“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” Gideon in Judges 6:15 (NLT)
It seems we have pre-programmed answers that come to the surface whenever we are asked to do something beyond what we think we can do. Excuses seem to be right at the tip of our tongues. This seems to be particularly true when God asks us to do something outside of our comfort zone. It sparks what I call “The Discussion” – A brief back and forth with God that exposes our lack of faith in him. By the end of it, God prevails over the objections of those who are his true followers. How can you win against the one who created you? The Bible is full of examples. The Discussion always marks the beginning of a significant kingdom movement.
Are you in the midst of The Discussion?
Then it’s time to step up and make the jump of faith – the stakes are high!
God nailed me while I was reading Jeremiah earlier this week when I realized he was having The Discussion with God:
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” ❶Affirms – Made for Mission
6 “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” ❷Excuses
7 The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. 8 And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” ❸You can and you will – End of The Discussion!
Jeremiah 1:5-8 (NLT)
How could Jeremiah argue against God who says things like: “I set you apart for this” and “I have spoken!”? But he tried. We all do. It’s part of the wrestling match between the spiritual and earthly realms with us in the middle. It goes like this:
❶ God affirms that he has a specific mission for you; one he made you for and he pushes because the time to get going is now.
❷ You respond with excuses: “I can’t…”, “I’m not good at that…”, “I’m not ready…” ……endless excuses.
❸ God comes back firmly, “You can and you will, because I am God and I will help you!” End of The Discussion!
You can see each step play out in Jeremiah’s dialog with God.
When I read these verses in Jeremiah the Holy Spirit quickly shifted my thinking and I realized that I was in the midst of The Discussion. He made it abundantly clear to me, highlighting the three steps. God has plainly told me and relentlessly pounded into me, that he wants me to boldly move forward on the next leg of pursuing my Life Mission of Unlocking Lives – Guiding Futures. I’ve hesitated. This requires me to do some hard things – a big jump of faith. He shined a spotlight on my excuses: “I’m not ready…”, “I have to do this first…” and the financial one (it’s always there) “If I only had more money…”
The light exposed my lack of faith like a thief caught in broad daylight. My lack of faith was crazy considering God has always been with me in the past. Every time I’ve obeyed and made the jump of faith to do what God has asked me to do, he has proven the fallacy of my excuses. But it’s a cycle. After stretches of growth, complacency creeps in. We become comfortable and our testimonies fade as we drift from God. Jumps of faith are required to keep ourselves close to God, dependent. Required, yes! But true jumps of faith are hard. That’s why it’s called faith.
Reading further into Jeremiah we can see that he did end up doing what God asked and God fulfilled his promise to help and protect him. That’s what he does and it comes with tremendous fruitfulness. Jeremiah’s jump of faith led to a significant kingdom impact. God always faithfully meets his promises. If only I would believe this! Why do I doubt?! The stakes are high…when we press ahead, eyes on God, our lives have significant kingdom impact.
Jeremiah is just one example. Gideon had The Discussion with God prior to fighting the Midianites.
12 The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”
13 “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”
14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” ❶Affirms – Made for Mission
15 “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” ❷Excuses
16 The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.” ❸You can and you will – End of The Discussion!
Gideon obeyed, his excuses were disproven, and there was a significant kingdom impact. Then there’s Moses having The Discussion at the burning bush.
“Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” ❶Affirms – Made for Mission
11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” ❷Excuses
12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” ❸You can and you will – End of The Discussion!
God used Moses to make a huge kingdom Impact of course. Time and time again we see this.
Is it too much to believe that God has made for a specific mission?
Are you allowing excuses to stand in the way of significant kingdom impact?
Which of God’s promises are you not trusting?
Take notice. Are you in the midst of The Discussion? Do you know your Life Mission – the succinct, personal, directional call pointed right at significant kingdom impact? Jeremiah, Gideon, Moses…all knew why they were here, shouldn’t you? Embrace the Mission Curve™ process, align your life with your Life Mission and launch yourself on the great Adventure God Made You For. Let’s talk.
Go to www.bobblackcoaching.com to schedule a free consultation.