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By March 25, 2012August 30th, 2022Lost in Translation

It’s hard to believe, but tonight marks the 300th post I have written for TBTB. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that the idea for Transitions by The Book was born, but it has been more than a year now and we’re still going strong. My life has been changed by some of the stories I have heard about as  result of the posts I have written. Stories of transition, the faithfulness of God, God’s impeccable timing and a host of other promises of God have made this a very rewarding journey for me this far.

Most of all, though, I have been impressed time after time by God’s choice of who He uses to further His kingdom on earth. I have seen obscure people used by God in ways that defy explanation. And those people who seem like obvious choices to do His will are overlooked in favor of the “least of these.” I often wonder why God doesn’t use the most likely candidates, according to our earthly standards, to do His bidding. But, of course, that would be the way we would expect Him to do things.

And God usually does things in a way that we don’t even think about. I am sure that we could never even dream up half the stuff that God routinely does to achieve His purposes. The way that God combines people and events in absolutely unfathomable ways is beyond the ability of humans to even comprehend. After all, we are talking about the God of all creation here….. For example, the Bible is filled with examples of second sons taking over from their older siblings and accomplishing tasks for God. That in itself was not the norm in our human world.

But then again, God doesn’t do things according to our human limitations. Those of us who have dedicated ourselves to the service of God learn to live our lives expecting miracles. At least I do – every year I expect more and more from God because He is constantly amazing me with his timing. I don’t mean money, by the way – I mean the appearance of miracles. And today, more than ever before, I think I am able to identify more things that God has done to affect His kingdom here on earth.

Tonight, I am reminded about the saving of the Israelites by an incredibly small contingent of men – 300 to be exact, so I thought this is the perfect night to tell this story. It all started with Gideon, a man who believed that God was going to deliver His chosen people from the hands of its enemy. After the famous event, when Gideon put out the fleece to make sure he was in the will of God (twice) he assembled thirty two thousand men to oppose more than 135,000 enemy soldiers. Now, according to our human standards, Gideon and his men were hopelessly outnumbered, but God thought that Gideon had too many soldiers to enter the battle.

After 22,000 left to go home, with Gideon’s blessing, God once again commanded Gideon to reduce his troops. Finally, after observing the way the soldiers drank water, Gideon geared up for his enemy with only 300 men. With swords, torches and jars, Gideon and his troops followed the orders of God and when the battle started, members of the enemy army vanquished one another with their swords. Only 15,000 men remained and they fled! Gideon and his men pursued them and finished the job.

Once again, the glory went to God. No way could 300 men have defeated more than 135,000. But with God, all things are possible, and it is common for God to let things get so bad that any victory would have to be acknowledged as from God Himself. That’s how it is in our lives. We try and try to win our battles in our own strength but the truth is that God deserves the credit for our victories. When we realize that He delivers us, we are far better off than if we try to claim a win for ourselves.

The verse for this evening confirms the fact that God is in control. In Mark 10:27, we are told the same thing that Gideon learned, and this is, “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” So there you have it – Jesus Himself lets us know that when we think all is lost and the situation is hopeless, God is on the throne and still in control.

And that God usually doesn’t move until the situation seems hopeless. The victory is all the sweeter when it is clearly beyond our ability to do in our own power. So my encouragement this evening it to remind you to leave the heavy lifting to God. After all, the big stuff is right in His sweet spot, and we don’t have to worry about whether He is able. My prayer is that you will turn to God when you have a need that could use His special touch. Too many times, I know that I try to manhandle stuff that is better left to the Father. I don’t know how many times I will have to learn that lesson. You would think that I would have remembered that one by now, but for some reason, I keep forgetting. So tonight, I think I will take another run at it – asking God for the victory instead of trying to do it myself. Have a great day in the Lord, and here’s to another 300….. Grace and peace,

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