Personal Growth
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Limited Faith in an Unlimited God

written by JJ Cole

Our God is not fickle, forgetful, or fragile in anyway.  He does not make mistakes.  He purposes the gaps.  He allows sacred spaces and blank places.  He leaves room. – Lysa Terkeurst

Let’s talk about limited faith.

Uncertain faith.
Shaken faith.
Questioning faith.
Undeveloped faith.
Challenged faith.

For those of us who follow Christ and are growing in Him, the thought of anything other than unwavering, steadfast faith is abrasive. But in complete humility and vulnerableness, at any given time, I can identify at least one of the above descriptions to characterize an aspect of my faith.

The story of Gideon is rich in evolving lessons as we follow his adventure. But I want to focus specifically on Judges 6:12-14 when we first meet Gideon. The way I read it, these two verses are key to understanding the rest of the story. They also speak to those of us who, at times, waiver and become shaken in our faith.

 Then the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” – Judges 6:12, HCSB

The Bible gives us absolutely no details on Gideon and his life up to this point. The picture painted is that Gideon is just some guy in the middle of 1162 B.C. Israel, living in obscurity and keeping his head down. While we don’t know about Gideon, we do know a lot about God and how He sees and calls people.

The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7b

If you continue to read the story of Gideon, you will quickly see that he is no William Wallace, Maximus, or Leonidas, making grand speeches that inspire legions. His heart is uncertain and fearful. At least that is what we see.

God sees the best in us because He is the one who planted what is best in us. He makes allowances for the gaps in our faith and forgives the moments when we cave to fear. In fact, as the quote says, He “purposes the gaps” so that we might press into Him, and by His power become a champion to the mission He has called us to in this life. 

Flip to the New Testament and you will see that this holds true in the story of Peter. Jesus saw him, knew him, and selected him. Peter grew in faith and knowledge. However, Peter also grew prideful and when his faith was tested, he denied. He doubted. This is an apostle we’re talking about! Who are we to say our own faith is immune to uncertainty and doubt? 

Be careful or Satan may be allowed to sift you and expose what pride covers up. But don’t forget the rest of the story. Christ called him back, filled in Peter’s faith-gaps, and the rest is history.

Let’s look back to Gideon.

Go with the strength you have… I am sending you. – Judges 6:14

This word from the Lord is freeing. It takes the pressure off and allows us to move forward. God is giving us permission to go with the faith we do have and watch and see what He does so our faith might grow beyond what we thought possible.

Read the rest of Gideon’s story and you will see that God is not without patience nor a plan. He goes ahead of us and fights for us. He means to shape you, “so that what you do in life, might echo in eternity.” (Maximus Decimus Meridius, Gladiator)

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