, and divine favor you’ll receive from an ongoing fresh relationship with the Savior is exactly what you’ll need to stay on track.

Obviously, she’s using Gideon’s story as a metaphor for how quickly we can go from divine direction to selfish ambition. How quickly we can forget our pleas for God to see us through a circumstance only to run with a blessing in a less-than-God-honoring way. Gideon, who believed himself to be the weakest member of the weakest tribe couldn’t understand how God could use him in a mighty way. But as soon as he gained some fame and respect (because of how God strengthened and blessed him) he believed his own press and sought retribution rather than justice. And the end result wasn’t pretty.

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