Step Up Gideon!!
I want to share a section of scripture I came across today and what God spoke to my heart concerning us, the Church. Read Judges 6:1-16. You’ve probably heard the story of Gideon and how he valiantly defeated the entire Midianite army with only 300 men! However, Gideon, like so many Bible heroes, was a much more likely candidate to drift into eternal obscurity than to become a historical legend!
Let’s pick up in Judges 6:11…”The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.” Two things we need to see in this verse. The first is just how desperate Gideon and the Israelites really were. The Midianites were oppressing them to the point that they had no crops or animals to sustain them! Everything the enemy found that was useful was taken or destroyed! THE ISRAELITES WERE DESPERATE! God heard their cry and is about to send them a deliverer! The second thing we need to take note of is that Gideon is threshing wheat in a winepress! Little hint…winepresses are for making…WINE! Not for threshing wheat! Wheat was threshed in open air areas where the wind could blow away the chaff to separate it from the wheat. So why was Gideon in the winepress? Simply put, he was hiding from the Midianites and trying to find enough grain to feed himself and his family!
This is the point in which the story actually gets somewhat humorous! While Gideon is hiding out the angel of the Lord appears to Gideon and greets him with, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Gideon must have looked around in the winepress to see if anyone else was with him! He had to feel like anything other than a “mighty warrior” as he cowered down in the winepress! But here is the first thing I really want you to take away from this…God doesn’t see you the way you see you or the way others see you! He sees what’s possible when the little you have is combined with the limitless amount He has! In fact the angel tells Gideon to “Go in the strength you have and save Israel” (v. 14). But what strength did Gideon have? Not much! He’s in a winepress threshing wheat! But what God knows, and what we need to remember, is that God doesn’t lack anything in the way of ability or power…all He needs is willing participants!
Most of chapters six and seven detail Gideon’s concern that God wouldn’t be able to use him to make a difference by delivering God’s people. In verse 13 Gideon says, “Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Gideon’s problem wasn’t believing what God had done or even what God could do…His problem was believing what God WOULD do! He didn’t realize the miracles he was referring to were done through an unqualified doubter much like himself named Moses! The second thing I really want you to take away is this…you and I will NEVER do the Kingdom work we were created for until we realize that GOD WANTS TO USE US TO EXPAND HIS KINGDOM AND BRING HIM GLORY! I wonder how many of us never fulfill the Kingdom purpose that God has for us because we, like Gideon, believe that God did it…we just don’t believe He’ll do it! In other words…God did through and for others but I don’t know if He’ll work in my life the way He has in other people!
My advice to you…STEP UP GIDEON! What has God called you to start that is not going to happen if you aren’t obedient? What has God called you to support financially or with your gifts and talents (Don’t tell me you don’t have any…that’s a slap in the face of the ONE who created you!) that will not reach its potential if you don’t support it? Who has God called you to invest in so that they come to know Jesus? Who has God called you to show His unconditional love to? Who has God called you to forgive the way He forgave you? Who has God called you to invite to church and encourage in their faith journey?
STEP UP GIDEON! GO IN THE STRENGTH YOU HAVE AND GOD WILL SUPPLY THE REST!
See you Sunday! Can’t wait!!