Do the Next Thing
Day: 30 | Plan: Joshua-Judges
Today’s Reading: Judges 6
Judges 6:12 (NIV) “When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.’”
Have you ever felt isolated, intimidated, insignificant or inadequate? Maybe you are feeling completely overwhelmed, forsaken or perhaps scared to death right now.
To be honest, I have experienced all these different emotions more than I care to admit. But there is one little piece of advice a friend gave me years ago (from an Old Saxon poem) that has helped me navigate through those seasons of tension and turmoil more than you can imagine. I say it to myself all the time:
“Do the next thing!”
Today on the pages of Scripture we meet a man named Gideon who is faithfully just doing the next thing. He is isolated and scared to death. In fact, he is so scared he is hiding in a winepress to thresh his wheat—but he is doing it. Why in the world is he threshing wheat in the close quarters of a winepress? So Israel’s hostile and oppressive enemy, the Midianites, cannot swoop in and take his grain.
That is when the angel of the Lord appears and says, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12).
I’m sure at that moment Gideon didn’t look or feel like a “mighty warrior.” In reality, he is a man full of doubts and questions who feels a bit forsaken by the Lord. He even confesses he feels weak, inadequate and ill-equipped.
But the Lord sees beyond all of that—His view is not bound by our feelings or circumstances. God often uses the weak and lowly things of this world to accomplish His will. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29) God is not looking for our ability. Instead, He is looking for our availability. He is looking for those who are faithful in the little things because they will be faithful in much. (Luke 16:10)
“The LORD turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’” (Judges 6:14)
What strength did God recognize in Gideon?
Indeed, God saw Gideon’s potential even when Gideon and others didn’t. He knows who we are and He knows who we can become. But I also believe God saw a person who was faithful in the small tasks. He saw a person who got up, got dressed and simply did the next thing that needed to be done. It was there in the most seemingly insignificant moment of life that God met Gideon and called him to a greater work. And it was there in that unexpected place where God assured Gideon of His powerful presence.
For most of us, life is a series of uncelebrated steps. But God often writes His story right in the middle of our ordinary everyday affairs. It’s when we are simply doing the next thing that God honors our weak faith and makes us stronger. It is in the small intimate details of life that God makes His very presence known to us.
Sometimes the next thing can be extremely boring or seemingly insignificant. Sometimes the next thing can be the last thing you want to do.
Sometimes the next thing is a simple routine task.
And sometimes the next thing can be incredibly hard or overwhelmingly scary.
But our faith will increase as we obediently do the next thing God places before us. And as we get up and do it … His strength will meet us there and it gets done!
Prayer: Lord God, You are merciful and gracious. Your compassion and steadfast love never fail. Thank You for the personal ways You meet me in the midst of my fears and encourage me to keep trusting You. You know who I am and You see what I can become. So grant me grace and help me to obey You in whatever task You have placed before me today. May I not despise the small things but instead may I be found faithful. Strengthen my faith and use me for Your glory one step at a time. In Jesus’ name, amen.
God handpicked each judge He sent to deliver Israel. Most were terribly flawed. But God... Read More
Download the First 5 app to get the full experience