Have you ever wondered that? Why is it that God takes us so close to the edge so often? I mean, isn’t there an easier way?
The theory of course is pretty straightforward: because He wants to grow our faith in Him, right?
That’s the theory!
Now I don’t know about you, but the theory is pretty hard to chew on when you’re out there on the edge facing some crisis; a set of absolutely overwhelming odds.
The story that really blows me away – and stories are the way God takes my learning way beyond the theory straight into the realities of my life – is the story of Gideon.
Remember we chatted about him in my previous post – Fear and Courage Two Sides of the One Coin. Not only was he facing an army so overwhelming – numbering in the hundreds of thousands – that the odds of winning were completely impossible, but God then whittled Gideon’s force down from over 32,000 men to just 300!
Now maybe Gideon was made of sterner stuff than me, but I have to tell ya, I would’ve been asking God, "What the blazes are You thinking here?"
Fortunately we don’t have to ask such an impertinent question because God gives us the answer. Let’s take a look together:
The LORD said to Gideon, “The troops with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand. Israel would only take the credit away from me, saying, ‘My own hand has delivered me.’ (Judges 7:2)
Now at first, that may not be particularly comforting. Seems that one of the reasons God takes us so close to the edge is so that He gets the glory.
But we live in a world where we’re all too prepared to reinvent God in our own image; to reduce Him in effect to our buddy, our mate, the One who does stuff for us when we need Him to. Almost like a slot machine, sugar-daddy kind of God.
After all, I’m at the centre of the universe aren’t I? God serves me … doesn’t He?
See how our “me” culture warps our view of God? But what use is a God who’s been reduced by being remade in our image, when we’re faced with completely overwhelming odds?
Answer: zip … nada.
One of the things we relearn and rediscover when He calls us to live a life on the edge is that He is a mighty, awesome, sovereign, powerful God – capable of anything. He is the God who holds the universe in the palm of His hand.
And He doesn’t share His glory with anyone. Ever.
Now, we may well know that in theory, but this is something that you and I need to learn in practice.