Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Judges 6:25-27 (NIV)
That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.” So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.
Judges 6:25-27 (MSG)
That night this happened. God said to him, “Take your father’s best seven-year-old bull, the prime one. Tear down your father’s Baal altar and chop down the Asherah fertility pole beside it. Then build an altar to God, your God, on the top of this hill. Take the prime bull and present it as a Whole-Burnt-Offering, using firewood from the Asherah pole that you cut down.” Gideon selected ten men from his servants and did exactly what God had told him. But because of his family and the people in the neighborhood, he was afraid to do it openly, so he did it that night.
“Now on that same night the Lord said to Gideon, “Take your father’s bull, the second bull seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it; and build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this mountain stronghold [with stones laid down] in an orderly way. Then take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice using the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.” Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did just as the Lord had told him; but because he was too afraid of his father’s household (relatives) and the men of the city to do it during daylight, he did it at night.” -AMPLIFIED
Yesterday we looked at Gideon’s calling; today we will continue looking at what it was that God expected from Gideon. Our text shares with us this little piece of information, “That same night the Lord said to him…” On the same night that God had placed the calling on Gideon’s life God expected something from Gideon.
God needed Gideon to take a small step of faith. God was not expecting Gideon to single-handedly go out and conquer the enemy from the start. Instead, we find God asking Gideon to start small. “First things first, tear down the Baal altar within your father’s house. Second, cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Thirdly, build a proper altar to the Lord your God. And finally offer up a bull as a sacrifice to Me.” Small steps of faith to begin with; steps that we learn from and find out how to trust and rely on God.
Learning faith is a process. It is not something that suddenly happens to us. We do not wake up one morning suddenly filled with the faith that we need to conquer the World. No, it is a process of learning, testing, trusting and finding out what we are capable of with God’s strength. Gideon needed to go through that process too. He had lived in a state of fear so long that he needed to do some testing and investigating. You see, Gideon had heard those stories of old, just as every young Jewish boy and girl had, but he had not experienced them for himself. Now it was his turn to find out if he truly believed and trusted in the Lord; as his forefathers had. Faith is a process of learning.
Small steps of faith will actually lead to more significant steps of faith; which in turn will lead to greater faith and trust in God. Do you want to do great things for God? Then you need to be faithful in the small things. You need to take those first small steps. You have to prove to yourself that you are going to trust God, no matter what.
Lord, help me to have faith that you can use me. Help me to understand that I must not have faith in myself to do great things for you, but I must have faith that YOU can do great things through me; for I am nothing without you. Help me to take those first small steps so that you can lead me on to do bigger things for you. Help me to trust you in every step of the process of growing. Lord, be my Leader and be my Guide. I am counting on You!