For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. Deuteronomy 30:16
Have you looked within your heart lately? Really looked??? What did you see? Is your heart open and ready for all the good things only God can provide? I believe most of us are spending our time on the outside looking in rather than the other way around. Think about what you see when you look at a kiwi for the first time. First glance reveals a brown, fuzzy, rather unappealing oval fruit that chances are you would not be tempted to eat based on its outer appearance. Will you take the chance of looking further and actually cut open the kiwi? If so, you would find a brilliant green fruit inside centered by rays of tiny, black seeds. You could taste the sweetness of the fruit and let the juice settle on your tongue in a burst of flavor. The inside does not match the outside which is similar to our hearts. Does your heart hold what your character and actions portray? Is God present in your heart as well as in how you conduct your life?
Let’s look at the story of Gideon, a judge from the Old Testament, who displayed weakness, doubt and lack of faith when God asked him to claim all of the Promised Land. Gideon and his people lived in Canaan and were perfectly content with their lives but that was at the cost of ignoring God’s command. God assured them the Promised Land – the whole thing not just the part that they were currently occupying. The Israelites – Gideon and company- were choosing the comforts of the land instead of their commitment to God who promised them continued sustenance in return for trusting Him for total victory. In return, God handed the Israelites over to the Midianites, who were cruel and ruthless. Then God sent an angel and called Gideon to take care of the Midianites once and for all. Gideon was doubtful that he was the man for the job and began his quest to get out of this situation.
To learn more about Gideon click here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%206&version=NIV
God always knows what He is doing and purposely uses our weaknesses to develop our strengths.He did this with Gideon and he does this with us. However, even though we question where God is leading us, God is persistent and works hard to not only provide for us but to shape and make us into who He wants us to be. God never loses patience with us and is always willing to take us back even after making multiple mistakes. Remember God calls us especially in our weakness to follow Him. Priscilla Shirer describes this best with the following words taken from her study on Gideon: “Our weakness is the key God uses to unlock the door, but even an unlocked door must still be opened… Use what you have – no matter how weak – and God will take care of the rest.” So change your focus because it changes everything. Gideon needed to change his focus and trust that God would do what He promised. Open your heart for the goodness of God. Allow Him to enter that door that might be closed and provide you with all you need. Don’t spend all your time looking at only the outer appearance because chances are you will miss the best part. This is the story of the kiwi: if we stop at the brown, fuzzy skin we will miss out on the green, juicy deliciousness that is inside. If we keep our hearts closed and protect ourselves with our tough outer skin, we will miss the promises and life that God has planned for us. We meet people that might look finished on the outside but God is still working on their hearts. The reverse is true – we might think we are finished on the inside, but God is still working on our hearts. Take the story of the kiwi today and reflect on the following: how are you developing your weaknesses into strengths and how are you like Gideon, the questioner and doubter? I would love to hear from you in the comments to learn how you see God moving in your life today?
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