about a 6 minute read
I need details. I have had ideas come into my mind that I know that I know they are from God but I do not always proceed to go with them – even if they are an answered prayer that I’d forgotten about – because I am a cautious person. That characteristic has its pros and cons and it’s in this post, I want to explore with you the times we get the green light to do something or be but we hesitate.
Let’s look at the Word and see if anyone else has been through something like this. Judges 13. The entire chapter will be the context of this post. To catch you up, Manoah and his wife were living in a time of political/social unrest. The majority of the people were doing whatever they wanted dismissing God in the process and so God pulled back his protection from Israel and allowed the Philistines to rule over them until they worked out why. Even here we can learn about how much God does protect us and not be entirely aware of the things that He’s holding back from harming us.
Judges 13:1 NLT
Again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord handed them over to the Philistines, who oppressed them for forty years.
In those days a man named Manoah from the tribe of Dan lived in the town of Zorah. His wife was unable to become pregnant, and they had no children. The angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife and said, “Even though you have been unable to have children, you will soon become pregnant and give birth to a son.
It’s within this context do we learn about this couple who were unable to have children, meet an angel of the Lord personally to tell them that they carry something special in a time such as theirs. And today, if look around at our timeline we can see the fear, frustration, and fraud going on around us we may be able to draw similarities between the ancient culture and today and still be like this couple. This doesn’t mean to dismiss the things around us but to still trust in God even though…even though you are facing limitations beyond your control. The couple show us a contrast between how one handles receiving news/a word from God: one submits entirely not knowing the full scope and one hesitates for further details.
Here we can see Manoah’s wife living out her ‘trust in God from the bottom of her heart.’ She hears the news from the angel of the Lord but she ‘doesn’t try to figure out everything on her own.’ Instead she listens for God’s voice in everything she does even if that means sacrifice on her behalf. Have you ever been given only a portion of the details and had to navigate from pure trust? The most difficult times are not seeing anything as a result but if you keep repeating the words God told you, you will see that holding onto His word will produce fruit beyond your expectation. But you can’t hesitate. You gotta keep verbing (it may not be a word) but what I mean is keep ‘doing’ what God said, ‘writing’ what matters to you, ‘being’ the son or daughter of the Most High, ‘serving’ even when know one pays attention to your efforts. Go even though you haven’t got the full picture as to why your situation looks like this.
Monoah’s nameless wife was given strict instruction to keep a certain lifestyle while pregnant; she mustn’t drink alcohol, eat forbidden food, (due to the laws) or cut the baby’s hair. These rules were known as the Nazirite vow which set up the boy’s life to follow in that way. Notice how their barrenness was removed when there was a need. Their ‘lack’ to other people’s perspective was a solution to what their nation needed. Their child would have a specific assignment on his life before he was born; he would begin to rescue Israel from oppression. Unfortunately, Samson’s story doesn’t end too well, but for now let’s just focus on his parents.
The woman ran and told her husband, “A man of God appeared to me! He looked like one of God’s angels, terrifying to see. I didn’t ask where he was from, and he didn’t tell me his name.
Monoah’s wife understood what she needed to do. Here we can see how she submitted to …or a kinder word to the eyes, obeyed the announcement even though she didn’t know all the details. She says that “a Man of God appeared to her. He look like one of God’s angels, terrifying to see” which to me seems like she had heard or seen for herself other people in her area’s miracles and now had a chance to experience this type of conversation herself. She knew from whom gave the instructions, she knew she had full permission to follow and that assurance was enough. It doesn’t just come over night either. In the years we have no record of her, that would have most likely been her time where she praised and prayed and honoured God with her life – I try to make these bible characters actually have a heartbeat so humour me for a moment – and maybe she had experience such harsh social shame but learned once ‘His word goes from His mouth it will accomplished what He pleases and it shall prosper in the thing for which He sent it’ (Isaiah 55:11 NKJV). Whatever Manoah’s wife went through in silence, the Lord gave her direct instruction to birth this child a public announcement.
So Manoah asked him, “When your words come true, what kind of rules should govern the boy’s life and work?”Judges 13:12-13
The angel of the Lord replied, “Be sure your wife follows the instructions I gave her.”
Monoah gets shut down immediately not in a bad way either. His question side steps obedience by knowing more information for his own agenda? pride? or maybe it was innocent? If you read through the rest of this passage, you will see that
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
This sums up our walk if we truly allow God that space to shift our dependency off of ourselves and onto Him. It does not mean we don’t have a vision or plan about things ahead of us though but we get to partner with the Lord in the ideas and/or visions He places within us.
What has God given you a vision of that your bank account or qualifications don’t match up to at this moment? Have you written those promises/words down in a place you can visually see it on a regular basis and talk to the Lord about it? Have you swept it under the rug highlighting your flaws in the presence of the One who calls us qualified? I ask these questions because I have envisioned lots of things I want for this blog, MorehOak, yet I struggle to even post a blog regularly as doubts, fears, questions attempt to strangle this vision while it is still young.
Take some time and disconnect from all devices that’ll connect you to a social distraction. Put on some worship music, or sit in silence; use a notebook and pen or simply be empty-handed; hard copy of the Bible or a digital version. Whatever you want to choose, regularly set up a time of consecration so you can practise hearing the Lord.
What was the last thing He told you regarding that thing you keep running away from? If you don’t know start asking questions and be expectant He will answer. My advice is to keep a diary of the things you have asked God and what He has responded as it can be used to encourage you when you’re feeling that ‘meh’ feeling or don’t know what to do.
Like Manoah’s wife, if we only have the instructions that is still enough to go without all the knowledge of what’s next.