Devotion – Judges 8

Why do you serve God?  Is it because of your parents?  Or because of a pastor, teacher, or other spiritual leader?  Maybe your husband or wife is key in your life?  If a person is instrumental in your Spiritual life, that is alright, as long God is central.  But is your faith in God, or in a person?

Here is what I mean.  Many people will serve God as long as that one central person is in their life.  But when the person leaves, their faith leaves as well.  Often,  you will see this in a church, when the pastor leaves for a new church.  Many people will drop out of church and wait for a new pastor to come along before they decide if they will attend there again. Or they will demonstrate this by skipping church when the pastor is not preaching.  To tell the truth, their served a pastor, not God.  In my years serving as a youth pastor, I have been saddened to hear stories of teenagers who were living for God.  But when God called me to another church, their fell flat on their face and left their faith.  I have also seen people who were in discipleship relationships with another person, and their faith worked for them as long as that person walked alongside them.  But when one person steps back from the relationship the other person’s faith falls apart.

You can also see this spiritual problem all over college campuses.  Students have lived for God through their middle school and high school years, but as soon as they are away from mom and dad, they can make their own decisions.  They begin to skip church, hang out at parties.  And before you know it, their spiritual life is non-existent.  Their faith was in their parents, not in God.

After God used Gideon to defeat Midian, Israel had 40 years of peace.  During that time some good things and bad things happened in the life of Gideon.  They tried to make him the king, but he refused the title, claiming only God could be the true King.  That is right!  On the other hand, he let them make clothes and give riches that gave Gideon prestige.  Still, as long as Gideon was there the people basically stayed faithful to their God.  But as soon as Gideon died, God’s people left their faith and began to serve idols and other gods.  Judges 8:33 is one of those sad, but harsh verses in the Bible.  Before Gideon’s death the are connected to God and experience peace.  But after his death they began to whore themselves out.  In the long run, their faith was in Gideon, not in God.

When a person has a new faith in Jesus it is important that they find some people to walk alongside them to help them grow and develop the disciplines of the Christian walk.  But eventually we need to move past needing that person for our faith to work.   Be sure your faith is in God!  People will fail you.  Pastors and other spiritual leaders may eventually move to a different church.  Some people that support us will die.  Others may get messed up and fail spiritually.  But God will never leave you and He will never disappoint you!

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