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"God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal's seventy sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother Abimelech and on the citizens of Shechem, who had helped him murder his brothers." Judges 9:24
There are a handful of specific times in my life when I feel so broken and discouraged and God encourages me in a way that I never dreamed possible. One was when I was in college and was going through one of the hardest times in my life. I was on student staff with Young Life at the time and was at a retreat. I really needed to hear from the Lord about something specific and deep down thought I wish the speaker would talk it. That night as if God came to me with a giant bouquet of red roses the speaker started, "I had something prepared to share but this afternoon the Lord really showed me I need to talk about something different." He then went on to say things that felt as if I were the only one in the room and the Lord was talking straight to me. I was crying uncontrollably and had snot streaming from my nose, not a pretty sight. But I was just so overwhelmed with the Lord's grace and goodness.
Yesterday was another time like this. Not quite as dramatic and in need of tissue thank goodness! But the Lord used my pastor to remind me of the truth I was having a hard time remembering. It's like this: The Lord has always used me to take the initiative. I am not usually the one picked to do something and most of my life I have been disregarded for one reason or another. Over the span of my 34 years, He has shown me that I am a steward and need to take initiative to use/invest what the Lord has given me, not just sit back and wait for someone to ask me. And can I just say that really stinks! It is so much easier to sit back and there is a lot of validation that comes from being sought after. So anyway, I have a lot on my plate right now and having a 1, 3 and 4 year old compounds the feelings of "a lot".
I was doubting if this whole take initiative to invest thing really was right. I wondered, "Am I just manipulating God?" We prayed for 2 years for our little Asher (who has an incredible story btw) but did I talk God into this plan for my life? But the Lord, as He is so gracious in continually doing used Austin and my pastor to remind me what is true "...No plan of yours can be thwarted." (Job 42:2) I can't control or manipulate God. Ok, I know that sounds crazy silly, but there is so much freedom in that! I can't talk God into giving me a stone instead of fish, I can't talk Him into giving me something bad for me. Thank You Lord! And my pastor spoke about taking your desires to the Lord. Really asking, seeking, knocking. He pointed to Nehemiah in asking God for success. Awesome!
God's Word is so incredible! I can see it as the weapon that destroyed the arrows of the enemy in my life this weekend. So here we are, "God did this..." He sure does do things how He sees fit. He is powerful and omniscient.
It's like a beautiful dance of intentionally following. I love to dance. And when I first learned to dance with a partner the guys said, "For a girl, a good dancer is one that can follow." It took awhile to learn how to follow for me. I had to be intentional to follow. Just like with the Lord, to be intentional about obeying, about stewarding what He has given me (even when it would be easier to sit back and wait for things to come to me, to sit back and wait to be asked).
So here I am, in this beautiful dance with the Lord, renewed by the Word of God. Remembering that God did this. He is the One whose plans can't be thwarted and I will give my all to give my all.
I love You Lord. Thank You for Your much needed encouragement yesterday.
This story is pretty different than the verse but related in the way that we so often see God different than the reality of who He is. In these last couple verses in Judges 9, the Lord shows Himself as an avenging God. Perhaps a different side of God than we like to see. Or perhaps a side of God we don't believe exists. Oh Lord, please keep giving us a proper view of who You are. Where we are believing lies raised up against the knowledge of You, please expose them and replace them
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