Judges 6:14-15 (NLT)
14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, �Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!� 15 �But Lord,� Gideon replied, �how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!�

Because the Israelites had fallen into a sinful nature, God allowed the Midianites to rule over the Israelites for seven years. The Midianites were so cruel the Israelites would hide out in caves, mountains or other secure places they could find. The Israelites fields were frequently raided leaving them with nothing to eat. Now we see the Lord telling Gideon to rescue the Israelites from the people who were overwhelming them. Gideon gives his reply, �But Lord how can I rescue Israel?�

Sometimes our �buts� get in the way. Gideon knew God was speaking to him, �but� he questioned God. Gideon even said, �If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me.� So again Gideon was thinking, ok you are going to help me God, �but� let me know you are real. How often do we start out with a phrase of good intention and then follow it with, �but�? For instance: I apologize, �but��. I am glad to help, �but��. Would love to donate, �but��. As Gideon later found out he needed to depend more on God and not himself. If our intentions are pure and we allow God to work in our lives there is no need to say �but�. When we need to apologize we do so without conditions. When we give we do so out of the goodness of our heart. When we help others we do so because we want to share the love of Christ. There usually are no reasons for �buts� except when we are not being fully honest with ourselves and others.