Thursday, June 8, 2006

2006 - 04 - I will be with you

“’but Lord,’ gideon asked, ‘how can i save israel? my clan is the weakest in manasseh, and i am the least in my family.’

The Lord answered, ‘I will be with you.’”

--- judges 6:15-16 ---


i’m going to reveal to you today my deepest desire for the team this year. it goes far past wins and losses. it’s not even in the realm of hard work and improvement. it’s not even something spiritual like reading your Bible every day, making sure to be in prayer, or being the best teammate that you can be. these things are all great, but i want to take you into my heart and show you what lives there.

my desire is that you will always know that God will be with you.

i’ll go deeper into all the implications of that in a little bit. let’s lay out the ending of our quick look at judges here and see how that builds on my desire. last we talked about gideon, he was being told he was already mighty warrior, just as we are already strong. but let’s look at the other message brought to gideon from the Lord.

read any book about interpreting the Bible and you will see that repetition is a large key in finding out what is important. anything thing that is repeated is the main message. why? well, because the Bible began and survived mostly as oral tradition, things that are repeated get passed down more accurately than the details only mentioned once. that means that repitition often reveals the main theme of a message, it is what you are supposed to remember.

so what is repeated to gideon? read the little exchange in judges 6:12-18. what phrase is repeated to gideon? obviously, if you see where this is going, you already know. first gideon is told, “the Lord is with you,” then later by God, “I will be with you...” God is telling him with no uncertain terms that He will travel right along with gideon in all he does. why is this so important?

i want to be careful here because what i am going to say you’ve probably heard before, but maybe you’ve never taken it seriously. maybe it is hard to take seriously. maybe you are thinking in black and white and you don’t think what i am going to say is useful. however, it is the message of God in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament. God is with us.

in the beginning, when things were perfect God walked in the garden with adam and eve. here, God tells gideon the same message, “I am with you.” Jesus tells the disciples that He will be with them until the end of the age. Jesus also tells of the sending of the Holy Spirit that will be with the disciples and future Christians as a comforter and to be with them. again, why is this so important?

well, i can see two reasons. number one, as i’ve stated before God desires more than obedience from us. in fact, more important God desires relationship. God compares His love to us to a marriage. i remember when Courtney and i got married we said to each other in our vows that our desire was to “live life together.” just like that vow that couples make to each other, its God’s desire as well. to live life with us. to be with us in the english papers and the worship services. to be with us on the tennis courts and in the sanctuary.

the other reason that this message that God is with is so important is that it helps us accomplish God’s goals on earth. look at the verses in judges, God wants to bring his people out from under the midianites, so He goes to gideon and says, “I will be with you and you will strike down all the midianites together.” so there it is, God and gideon will be together and God’s will is going to be accomplished through gideon. all because God is with him.

expect the same in your life. God is as alive now as God was in the Old Testament. God wants to do things with you and in your life. my heart longs to communicate this to you. why? because i know that one of Christ’s desires for me is to teach the wonderful truths of God’s will and God’s love to those that don’t yet fully embrace it. how do i know that? i have spent hours listening and hearing God’s voice telling me. i don’t say this to boast, for i can only boast in the fact that Christ grabbed my heart and is trying to use the talents He gave me. no instead, i tell you this so that you know that Christ is alive, that He is with us, and to invite you into a journey with me.

and in our journey, whether tennis or spiritual, God is with us.

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