Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)
The Bible teaches us that there is indeed a proper place for argument with the Almighty in the life of the disciple of Christ. Let’s examine this idea, and may you be encouraged to continue fighting the good fight of faith as you begin yet another week of walking with our Lord.
Some of the great saints in sacred Scripture can be found arguing with God . . . and God allowed it for His glory and their good.
Consider Gideon. When God called him to lead the Israelites in battle against the mighty Midianite Army, Gideon argued with God. First, he argued that his clan was too weak and that he, Gideon, was too insignificant. Then he asked for confirmation that he was really hearing from God; but even after realizing that he had spoken face-to-face with the preincarnate Christ, Gideon still argued for a sign, wanting to be absolutely sure that the Lord intended for him to lead Israel. Gideon set out a fleece of wool on the dry threshing floor and said if there was dew on the fleece alone the next morning, he would believe God’s message. God caused that to happen just as Gideon had asked, but Gideon argued yet again, this time asking for the fleece to be dry and dew to be on the ground all around it. Once again, God graciously accommodated to Gideon’s arguing. Finally, fully convinced, Gideon watched in amazement as God shrank his army down from 32.000 men to only 300. Gideon then went forth and led the Israelites in victory against Midian.
Please note this all-important biblical truth:
Almighty argument is allowed only to convince us . . . never to convince God!
Consider Moses at the burning bush; God commanded Him to go back to Egypt to deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh’s bondage. Moses had absolutely no desire to go back to Egypt, from which he had fled 40 years earlier after he killed the Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave. First, Moses argued from his inadequacy to answer God’s call (just as Gideon did). After God accommodated that argument, Moses anticipated a question from God’s people and argued from the basis of unbelief, objecting that the Israelites would never believe God sent him as their deliverer. After God accommodated that argument, Moses went on to argue that he lacked the ability to speak eloquently. After God accommodated that argument, notice what happened next:
Moses said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses. (Exodus 3:13-14)
Argument with the Almighty is allowed . . . but there is indeed a limit. God allows our argument only to the point of clearly confirming our call. Once confirmed by God, we then must answer the call . . . not argue any longer against it.
It is natural for us to argue with the Almighty against His call just like Gideon and Moses. Do you know why? Because God never calls us to anything that does not require God’s strength to accomplish it. And therein lies the rub. We fear having to trust and depend solely upon God, but that is the only way God works with His people! God always calls us to do what we could never do in our own strength so that we, and all those around us, will know that it was God—and not us—who is responsible for the victory.
So let me ask you this question: Have you been arguing with God about something He has been calling you to do? Perhaps it is time to walk by faith and not by sight and see what marvelous and mighty things God has called you to do for His glory and the expansion of His Kingdom.
Oh, by the way, if you’re wondering why I began today’s message with Matthew 4:19, it is because I wanted to highlight the response of Peter and Andrew to the call of the Word of God on their lives: “At once they left their nets and followed him.”
May that be the confession of your life and mine: “Here am I; send me!”
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!