Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Minus 22,000 and then some

I know I have posted twice within a 24 hour period, but I just had to get this one off of my heart or Jesus was not going to let my spirit rest. With my former post speaking of my need for sunscreen, my spiritual heartbeat will not leave me alone. I know I just referenced Gideon in ‘Because He said so,’ but hang with me because 1) I LOVE the OT and 2) I will get stuck in a passage for days on end feasting on its riches. It’s just what He gives me the grace to participate in…so I’m creeping along the early parts of Judges. Hence the bond with Gideon lately.

Judges 7:1 – 2: “Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, 'Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.' So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.”

Sound familiar? Nope – I don’t mean that the name Jerub-Baal should remind you of your best girlfriend. I am referencing the fact that twenty-two thousand men left Gideon before battle against the Midianites. (Nice timing Lord?!) If you keep reading, you’ll discover that the LORD says in verse 4 that there ‘are still too many (people)’ and leaves a group of only 300 men to join Gideon in fighting the Midianites, further removing those who could have assisted Gideon.

To be blunt and honest, I need you to know that I want Jesus so badly for you that I hope this happens to you if that’s what it takes. I hope your ‘twenty-two thousand ‘men’” are stripped from you so that you will know the LORD your God is God and He alone saves. “In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her... (vs. 1). Deuteronomy 8:16 tells us that the LORD led the Israelites in the wilderness that He might humble them, and that He might test them, to do good for them in the end.

Sweet sister, sometimes the LORD removes all tempting sources of security other than Himself so that He can be your Stronghold and Rock. Sometimes, He graciously removes our bible study leader, friend, parent, or mentor from a moment in our lives to mercifully keep our affections, awe, and applause transfixed on Him alone. Sometimes, He’ll strip away the areas of self-sufficiency, self-dependency, self-provision, and self-confidence in our lives to open our eyes to the fact that He Himself is all we need (I hope He does this always…) and that we are equipped in Him for everything we need for life and godliness. Sometimes, you are forced into a desperate-looking situation because He wants you to be desperate for more of Him.

I want you to know and love Jesus so badly. I want more for you than the current ‘this.’ If it takes a season of the Lord removing the “22,000” other areas of support (even be it wonderful and godly things), I beg you sister to find Him in your ‘Gethsemane.’ Do not believe for one second that the LORD your God has forsaken you when he leaves you with a “300” (which may look like nothing or no one on the outside), He has given you an Audience of One - the LORD. I pray you may find it as a tender invitation from your Redeemer to know Him more. To know His strength, to know His might, to know His glory. To know Him. It’s the privilege of a lifetime dear one and He is beckoning you with a nail-scarred hand to seek His face. It is for you.

Father, may our hearts be a stage for you to come and be glorified upon. Your Name and renown are the desires of our heart. Remove the '22,000' if that's what it takes dear Jesus. For 'Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty...Yours is the dominion...and You exalt Yourself as head over all." We love you Father.

19 comments:

Kelly S. said...

beautifully written.....I really enjoyed going back and reading the story of Gideon in Judges. I had not looked at it in a while. This came to mind as I read both your post on this passage:
Philippians 2:13 NLT
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Thanks for your words, I am always inspired!

CrownLaidDown said...

Amen! and Amen to your quick wit in your reply on the LPM blog to the bird and the mirror verse. Hil-a-rious! As Monk says, I lol out loud :)
You go girl...with God you don't need the 22,000!
Love in Him,
holly

.insignificantly significant. said...

Amen. AMEN. Amen.

Such an INCREDIBLE trurth. I love it. Oh, Mozz...the Lord is so faithful. I feel like Abraham who keeps asking God how many it'll take for Him to not demolish the city. Because I keep asking Him if He's sure it's His will...and all He keeps saying is TRUST ME. Even if the 22,000 leave...Trust me.

Oh gosh, He is so patient with my fearfully trembling heart.

But, even better He has it made it my desire for Him to take things away...b/c if it gets between my love for Him---it needs to be gone fast.

I just think that is wayyy cool---to be soo incredibly fearful, yet to know He's going to provide. Not to bring glory to me---but glory to Him for the comfort ONLY He provides.

Teri said...

I have stopped by your blog a few times after seeing your comments on the LPM Blog too. I have often wondered about your story...you eluded to it in a couple of your posts recently. Congratulations on your graduation by the way! I love your blog! You have such a tender heart and great passion for the Lord!

Lyndy said...

Great stuff and absolutely wonderfully written. Your heart for Jesus is amazing and I so wish I had been as smart when I was your age. Keep up the excellent posts.

In His Joy and Grace,
Lyndy in GA

connorcolesmom said...

Shelly,
The story of Gideon has been spoken to me all year. God called me to lead women's studies in the fall of 2006. I truly felt like the "weakiest of warriors" but as you know God calls the weakiest of warriors to rise up and be the leaders He wants them to be. God is using you in a mighty way. I will continue to pray for you.

God is who He says He is
He can do what He says He can do
You are who God says you are
You can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens you
God's word is alive and active in you (the 5 point statement of faith from Beleiving God)!!
Love you sista,
Kim

Lindsee said...

Well said! Even though sometimes I hate hearing the truth, I know he takes things away for reasons. Especially so that I will love him even more!!

Thank you for your precious heart and wonderful words of encouragement.

I choose HIM. :)

CrownLaidDown said...

I put a few more pictures for YOU! May they bless you abundantly!
Love,
holly

Deborah said...

All I can say is Amen.
love always
me

jennyhope said...

I am still going to have to pray about the sunscreen! I am so excited for you about graduating! I see you on the LPM blog all of the time!! YEAH for you!! I am trying to finish up some online classes and I have to finish by June 14th...I am getting discouraged and really tired!!!
Anyway, it is encouraging that you got there. Figured I'd give you a shout out since I see you on the blog world all the time!!
love jenny williams

The Preacher's Wife said...

Hey Shelly,

Just returning the visit and I am so glad I did! Were we separated at birth cause I am totally an OT nerd and my favorite books? Bible and a Lexicon..hello? who needs anything else? :))

Loved this post..Gideon is one of my OT faves...

Blessings on You!

heather said...

Hey Shelly,
This blog is amazing. I was just reading this story yesterday. I too love the OT. Amazing that I started judges this week too. Lol We are in synch! Oh well, thanks for the invite to read your blog, I enjoyed it.
Love you
Heather

holy chaos said...

oh, boy... do I know how it feels to have the 22,000 pulled away...
i remember about 9 years ago when we moved from heaven(chattannoga)to here , i thought I was all alone... in total darkness...no friends...no mentors... husband problems...had to go back to work ina a job that I disliked... but looking back i clearly see God's hand... putting all the pieces together in my life...it just amazes me that he can love me... can even really care about the details of my life. all I can say is wow! and offer complete praise and adoration.

love your blog,too!

Patty said...

Amen Shelly!!

I am a testimony of God removing people and things to be my One and Only. I have been tested, like all of us, hard lessons but worth the trip with our Almighty God. He is all we need.

JentheNewlyWed said...

What an encouragement!

RealEstateGirl said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! It's always nice to meet new friends, especially a new sista!

Preach it girl!

Joni said...

Thank you for your comments on my blog. And congratulations on your graduation. I happened to have stopped by your blog a few times but never had enough time to post--so I'm staying up past my bedtime to post this. LOL I know you are excited on getting into the master program. From what I've read, I know you will do awesome work for the Lord.
God bless you and keep you.

Megan said...

Hey thanks for your comment, and check out my blog anytime...I've def. checked yours out before! I see you live in Georgia...I heart Georgia 4 E!! I have family in Barnesville, Athens, Macon, and of course, Atlanta. I have to say though, I'm a HUGE UGA fan!! Anyway, you take care and good luck with things!

The Cooke Family said...

Hi Shelly, you don't know me but I got your names from my friends blog. You commented on hers so I clicked on yours. I must say that when I do that, I click off quickly because it has to be SUPER for me to take the time to read it. I am a busy homeschool mom of 3 boys. You are a beautiful writer! I enjoyed reading several of your blogs. Know that you have encouraged a sister in the faith! Blessings to you!