Devotionals & ArticlesPromises Quiet Time Series

Day 1: “I Will Be With You”

By Zoe Jauniskis 

Pioneer Valley Church of Christ 

THE FEAR: 

I have to face the challenging things in life all by myself, and I don’t think I have what it takes.  

THE PROMISE: 

I am never alone. God is with me. And that means that I don’t need to have what it takes,  because God already does.  

God promises over and over again that he will be with me. He is not vague about it. And when  God talks about being with me, he tends to get poetic: 

  • He goes before me (Deuteronomy 31:8)
  • He hems me in behind and before (Psalm 139:5)
  • He is holding my hand (Isaiah 41:13)
  • He is living within me (1 John 3:13) 

It is beautiful to know we are not alone. It is comforting, and relieving…but also powerful!  Because God being with us makes a huge difference when we face challenges:

Exodus 3:11-12 

“But Moses said to God,  “Who am I that I should  go to Pharaoh and bring  the Israelites out of  

Egypt?”  

And God said, “I will be  with you. And this will  be the sign to you that it  is I who have sent you:  When you have brought  the people out of Egypt,  you will worship God on  this mountain.””

Judges 6:14-16 

The Lord turned to him and  said, “Go in the strength you  have and save Israel out of  Midian’s hand. Am I not  sending you?”  

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon  replied, “but how can I save  Israel? My clan is the weakest  in Manasseh, and I am the  least in my family.”  

The Lord answered, “I will be  with you, and you will strike  down all the Midianites,  leaving none alive.”” 

Matthew 28:16-20  

“Then the eleven disciples went to  Galilee, to the mountain where  Jesus had told them to go. When  they saw him, they worshiped  him; but some doubted. 

Then Jesus came to them and  said, “All authority in heaven and  on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples  of all nations, baptizing them in  the name of the Father and of the  Son and of the Holy Spirit, and  teaching them to obey everything  I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to  the very end of the age.””

In the stories of Moses and Gideon, each man responds to God’s call by pointing out his own  personal weaknesses. Moses was an outlaw who struggled with speaking, and Gideon was the  wimpy youngest son of an insignificant family. In both cases, when God throws them a  challenge, they say “no way God. I don’t have what it takes.”  

When a friend tells me something like this about their own self-doubt, I tend to respond with,  “no way, you got this!” or “you’re stronger than you think you are” or “just be confident.” But  that’s not what God says. Instead, he says, “I will be with you.” I used to think he was ignoring  their worries. But I’m realizing that, by refusing to engage with their self-doubt, God is telling  

Moses and Gideon that his presence is much more important than their credentials. 

And God says the same thing to us! In Matthew 28, when Jesus presents one of his biggest calls  to action, he pairs it with a promise: “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Walking with God is incredibly challenging! Jesus wants to make sure that I know that the skills  and strengths (and weaknesses, flaws, mistakes, doubts and fears) I bring to the table is more  or less irrelevant. God is with me, and it is his presence that makes all things possible. 

THE PERSONAL: 

I find it very natural to approach challenging situations as if I’m alone in them, focusing entirely  on my own weaknesses. It is easy to forget that God and I are supposed to be on a team. For  me, this happens most often in social situations and relationships. I often feel as if I somehow  missed a crucial introductory course on “how to have friends and be cool” that everyone else  has already completed. Convinced that I am out of my depth, and very much alone in my  cluelessness and insecurity, I have a hard time taking the risks required to build closeness with  people. In those moments, when I focus in on myself—my own set of strengths and  weaknesses, my resume of past experiences, my worries—the situation tends to look bleak,  and I feel very stuck and alone. But when I zoom out and remember that God is right there,  going before me, hemming me in behind, holding my hand, and living within me, taking those  risks becomes much more possible.  

THE PRACTICAL: 

I’ve been trying to notice phrases like “I can’t do that,” “I don’t know how to do that,” or “I’m  bad at that” in my prayers and conversations with myself and others. When I use this language,  I am being a lot like Gideon, who focused in on his own (pretty unimpressive) credentials rather 

than the fact that the God of the universe was fighting alongside him. When you feel  inadequate and alone in a challenge, try praying about the fact that God is with you, and it is  God’s abilities, rather than yours, that are the deciding factor in your life. Be honest with how  you feel—inadequate, unprepared, alone in the fight—but remind yourself that, no matter how  you feel, God has not left you along in the fight. 

THE PRAYER: 

My God, thank you for being with me. Who, other than you, can truly claim to be with me  always? No one! My God, I often believe the lie that I am alone. So it is amazing to remember  that “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I  rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will  guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139:10). My God, your constant presence in  my life demonstrates such insane love. Why else would you stay so close to me all the time?  Thank you for loving me with this love, that never leaves me alone… It is amazing to remember  that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor  any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate  [me] from [your love], that is in Christ Jesus [my] Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). That’s how closely you  hold onto me. And my God, thank you again, because there are so many things I cannot handle.  But I know that with you, my weaknesses don’t really matter. You are here, and so “I can do all  things through [you] who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this quiet time feel free to leave a comment below!

See all the quiet times from this series here: https://www.icocne.org/category/promises-quiet-time-series/

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Diane Holly
Diane Holly
1 month ago

Thank you Zoe for this great QT. I can relate to feeling insignificant and often feel insecure in social settings. I love the scripture references!

Patrick G
Patrick G
1 month ago

God is telling

Moses and Gideon that his presence is much more important than their credentials.
-WOW !!! Thanks for this

Lisa Sharma
Lisa Sharma
1 month ago

Zoe, this was so helpful to me! I’m trying to be more aware of my fearful thoughts and insecurities and turn them around with the beautiful promises to which you point us in this devotional! Thank you sister!

Barbara Berthiaume
1 month ago

Great job Zoe! It’s amazing how many of have the same perceived weaknesses.
The scriptures you picked were great and I found them very helpful in dealing with my own fears.

Beverly Nowak
Beverly Nowak
1 month ago

Thank you, Zoe. One doesn’t realize that there are more of us doubting ourselves than we realize. We are not alone. & All we need to do is remember that God “will never leave us, nor forsake us”, paraphrase of Deut 31:8. Thank you so much for this reminder.

La Micia
La Micia
1 month ago

“But I know that with you, my weaknesses don’t really matter.” Amen! Very encouraging bechase I can often feel like my weaknesses are just too great.