We can all look back and acknowledge some point where we chose the wrong just because it was wrong, because we had inward delight in and attraction to it. We all nurse some secret resentment of God and his authority.
Several years ago, I was speaking at a conference for college students. After my talk, I was asked, “What are the most important things that Christian college students should learn while they are in school?" I don’t remember what I said. I’m not great on the spot, so I imagine my answer was generic and only marginally helpful. But I have thought about that question a lot over the years. And now I have an answer.
Throughout the book of Judges, we see time and time again that God brings down the most powerful tyrants through weak human instruments simply doing his bidding. The writer is trying to make a point: God doesn’t need our ability (he never has), only our availability. God did it then, and he still does it today. He overturns unjust world systems through weak people walking in obedience.
Our city doesn’t need more enormous, mono-ethnic churches. Our country doesn’t, either. What our neighbors need are churches who can show what it looks like when the gospel saves diverse people, brings them together, and unites them in a faith community.
If the Scriptures are the lens through which we understand reality, we should be struck by how consistently God shapes his people through proclaiming to them their limitations. From the Garden to the Wilderness to the Great Commission, God forms his people by declaring their finitude.
Suppose in your old life you had this sinful habit you didn’t like. But, time and time again, you’d fall into it, then feel bad about it, then beat yourself up, and then get better for a while, only to fall back into it again. Then, you become a Christian. But you still struggle with that habit.