By PastorJ | Tuesday, April 14, 2015 | 3:26 PM
The Old Testament Scriptures are full of inspiring stories that challenge us to reach to new heights in our spiritual journey. These heights can only be reached as we allow God to control our lives. The lives of those written about in the Scriptures are recorded for us, so that we may learn from them. They are recorded so that we might not make the same mistakes as they made, and so that we might know the magnificence of God’s leadership and direction in our lives as the OT Bible characters knew.
One of these characters who inspires us is Gideon (Judges 6-8). He is one individual, of many, who was just an ordinary guy. Don’t you know that God is in the business of using ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things? He works in this way because it assures Him that He is going to receive full glory for all of the results.
Gideon’s journey begins in the 6th chapter of Judges and ends in the 8th chapter. The nation of Israel had been under the oppression of Midian for seven years. God’s chosen nation was calling out for deliverance, and God would choose to send his mercy once again, as He did on numerous occasions. God’s mercy came in the form of a man by the name of Gideon. In just a few pages, we can read about a guy who went from a zero to a hero. Judges 6:15 shows us that Gideon was a “nobody” before he allowed God to influence his life:
Judges 6:15 – “And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.”
Isn’t that a popular response today? When God asks us to do something great for Him, we usually have a tendency to doubt. We doubt ourselves, and by doubting ourselves, we are doubting our God. I have held on to a phrase my uncle, Dr. David Flood, told me the day that I surrendered to God’s call to preach. He encouraged me that day by saying, “God does not call the qualified, but He qualifies the called”. If God asks you to do something, rest assured that He is going to empower you to complete the task. In our text, Gideon is doubting himself and using his doubt as an excuse to resist God’s call on his life. What is it that God is calling you to do today? Consider how much time you have wasted by doubting the abilities and talents that God has given to you. I fear that our churches are hurting today because too many people have allowed guilt of past decisions and sins, age and inexperience, and thoughts of what others may think to hinder them from surrendering to God’s call on their life. My challenge today is simple. Put aside all of the doubt and allow God to take you from a “zero to a hero”. Allow God to remove the thoughts of, “I am a nobody” and replace them with the truth of who you are in Christ – “…In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37).
This is what God did with Gideon. He was a farmer who was transformed into a fighter, a worker who became a warrior. He went from a threshing boy to the top dog among the people of Israel. The common man was now the commander. In Judges 8:22, we see evidence for Gideon as a hero. The people were calling for Gideon to be their ruler. They wanted this ordinary, “nobody” to be their leader.
Judges 8:22 – “Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian.”
I stand in awe at how Gideon’s life changed in just two chapters of Scripture! God can change your life in just a short instance as well. Many have given a testimony of how He changed their life completely the moment that He saved them. He can do that for you, if you have never trusted in Him for salvation, but He can also do that for the Christian as well. If you have been living life like a zero and you are tired of it, there is one thing you must do to change it. That one thing is called….
Gideon did one thing right. He obeyed. That is all God required from Gideon. We can watch his life transform as we read from chapter six through chapter eight. In 6:1-24, Gideon could be labeled as a coward. In 6:25-32, he is seen as a challenger, and in 6:33 through the end of Gideon’s life he is a conqueror. How did Gideon go from a “zero to a hero”? He was obedient to God’s call.
When Gideon obeyed God’s command to lead the nation of Israel into battle against Midian, he was acknowledging his complete reliance in God. God told Gideon (7:2) that it would be He who would save the nation of Israel and bring them victory in this battle. God was challenging Gideon to be completely reliant upon Him. God may be asking you to complete a specific task for the furtherance of His Kingdom, or He may simply desire for you to further your relationship with Him. Nevertheless, He is challenging you to become completely reliant upon Him. One way to do this is to start obeying His Word and following His leadership.
Sometimes God asks us to do things that sound crazy. Sometimes He asks us to do things that seem radical and may not make sense to us at the time. We must pause here and say that God will never ask you to do something that contradicts His Word. That is not the kind of crazy I am talking about. I mean that God will sometimes ask you to do something you would not normally do, something outside of the norm for you and something you may feel is outside of your comfort zone. He asked Gideon to exercise radical obedience when He told Gideon to condense his army of soldiers from 32,000 men down to only 300 men. It seems like suicide to me and just plain crazy to take 300 men into battle against an army that is innumerable. You can read the rest of the story and see that Gideon did what God told him to do, and he was victorious. There is something about radical faith and radical obedience that invites God to show up and show out. What is that radical thing that God is asking you to do for Him today? What is that thing He is asking you to do that makes you uncomfortable but you know you need to do it because He told you to?
Are you tired of living life like a zero? Are you tired of looking in the mirror and disliking what you see? Let God into your life and allow Him to control every portion of who you are and what you do. I believe that the person looking back at you in the mirror will begin to smile at you as you start living a lifestyle of obedience to God.
My prayer is that this post has challenged you, uplifted you, convicted you, and inspired you. Pray with me that God would continue raising up people who are completely obedient to Him at Eastwood Baptist Church. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and please check back next week for more encouragement from God’s Word.