Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Only God Could Do That

Stepping Out

“Awwww. Isn’t that cute? I’d like a little house just like that,” my wife, Debbie, said.

I turned my head to see a cape with a flaming red door and the unmistakable look of New England. No wonder it appealed to her. However, that cute little house wasn’t for sale.

At 57, we were relocating to the South from Massachusetts, with no jobs and few connections in the area. All we had to go on was growing unrest, passion for a nearby ministry, and circumstances that seemed providential.

Upon our arrival, a realtor had handed us a list of available houses. We were discovering it contained only large homes priced out of our range. That evening, we resolved to find an apartment. But Saturday came and went without a rental.

Discouragement set in. We would need to find housing after vacating our home up north.

A Gideon Moment

Gideon encountered uncertainty as he led the people of Israel toward the hostile Midianites. To set the stage for victory and leave no doubt about its source, God had him pare down his army to only 300 men.

Facing thousands of warriors with such a small contingent intimidated Gideon. It was time for some divine reassurance.

“’If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.’ So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp.” (Judges 7:10-11 NIV).

“When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down and worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, ‘Get up! The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands’” (Judges 7:15 NIV).

With only trumpets, jars, and torches for weapons, confronting the vast Midianite army made as little sense as Jesus sending His disciples fishing after an empty-handed trip the night before (Luke 5:4-5). Yet Gideon no longer lacked confidence. His brigade’s nocturnal commotion caused such confusion and fear that the Midianites fled and turned on themselves.

Propelled Forward

Debbie and I continued our search for a home. Time was tight. Saturday evening, I emailed the realtor for a list of smaller, less expensive homes.

After church, we headed out of town. Two of the only six homes on the realtor’s latest list were on our way, so we swung by to look at them. The sign at the first house had no phone number, so I asked Debbie:

“What’s next on the list?”

“Oh,” she uttered with resignation. “We were on that street Friday. We don’t need to go there again.”

“Let’s drive by anyway,” I said.

Seconds later, we turned onto that street. There was Debbie’s cute little house, with this sign in the window:

“For Rent; No Smoking No Pets.”

We pulled into the driveway and soon discovered a friendly couple inside the house. They had purchased it on Thursday, and their sign had fallen out of the window. They had just put it back up. Overjoyed, we gave them a deposit.

That was only one of at least five “God nudges” during our move. They created overwhelming momentum.

Sometimes, God stirs us toward unconventional action. Then, He asks us to step out before revealing the extraneous details. If you sense God prompting you, go for it. Unless He redirects, your own Gideon moments will thrust you forward with such confidence that bystanders can only marvel at His work.

Copyright © 2019 Tim Bishop, used with permission.

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