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More Than Able | Week 4 - Divine Grace: A Pathway to Reconciliation

The concept of God's grace is a recurring theme throughout the Bible, emphasizing the boundless love and unmerited favor that the Creator extends to humanity. As the prophet Zechariah beautifully reminds us, "This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: 'It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty" (Zechariah 4:6).

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. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, "My own strength has saved me." Now announce to the army, 'Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.' So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. But the Lord said to Gideon, 'There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, 'This one shall go with you,' he shall go; but if I say, 'This one shall not go with you,' he shall not go.' So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, 'Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.' Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. The Lord said to Gideon, 'With the three hundred men that lapped, I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.' So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others."

1. God's Sovereign Grace and Humility
In this passage, we witness the first lesson about grace - God's sovereignty. God instructs Gideon to reduce his army, seemingly weakening their position, demonstrating that victory comes from God alone. Proverbs 3:34 reminds us, "He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble." Reconciliation with God begins with humility, acknowledging our need for His grace.

2. Grace in the Face of Fear
The story of Gideon's army is a striking example of how God's grace operates in the face of fear. In Judges 7:3, God allows anyone who trembles with fear to leave. Despite human limitations, God's grace gives us the strength to face our fears. 2 Timothy 1:7 affirms, "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline."

3. God's Selection of the Unlikely
In Judges 7:6-7, God's selection process seems unconventional. He chooses the 300 men who lap water like dogs rather than those who kneel. This decision highlights God's penchant for selecting the unlikely and unexpected for His purposes. 1 Corinthians 1:27 echoes this, "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." This illustrates how God's grace empowers the least likely candidates to fulfill His will.

Here's some Practical Takeaways to help you live this out.

Embrace humility
Reconciliation with God begins with humility. It's acknowledging that our strength and efforts are insufficient to bridge the gap between us and our Creator. To practically apply this principle in our lives:
  • Engage in regular self-reflection and introspection. Acknowledge your weaknesses, limitations, and areas where you need God's guidance and grace.
  • Cultivate a spirit of gratitude. Recognize that everything we have, including our life, is a gift from God. A grateful heart is a humble heart.
  • Seek wisdom from scripture and prayer to develop a deeper understanding of God's grace and your reliance on it.

Confront Your Fears
The story of Gideon's army teaches us about God's grace amid fear. In Judges 7:3, God allows those afraid to depart, but His grace empowers us to confront our fears and move forward. To apply this takeaway in your life:
  •  Identify your fears and insecurities. They might be fear of judgment, fear of inadequacy, or fear of the unknown. Acknowledging these fears is the first step toward overcoming them.
  •  Seek God's strength and courage through prayer. Trust that His grace is more significant than your fears.
  •  Surround yourself with a supportive community of faith. Sharing your fears and struggles with others can be a source of encouragement and strength.

Trust in God's Selection
Judges 7:6-7 demonstrates that God often selects the unlikely and unexpected for His purposes. God's grace can work through us even when we feel unqualified or unequipped. To practically apply this principle:
  • Embrace your uniqueness and individuality. God has a specific plan and purpose for your life, regardless of your perceived limitations.
  • Don't be discouraged by societal expectations or comparisons to others. Trust that God's selection is purposeful, and He equips those He calls.
  • Step out of your comfort zone when God calls you to a task or mission. Trust that His grace will empower you to fulfill His will.

The narrative of Gideon's army in Judges 7:1- 8, coupled with Zechariah 4:6, offers profound insights into God's grace and the pathway to reconciliation with Him. Reconciliation is not about our strength or merit but about embracing the gift of divine grace. As we humbly accept God's grace, confront our fears, and trust His selection, we embark on a transformative journey toward reconciliation and a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father.

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