The Biggest "But" In The Bible


A single mom who put herself through college in hopes of providing a better life for her family gets the call from HR after interviewing for her dream job. She hears, “You have amazing strengths and qualifications, BUT we just don’t feel like you’re the right fit for us at this time.” Her disappointment seems crushing!

A 15 year old boy spends all summer training and practicing for for high school football tryouts. He gives 110% and feels confident he’s made the team. Until the coach calls him into his office to say...”You gave a great effort kid, BUT we feel you aren’t quite ready. Keep practicing and try again next year...” It's a massive setback for his hopes of being a high school athlete!

A man who God called to do some seemingly impossible things answers, “you’ve got the wrong guy”, but eventually obeys and becomes the leader of an entire nation. Despite his insecurities and fears, he continues to trust God and faithfully leads His people through all the ups and downs with the hope that they would arrive in the land promised to them. Near the end of his days, God leads him to a mountain and shows him the promised land. The long, difficult journey is over and the hard-earned reward is there for him to enjoy!

Until God says this in Deuteronomy 34: “I have now allowed you to see it with your own eyes, BUT you will not enter the land.” (There’s that “but” word again bringing with it disappointments and setbacks!)

It’s the biggest “but” in the Bible and I can’t help but be gripped with disappointment for Moses every time I read the story. Can you imagine how he may have felt standing on that mountain? Yet the story ends by saying Moses was the greatest of all the prophets. Moses’s life is a model to us for giving our all to God even when we’re going through all of it.

I hope you’ll join me this weekend as we talk more about living lives of authentic worship to God, even when we’re in the mess of disappointments, setback and failures. I’m praying now that people will find hope and strength as they desire to trust God, while navigating their own life’s troubles. It’s never easy, but it is possible!

Grace and Peace.

Pastor Rex

The Rest of the Story... Gideon: “Oh mighty warrior of God”


Written by Fiona Monaghan I love the humanness of Gideon in his dialogue with God’s Angel and being directed to ‘man up’ and take on the Midianites.

USDA-stalk-kernels2Judges begins Gideon’s story with him threshing wheat in a winepress – why would Gideon be separating the edible grain from the inedible chaff in a place used to make wine? Threshing wheat in a winepress conveys the idea of someone hiding and doing something in a place unexpected because usually threshing wheat would be done out in the open. Well, during this time the Israelites were being hounded by the Midianites (because once again they had turned from the Lord) who would rampage through the area, steal their food, their livestock and terrorizing everyone. So Gideon was hiding his crop from the Midianites hoping that it would be spared from pillaging.

Gideon’s life is completely changing when Angel of God comes to him saying, God is with you, O mighty warrior!” Can’t you just hear Gideon saying, ‘What! Who me? I am just the runt of the litter of the weakest of the tribes of Israel.’’ He responds by questioning that God even cares about the Israelites that He has let them be taken over by the Midianites.

Gideon knew the history of his people coming out of Egypt with Moses; of being in the desert and being rescued and all the miracles God had performed for the people of Israel. However, he seemed to forget was that over and over again the Israelites had been told by prophets to “shape up and follow their One and Only God” and time and time again they had turned to worship the local gods of their neighbors.

In an interesting twist in the story when Gideon is questioning the angel, God himself speaks to Gideon and tells him that He can be depended upon. Not only that, but Gideon will be used to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites.

Then the Lord turned to him and said, "Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!"    Judges 6:14 (NLT)

Before Gideon is ready to take on the Midianites he is given a couple of projects to do first. Could this be to build his confidence or test his mettle? Remember, he sees himself as a runt.

Gideon_LightHe is directed to destroy the altar to Baal in his own father’s house and take down the Asherah fertility pole next to the altar. Then, make an offering of his dad’s prize bull on an altar with the wood from the fertility pole. He decides to do this at night with 10 servants to help. The next morning everyone in town is aghast! “Who did this thing?” They want his head on a stick. Funnily enough, his dad Joash steps up and states, “What is all the fuss about? What kind of god is Baal if he needs defending, let him fight his own battles!” Score 1 for Gideon!

In our lives, we don’t have ‘gods’ like Baal. But anything that makes us question our faith in God or in ourselves, or makes us feel weak and ineffective needs to be addressed. There are many verses in the Bible that tell us that God is for us!

He does not want us kowtowing to anything or anyone who makes us feel inferior and weak. He wants to be our Defender and Protector in anything that life throws at us. By us getting to know God personally, we then have the confidence to face those life situations that challenge us.

Each opportunity Gideon was presented with, allowed him to gain confidence and strength for the next one. This story shows we can ask God those questions when things don’t add up. Gideon asked for signs and he stated how he felt about things. In that, God showed Himself faithful and patient and could be depended upon in these smaller tasks, so that Gideon had no question in his mind where his success would come from in the bigger battle yet to come.

dear-GodWhat questions do you have for God?

What is pulling you away from Him? Take 15 minutes today and write down a prayer to God, ask him your questions, and identify what is pulling you away from God. Ask Him how you can tear those things down and replace them with actions/friends/places that will glorify Him.

Photo Credit: WheatDear God