“… Bring down Your warriors, O Lord!”
– Joel 3:11
This passage in context can tell us a lot. It serves as a rally cry to Judah to prepare for battle, telling the people to “beat your plowshares into swords and pruning hooks into spears,” and “the weakling to declare strength” in anticipation of battle. (Joel 3:10). Yet after telling the people and nations to assemble and prepare, he finishes by turning to God and declaring to God that it is time for Him to send His warriors.
Do you do all you can and come to God prepared and at the end of your strength when you cry out for His help? Or do you sit idly by and expect God to do all of the work?
I, personally, am mostly guilty of the second.
I’m a huge phrase nerd. A huge part of my walk with God is to take a passage, or a verse, and condense it down into a phrase. This is a practice that not only helps me dwell on what I read throughout the day, but also helps me memorize scripture and find encouragement later when I’m feeling discouraged or overwhelmed.
One of my favorite phrases I’ve come up with is “Trust Beats Talent.” In the bible it’s very clear that God prefers your trust over what you feel you’re talented in (Moses, for one, is a good example of this, as is 2 Corinthians 12:9, John 14:1, and basically the backstory of every major character in the Bible). But often we find ourselves either too afraid or too lazy to realize that trusting God often looks like work, and that in order for God to work through you, you must be working. One step at a time, despite how qualified or unqualified you feel, and when you have done all you can through God’s strength and allowance, then it’s time to declare that God brings His warriors.
I guess I can now say there’s a second part to my saying.
Trust beats talent, but trust usually involves movement.
God has made us capable. He has given us His strength (Ephesians 1:19). Are you willing to use it? What is God asking you to trust Him in? And what is He telling you to do in order to put that trust into action? Remember God loves to encourage His children, and He has filled us with His spirit and strength so we can be warriors for the things He has put on our hearts to accomplish. Are we really putting our strength in Him if we’re never willing to flex our muscles?
“Sacrifice and offering You do not desire, but You have given me an open ear.” – Psalm 40:6