Rise Up Like Gideon

Self-sufficiency is one of my greatest foes. I have struggled repeatedly with it, only to reach a point of turning to God as a last resort. My human nature grates against the very idea of needing anything or anyone outside of myself. I cry, “Save me! Save me!” at the same time my inner conscience rebels saying, “Leave me alone! I have this!” As Christ followers, we can only rise up to glorify our Father when we recognize and rely on Him.

Israel had also been in a cycle of self-sufficiency and sin during the time of Judges. Needing to put their faith in humanness, they fell to their enemies repeatedly, only to be rescued by God. As humans, we cannot “get it right” without Him. After being delivered, the Israelites quickly forgot God’s power and fell into sin and self-sufficiency once again.

“And the Lord looked at him and said, ‘Go in this strength of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you.’” –Judges 6:14

The Midianite army was knocking at the doors ready to defeat Israel once again when God answered the pleas of Gideon. “Go in the strength you have, and I will be with you,” as a loving Father, He reassures Israel once again by defeating their enemies.

Like Israel then, we run on our own strength and understanding far too often when it is by His design that we depend on Him, for His Glory. Of course, we cannot defeat those armies and obstacles against us today, yet we continually jump back into the cycle of self-sufficiency and then seek God’s intervention.

In my own life, I am overly proud of my “large” plate capacity and abilities, frequently forgetting God in my ventures of parenting, hobbies, and ministry. Like Israel, when I become desperate and tired with the thrill of accomplishments and the adrenalin of busyness, I find myself back at the altar. I can find no words when seeking my Savior—my soul calls to Him with a need that only He understands.

We were created to not be “enough” or to fail, not out of disdain or disregard but out of love. God’s desire is for us to be so completely reliant on Him, to be open vessels for Him to work through, like the tiny army of Gideon’s.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”–Romans 8:37

So today, let us go in our own power, for God is with us. In the workplace, neighborhood, and the family, where we long to see God’s presence, let go of self-sufficiency and rise up.

Pray this reminder today: “I am the branch, and You are the vine. I will remain in You and You in me. I will bear much fruit, for apart from You I can do nothing.”

Amy Cox

Amy is the Alliance women’s director for the Great Lakes District of the C&MA. She lives on-site where she serves in inner-city ministry as the connections director at That Neighborhood Church in Toledo, Ohio. She is a mother to two wonderful sons and three rambunctious dogs who go by Dixie, Timmy, and Coco. In her spare time, she enjoys Argentinian tango classes.