Fear, Family and Following Jesus

On Mondays, we fast and pray over lunch for men and women to be shaped by God to more fully show His unique image, and for marriages to those who desire them.

Last weekend, I had a zillion family events: my brother and (new) sister-in-law’s wedding, multiple big dinners with the extended family and another brother preaching at my parents’ home church on the wedding weekend.

Going into the weekend, I was convinced of a lot of scary things. Anxious that I’d get lost in the shuffle. Terrified that my mix of emotions would erupt at the most inconvenient time. Afraid that I’d be so consumed with my own emotional stability that I’d only think about myself and act weird around everyone else. Sure that my family feels awkward about my inexplicable life. Convinced that I have to be insistently loud in order to be heard by people who just don’t get it when it comes to unsought singleness. Scared that no one really sees me an adult but as someone stuck repeating age 26 until I finally get married, and everyone can exhale. (For the record, none of these scary things happened. My family was so wonderfully loving. And no one made any unfunny jokes about me being the last one standing. #miracle).

I know those fears are mostly rooted in lies, but sometimes they feel really true. In this mix, I did realize that I had a lot of emotional distress about trying to ensure that I still have my family’s deep approval of me personally as an unmarried adult child, and more broadly, of unsought celibate singleness as an equally valid and equally adult path for believers.  During this mess of emotions and fears, I was reading in the early part of Mark’s gospel when Jesus calls the first disciples (Mark 1:16-20):

Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

I never noticed the last phrase but it stopped me in my tracks as I realized what it said… James and John basically walked out of the family business when Jesus called them. And their father was still standing there with the other employees. Wow, how did I miss this before?  A few random thoughts…

  • Trust and obey: When the voice of Jesus comes, we are called to leave what we’re doing and who we’re with and simply follow.

  • I’m part of my family, but they are not my primary identity. Wanting my family to deeply see and affirm me isn’t wrong, but they aren’t my primary audience or the source of my worth. My emotional distress probably points to deeper issues in my heart than about my family itself.
  • I often think of “leave and cleave” as a marriage-centric lesson with the implicit assumption that I don’t have to exercise that skill right now. Yet perhaps, as passage reminded me, I need to start learning that lesson now with Jesus. Leaving parents and parental approval is harder for some, but as believers and the bride of Christ, we’re all called into a foundational, primary relationship with Jesus above all human relationships.
  • Family, Jesus-Style: Jesus himself echoes this idea when He dismantles the traditional conception of family at the end of Mark 3. He doesn’t actually destroy the concept of family, but instead exponentially expands the idea of family into a gloriously crazy clan where the common tie is not biology but those who do God’s will (implying relationship with the Father). And that, I think, is a comfort to those of us who aren’t raising biological families. It’s also a challenge to love and be loved by this crazy new kind of family called the church.

What a scary, crazy adventure! And what a privilege to do it with the family that He’s given us through His body, the church. May each of us be encouraged this week to cleave more closely to Jesus and to follow His loving voice into the adventures ahead.

In His Grace,

Amy

Posted in Author: Amy | 4 Comments

Coffee with Todd Wagner

On Mondays, we fast and pray for the Lord to do a work in our generation: for Him to move mountains, raise up men to walk into relationships, soften women to allow God to work in our hearts, and to bring the gift of marriage for those who desire it.

In May of last year, I sat down and had an imaginary coffee with South Carolina pastor, Perry Noble. Quite a few of you chimed in on the conversation that we were having about how many times pastors completely miss the mark when giving advice to single people and say things that are not only not helpful– but destructive. One of the reasons that I fast, pray, and write with this community is that I do not want damaging proclamations whispered into the ears of singles to go unanswered.

Todd Wagner, a married pastor of a large church in Texas, wrote an article called “Why Am I Still Single? 7 Things To Consider If You’re Single And Don’t Want To Be.” This little treasure trove was shared on my Facebook feed this week, and I was almost too terrified to look and see what he wrote. Five of his six points are solid. He writes that singles should know it’s ok to long to be married, to long for a different life circumstance, and that people should (rightly) not expect that we will ever experience life on earth without some unmet desire. We’ve even said similar things here. He even concludes with sympathy and admiration for singles who can’t really find an answer for the big WHY.

Pastor Todd’s advice goes off into wonky territory when he starts to discuss that you might be single because you don’t know yourself, you might be awkward, you haven’t dealt with enough of your stuff, and because God might be being gracious to others by keeping you single. If I was to sit down at Starbucks with Mr. Wagner, this conversation is probably what would take place.


Pastor Todd: Do you know…I mean really know yourself? Are you needy? (that scares everyone) Are you awkward? (that is just awkward) Have you dealt with your hurts, habits, hang-ups? Any relationship is only as healthy as the least healthy person in it.

Anna: I feel like this is fundamentally an unfair question to ask. Most married couples I know definitely did not deal with all of their hurts, habits, and hang-ups before they got married. Most people just meet someone they like, fall in love, and get married. There’s not usually an in-depth psychoanalysis.

When many people marry on the young-side of twenty don’t know themselves terribly well and probably have some pretty bad habits. They’ve had their first jobs and adult experiences, but they’re basically still figuring life out. Your question, although well-meaning, presupposes that to get married, you have to “know yourself” and that you can even know yourself enough for it to make a difference. Most humans in history got married so young they couldn’t possibly have known themselves or dealt with their hang-ups. Yes, if you are a complete nose-picking, jerk who burps in people’s faces, kicks puppies, and never showers, you might be single for fairly obvious reason. But, most of the time, it’s not that obvious.

Pastor Todd: Some people are single and God’s grace is sufficient for them. Some people are single because God is gracious to others. Know which one you are.

Anna: I’m pretty sure that is heretical. God’s grace is sufficient for His people whether or not we feel like it and whether or not we are married. Simply because God’s grace is enough doesn’t mean that singles don’t still desire to get married. Paul said pretty clearly that God’s grace is made perfect in weakness. Sometimes, God grace is the most visible to the singles who are keenly aware of just how broken they are.

If you’re single, regardless of your hang-ups, God is gracious to you. You’re not single because you’re being quarantined. Jesus doesn’t look at you and say, “Oh my gosh, this one is lethal. Gotta keep her from contaminating the holiness stew.” As I’ve said before, marriage and singleness (whether for a season or for life) are both vocational callings. God is working in and through your singleness–even when it’s lonely, and singles, no matter what their issue, aren’t being kept unmarried to be gracious to other people.

Sanctification does not work like that. Unrepentant sin brings consequences into our lives, but that consequence is never God being gracious to others at your expense. Grace is not a zero-sum game. Grace, by its very definition, is for those who do not deserve it: the broken, helpless, needy, gross, and unlovely.


I don’t know how exactly that coffee would end. I hope that Pastor Todd would hear me out. Many on a long road of singleness are keenly aware of their shortcomings and often blame themselves for being too much or never enough to get married. Be comforted that God doesn’t give the good gift of marriage to only those that deserve it. If that was the case, no one would ever get married.

Singles and marrieds should be “[r]adically, relentlessly, daily, biblically deal with our pain, insecurity, anger, hopelessness and neediness” as Pastor Todd says, but not for the hope of being taken out of the sick bay or the B team. We should be pursuing wholeness and holiness for God’s glory and our good.

Praying with and for you,
Anna

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 29 Comments

Guest Post: Joy through Pain

On Mondays, we fast and pray for lunch (or longer) asking for the Lord to soften our hearts as women, embolden men to walk to into relationships, and give the gift of marriages to those who desire it. 

Today, we have the privilege of a guest post and testimony of God’s grace from Christy, an amazing woman and musician. Her story of God’s severe but necessary mercy is convicting and encouraging. I hope that you are blessed by it as much as we have been.

The FastPray Team


Joy through Pain 

Hello, my old heart, how have you been?
How is it being locked away?
Don’t you worry. In there you’re safe.
And it’s true, you’ll never beat, but you’ll never break.
               –The Oh Hello’s, “Hello My Old Heart”

Four years ago, if you had asked me to describe myself, I would have used words like, “independent, secure, content, self-sufficient.” I was successful in my career and hobbies, my immediate family lived nearby, I had a beautiful church community and a number of wonderful friends, and I was thoroughly enjoying my independence. I was satisfied with the state of my relationship with God, and I figured I didn’t need much more to be content in life.

Sadly, what was hiding behind that wall of independence and self-sufficiency was the heart of a girl who had never healed from years of darkness and hardship without a safe place to stand. That wall was the only way she knew to survive rejection, pain, and heartache. How do you avoid being let down by anyone? You need no one.

God in his severe mercy allowed that wall of self-protection fall to pieces. In four years, my parents separated and divorced, I became very sick with chronic Lyme Disease and went into significant debt with medical bills, my two sisters and their families moved out of state, and my boss told me that my job was being eliminated in a matter of months due to budget constraints.

I wish I could tell you that my immediate response to each of these trials was to run to the Lord, lay my burdens at his feet, and allow his beautiful promises to speak comfort to my aching soul. Unfortunately, I had so trained myself to be fine on my own, that my immediate reaction was to simply endure the hardships and manage to get by on my own two feet.

The problem became quickly evident: I had nothing to stand on. My relationship with God was mostly an intellectual assent to his existence, his holiness, and power. It certainly wasn’t an intimate, personal relationship with a recklessly loving King who was willing to leave perfection and glory to stand on filthy ground and die the death I deserved–all to prove his saving, steadfast, perfect love.

As life was falling apart, I met a man. (I’ll call him Andy.) I was so desperate for an escape from the pain of my circumstances that I dove blindly into a relationship with him. I ignored the warning signs that Andy was a very broken, angry, hungry man willing to take advantage of my loneliness to satisfy his own longings and pain. Over four months, he methodically pushed my boundaries, and I began to justify things that were questionable but covered up with “Christian” language. I closed my heart off to the truth in pursuit of this immediate relief from pain. However, as St. Augustine said,

The closed heart does not bar Thy sight into it,
Nor does the hardness of our heart hold back Thy hands,
For Thou canst soften it at will.
                   –The Confessions, Book V

Thankfully, God did not hold back his hands from my heart. My relationship with Andy did not end with me having been seen, known, or loved at all. Instead it ended with me having been used and tossed aside and left to carry the shame of the choices I made. I went through a period of serious depression and anger. How could God allow a man like Andy to come along and mess with my heart right at the time when I was at my lowest physically, emotionally, and spiritually?

As many angry prayers were sent up to heaven, something happened in my heart.  I discovered that my anger was a mask for a profound thirst.  That God-given longing for intimacy – to be seen and known and fully accepted – was chipping away at my desire to stay protected and safe from rejection. I found my prayers changing from, “Why did you let this happen to me? You don’t care about me at all, do you? Are you even there?” to what the Psalmist writes in Psalm 63:1:

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
My soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you,
As in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

In the end, this season brought me God’s merciful destruction of a deadly idol.  When I stood in the rubble of my desire to be secure in my independence and self-sufficiency, I was able to see a kingdom that was infinitely more beautiful than the world behind the wall a little girl had created long ago to keep her heart safe.  Later in Psalm 63, David says, “For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.” This beautiful imagery developed into a song I wrote, which summarizes part of the heart-healing truth I learned through the journey of the past four years:

I try to fade in an ocean of the pain,
But your hold remains, you won’t let me run away.
As the darkness falls and the silence calls,
You tear my tower down, and give to me a crown.

Climbing the sky into endless burning light,
With your face in sight I run into the fight.
When the lies were choking me,
You taught me to sing in the shadow of your wings.

Life hasn’t exactly become easier since the years described above. My health, family, and finances continue to present challenges, and I’ve been through another painful heartbreak. However, the priceless gift that those four years gave me was freedom the belief that independence and self-sufficiency were where I would find safety and contentment. God replaced that belief with a yearning for his presence, a longing for the intimate love he alone can give, and the freedom that comes only from depending on him. Now when pain comes along, I don’t have to shut my heart off to survive. I lay it in his hands and sing these words:

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I dare not close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
–George Matheson

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Suffering

On Mondays at lunch, we fast and pray – for men to become godly leaders in the church and in establishing families; for soft hearts that are responsive to the Lord; and for strong, Christ-centered marriages for those who desire them.

My daily prayer usually follows this loose outline:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for this day, for my salvation, for providing for my needs (please continue to do so), and for my friends and family. Please keep us safe and healthy.

Please give healing and comfort to [list of individuals]. Please provide for and bless so-and-so on the mission field. Please lead unsaved friends, family members, and coworkers to come to know You.

Help me to be more like You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Something I recently read from Lisa Chan has made me stop and reflect on what I pray. She wrote:

“I am so quick to say that I want to be Christ-like. My mind immediately thinks of His love, kindness, healings, and teachings…But I am struck by everything else it means to be Christ-like: humility, sacrifice, forgiveness, and suffering. These are things that are hard to exemplify, things that we often avoid.”

I have a very hard time thinking about suffering or putting myself in situations that might cause discomfort or uncertainty or failure. As my prayer shows, I want God to keep me and those close to me happy and healthy. I want to be loving and kind. I want God to be glorified through how “good” I am and for Him to bless me all the time as a result of my “clean living.” In short, I pray for comfort and things that will make me happy– the antithesis of sacrifice.

But if I’m praying and called to be more like Christ, that means I have to be willing to accept suffering – hope deferred, rejection by others, loneliness, emotional and even physical pain and persecution (as so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world are experiencing!) – in humility and forgiveness, bringing glory to the Father (Philippians 2: 6-11).

I should not fear or resent hardship because Jesus calls believers to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23). If Jesus calls me to something, then He’ll see me through it, whether or not the journey is pleasant or comfortable for me.

I know – easier said than done!

So often I make myself a martyr of my circumstances, claiming I am suffering for Christ because life is hard, God isn’t answering prayer as I would like, needs aren’t being met. But it’s not true spiritual sacrifice unless I face these challenges in hope, in humility, and in faith with the goal of bringing glory to God and becoming more like Jesus (Romans 12:1-2).

How is your approach to singleness, that problem at work, or that difficult family situation different from those of the unbelievers around you? How are you using it as a testimony of your faith in Christ? Do you suffer for Christ, or do you just suffer?

Will you join me this week in a time of confession for resenting those “hard things” God gives each one of us? Let’s also pray for courage to be bold in living our lives in obedience to Him – no matter the consequences. He redeems our suffering by using it to draw us (and others) to Himself.

Love to you,

Emily

Posted in Author: Emily | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Why?

There is nothing like the big V-Day to get you thinking about candy, flowers, and, of course, love. Each week we connect through this blog post, joining each other in prayer for love to fill the air and hearts to be joined together in marriage. We believe and hope that God will hear our prayers, for ourselves and others to find love and be united in holy matrimony. Do you ever wonder what it is that we are actually praying for? Is the culmination of our prayers for all of us to find spouses, ride off into the sunset and live blissfully ever after, the end?

Love is wonderful, marriage is good, but we know that wonderful and good do not always translate into ever after. Have you noticed that there are few stories in the Bible detailing how someone moved from singleness to marriage? Ruth found Boaz in a wheat field and their music-filled, “you’re the one” moment involved a threshing floor. Maybe this would work in Iowa, running through the wheat fields flagging down combines for eligible men, not sure, but it does make for a good mental video. Rebecca wed Isaac because she watered some camels. Perhaps the equivalent is putting gas in some man’s car? The Bible doesn’t really speak to how we are to go about finding a spouse. I’d also venture a guess that if you polled your married friends you would find just as many stories on how they met and married their spouses.

See, I believe God is much more concerned with why we do something than how.

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. Proverbs 21:2

But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve. Jeremiah 17:10

Imagine how boring life would be if God gave us step-by-step instructions for how He wanted us to do stuff. We each get to live out our own creative stories of how God is at work in our lives, doesn’t that just get you all excited? There is a connecting thread of purpose in the stories of Ruth and Rebecca that lead to the importance of “why” they married. God was completing His promise to Abraham that his descendants would be greater than the stars and out of them would come the Savior of the world. These couples and their offspring are in the lineage of Jesus; their unions fulfilled a greater purpose.

A few weeks ago, I devoured Tim Keller’s book “The Meaning of Marriage.” For those unfamiliar with Tim Keller, he is a pastor of Redeemer Church in New York City. He wrote this book based on a sermon series he preached several years ago to a congregation of 80% singles. I know what some of you are thinking, get me to NYC, with those odds I’ve got to find a spouse! He writes the book with a single audience in mind and really dissects the “why” of marriage.

Dominant western culture says that the purpose and meaning of marriage is self-fulfillment. Chemistry and sexual compatibility are paramount in forming a relationship with someone, and we can look no further than the top-rated box office hits for how this plays out in our culture. However, God desires for us to live outside of self and our desires, wants, and needs and look to the needs of others.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

As we explore the “why” of marriage, let’s delve into excerpts from Tim’s book:

What if, however, you began your marriage understanding its purpose as spiritual friendship for the journey to the new creation? What if you expected marriage to be about helping each other grow out of your sins and flaws into the new self God is creating? (page 149)

And the main message of this chapter is that the key to giving marriage that kind of priority is spiritual friendship. So many marriages are begun with the journey of God only as an afterthought. Many Christians congratulate themselves that they have married another believer, but they look at their prospective spouse’s faith as simply one more factor that makes him or her compatible, like common interests and hobbies. But that is not what spiritual friendship is. It is eagerly helping one another know, serve, love, and resemble God in deeper and deeper ways. (pages 144-145)

This Monday, let’s not just pray for marriages, let’s pray that God develops spiritual friendships that challenge us to grow more Christ-like, flourish in love, and expand the kingdom of God!

Happily ever after,

Michelle

Posted in Author: Michelle | 15 Comments

Seven Thousand Men

On Mondays, we fast and pray for men and women to more boldly and faithfully show forth God’s image in relation to one another, and for marriages to those who desire them.

At a recent family baby shower, one of my lovely cousins (who has 5 kids!) was telling me that she looks forward to someday meeting my future spouse. I laughed and said, “ME TOO!” On one hand, I was so happy to feel emotionally stable and not-defensive at a baby shower and in a conversation about singleness. That itself is huge evidence of God’s grace in my heart and life! (Granted, I’ll probably be sobbing on my floor later in the week for something completely inconsequential, but I’ll take the stability as today’s gift.).

Yet on the other hand, a dark voice in the deep of my heart says…“There is no such man. You’ve seen you. You’ve seen the options. You’ve seen the culture. You know it’s impossible.”

All three of those categories give me pause. Yes, I know my own junk: the broken patterns of my past and present, the lonely, empty places sometimes filled by sinful relational choices, the lack of love for others, the deep-rooted anxiety and unseen expectations. I know the Lord is at work in all those areas…but I also know I can be a relational tornado, which makes me afraid that marrying a godly man will somehow be harder.

Secondly, I’ve seen the options. I’ve seen some friends’ promising relationships recently end in disappointment. I’ve got my own tragic dating track record. I don’t see any quickly apparent pool of godly men who want to date/get married. And even though I live in an urban area which is technically full of single adults, I can’t really say that I see the caliber or quantity of godly men to give me much external hope that marriage is a possibility.

And then there’s the culture…add all that into the context of cultural decay around gender/marriage/children, the cancer of pornographic images and words, and confusion about the purpose and gift of human sexuality (including its celibate forms), and perhaps an overarching loss of relational hope (h/t to Dale Keuhne on that front).

Yikes. It’s enough to make me cry, eat salted caramel chocolates and/or crawl under a rock and hide.

And that’s why I love 1 Kings 19. Elijah is just great. After a major win against Ahab and his false idols, he is terrified by Jezebel and runs into the wilderness. Elijah is having such a terrible day that he sits down under a lone tree and asks to die (verse 4): It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.

Instead, God comes and initiates a conversation with Elijah, and asks him what is wrong. Elijah (my translation): “Look, it’s pretty much just me at this point. I’m trying to do what is right because I believe you. But the rest of your stupid people have seriously destroyed everything, and now they’re looking to kill me too. Did I mention that I’M THE ONLY ONE LEFT? Yep. Me. That’s it, God. Just me.”

Honestly, some of me can identity with Elijah. I feel like I’m the only one looking at the disaster zone of my heart, the lack of men, and the disintegrating culture. It can feel like no one cares what it means to live a counter-cultural life as a celibate, believing single adult. I feel like I’m the only one left (in lots of ways) and, sometimes, I want to sit down under a tree and cry too.

Thankfully, God is still God. He doesn’t quash Elijah’s original complaint but instead cares for him in three ways:

  • God brings food for Elijah (verse 5, 7): God twice sends an angel to provide for Elijah’s physical needs because He says the journey is too great for you. He sends Elijah the needed provision for the next task immediately ahead of Elijah. That is an incredible encouragement to me. God knows what is in front of me, and He sends the fuel I need for the next step.
  • God speaks to Elijah in unexpected ways (verses 9-14): After feeding Elijah, God sends him on 40-day journey, and then asks Elijah to tell Him his complaint. And He responds in the quietest, least predictable manner….sound familiar? God is not what we expect, does not operate how we expect, and is not always where we expect…and yet, He’s there and He’s listening and responding. That is comfort to my soul.
  • God has things we can’t see (verse 18): This is the original verse that God brought to my mind on a particular day that I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of cultural brokenness. I despaired that there were absolutely no godly, single men anywhere. And this verse came to mind: Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him. 

NB: Baal was that era’s pagan fertility god who was worshiped with sexual orgies and temple prostitution.) So Elijah had no idea that God had kept thousands of God-fearing Israelites who hadn’t bowed to the pressure of the culture’s sexual practices. I don’t want to take the verse out of context, but I think it is safe to say that God has His people stashed where we might least expect them. When it looks like all hope is dashed, this is a constant reminder to me of God’s prerogative and ability to guide His people…and I’d like to think that can include to marriage, if that is His will.

So when that dark voice in my heart tells me the horizon is too dark and there’s no one left, I instead want to listen to the still, small voice that speaks truth and directs my steps.

Praying with you and for you,

Amy

Posted in Author: Amy | 12 Comments

Made Weaker

On Mondays at lunch, we fast and pray for men and women to be progressively more shaped into God’s image and for marriages to those who desire them.

Late last year, I was reading through the book of Judges and seeing as it’s not, on the surface, the most encouraging book of the Bible, I found reading it to be challenging. Why on earth would I want to read about an obese guy getting stabbed, a dude dying by tent peg, and a creep going all serial killer on his mistress? (I kept thinking. Just keep reading, eventually, you’re going to get to Ruth.) So, of course, when my church started its January sermon series on the book of Judges, I thought, I have no idea how this is going to get by without a parental warning.

This week, we made around to Gideon. Gideon was this weak, nobody. He was the least impressive member of his ridiculously unimpressive family. He was an insecure, people-pleaser who needed constant reassurance from God (even though God had shown up and promised to be with him). Maybe, Jesus had Gideon in mind when He made that faith as small as a mustard seed comment. Somehow, it’s this guy who God decided to use to rescue Israel from their enemies. My pastor’s question from this morning is still ringing in my ears this afternoon:

What did God do in response to Gideon’s weakness?
God made Gideon even weaker.

At the beginning of Judges 7, Gideon has an army of 22,000 men. When God was finished organizing the worst battle plan in the history of warfare, Gideon had 300 men and as their weapons, trumpets, torches, and jars.  This “army” is a complete laughing stock, and yet, they saw victory.

When I come to prayer on Mondays (and most days), I frequently feel like Gideon. I feel insecure, and I am constantly asking God for reassurance–a sign that He hears my prayers (whether that’s for a spouse, for vocational direction, or for restored relationships.) I try to be bold in my prayers, but I crave more confidence that I will see the “goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” I don’t want to sing about a day in the future when my faith shall be sight. I want it to be today!

Why did God make Gideon weaker?
God wanted Israel to give Him the glory for the victory.

Why does God allow weakness and insecurity in our lives?
God wants to show us that He brings victory.

Gideon’s story is an embodiment of 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

When we see answers to prayer, whether it’s your prayers for a spouse, your prayers to be set free from worry and anxiety, or your prayers for victory over a besetting sin, we will know without a doubt that we didn’t see these because we were strong, but because our God is.

Blessings,
Anna

Posted in Author: Anna | Tagged | 4 Comments