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More Than Able: Week 1 | Emerging from the Caves of Fear and Doubt

The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. So the Lord handed them over to the Midianites for seven years. The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east would attack Israel, camping in the land and destroying crops as far away as Gaza. They left the Israelites with nothing to eat, taking all the sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys. These enemy hordes, coming with their livestock and tents, were as thick as locusts; they arrived on droves of camels too numerous to count. And they stayed until the land was stripped bare. So Israel was reduced to starvation by the Midianites. Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help." ~ Judges 6:1-6 

Life can sometimes feel like a series of caves. These caves may not be literal, but they are the deep, dark places within us where fear, doubt, and despair take root. In Judges 6:1-6, we find the Israelites trapped in the caves of their own making. They were oppressed by the Midianites, and their situation was dire. In response to this oppression, they sought refuge in mountain clefts and caves, away from the troubles of the world.

The Israelites' predicament mirrors our own lives at times. We may find ourselves in a cave of fear, doubt, or despair, seeking refuge from the challenges and trials of life. Just as the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help, we too can turn to God in our moments of darkness.

1. Recognize the Caves in Your Life (Psalm 139:23-24)
The first step to coming out of the caves in our lives is to recognize them. These caves can take various forms - addiction, anxiety, financial struggles, broken relationships, or a crisis of faith. Identifying these areas of our lives where we feel trapped is crucial.

2. Cry Out to the Lord (Psalm 34:17)
The Israelites cried out to the Lord when they could no longer bear their oppression. In our own caves, we must turn to God in prayer. Pour out your heart to Him, acknowledging your weaknesses and asking for His guidance and strength.

3. God's Deliverance (Psalm 34:19)
Just as God heard the cries of the Israelites, He hears our prayers. God is our Deliverer, and He has the power to break the chains that bind us. He may not always remove our challenges immediately, but He promises to be with us through them.

4. Step Out in Faith (Joshua 1:9)
Leaving the caves in our lives often requires faith and courage. It may mean confronting our fears, seeking help from others, or making difficult decisions. Remember that God is with you every step of the way.

5. Learn and Grow (Romans 5:3-4)
The Israelites' time in the caves was a period of reflection and growth. In our own caves, we can learn valuable lessons about ourselves and our dependence on God. These experiences can ultimately strengthen our faith and character.

6. Support and Community (Galatians 6:2)
Just as the Israelites came together in their distress, we should seek the support of a faith community. Sharing our burdens with others and receiving their encouragement can be a source of strength.

7. Trust in God's Plan (Proverbs 3:5-6)
God's timing and plans may not always align with our own, but we must trust that His ways are higher than ours. He knows the way out of our caves, and He will lead us into the light.

Coming out of the caves in our lives is a journey that requires faith, perseverance, and reliance on God. As we trust in His deliverance and seek His guidance, we can emerge from the darkness into the glorious light of His grace, just as the Israelites did. Remember, even in the darkest caves, God's love and presence shine the brightest.

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