January 19: When We Want More Than God’s Will

Read Judges 12

Sometimes I read about Judges and heroes and wars and people God called to do mighty things, and I forget the human emotion. I forget they were people just like me.

People with egos and emotions and feelings to hurt.

The Ephraimites had human issues like this, I guess.

It’s the second time we find them whining about being left out of battle. Remember chapter eight when Gideon held them off so masterfully? He acknowledged their amazingness and consequently subdued their anger.

But this time it’s Jephthah they’re upset with.

The tribe of Ephraim wanted to be part of the battle against the Ammonites. But the LORD had given Jephthah the victory. It’s was God’s call. Not Jephthah’s.

How often have we been upset over something God has appointed and blamed someone else for it, our egos hurt by our own doubts and fears?

As a writer, I’ve felt this many times.

A friend gets a big break and her blog goes viral and her book gets signed and she’s headed for the New York Times Bestseller’s list. While I’m still pushing 80 followers on my blog and hoping for someday.

Maybe you’ve felt it too.

A fellow Jesus-follower finds her calling in Africa saving children from horrific crimes on the front lines. Meanwhile, you’re here in Wayne County, Ohio picking up children from school and driving them to soccer practice.

The truth is, God has appointed what He wills. He has jobs for each of us, and they do not look alike.

I’ve heard it said that the safest place to be is in the middle of God’s will. I’d like to add to that and say it’s also really the only place to be.

Because God’s the One in charge. Who am I to question His ways?

Who am I to think I should be the one on the bestsellers’ list? The one in Africa saving children? Who am I to think for one minute that one thing is better than another? One calling more important. More noble.

The truth is, if God hasn’t called us to those things, we want no part in them. Because His way is really the only place to live.

The Ephraimites ended up losing thousands in the civil war that ensued. When we aim to fight what God has willed, we will always end up losing.

But when we submit to His ways and give up our egos, He is ready to take us places we could not possibly imagine. Even if those places go no farther than Wayne County.

brw

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