I wonder what God sees in you, that you don’t see in you. I wonder what purpose you’ve been perfectly aligned for, but in your eyes it just looks like one big mess you want out of. You have no idea who you really are and what you can really do … but are you ready to find out? Are you ready to discover how God sees you? Are you ready to step into your greatest potential and do things that will outlive you? Are you ready to stop settling for where you are, and dare to see where God wants to take you next?
If you look around and see nothing but destruction … if you feel like everything you’ve been working on has just been ruined … if you are overwhelmed and discouraged with all that has gone wrong, you’re actually standing on holy ground! This is where God does his greatest work. This is where he shows up and does what only he can do, but girl, he has chosen YOU to do it through.
The Israelites found themselves in complete destruction. These were the people God had chosen, protected, freed and led. The ones who were spared from the 7 plagues in Egypt. The ones who were miraculously freed from the captivity of Pharaoh and saved through the parting of the Red Sea. The ones who were supernaturally led by a pillar of cloud at day and a pillar of fire at night. The ones who were given manna from heaven on the daily to eat in the desert where there was no food.
But now, they’re in real trouble. Judges 6:1 “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.”
Why was God so angry with the Israelites? After all he had done for them, they were to be different. God told them as they traveled through different lands and different tribes, to not waiver from what he had shown them. To stay true to his word and his guidance. Exodus 23:24 “You must not worship the gods of these nations or serve them in any way or imitate their evil practices. Instead, you must utterly destroy them and smash their sacred pillars
But with a little time and a little freedom, they did exactly what they were told not to do. They fell into the lives of sin and pleasure they saw all around them. They worshiped the gods of the other tribes, and fell away from their God. So, things got hard … real hard. And God used the Midianites to make their lives miserable.
The Midianites were a nomadic tribe descending from Midian, a son of Abraham. They were relentless and brutal in their attack against the Israelites. They had no mercy, and used their power to make the Israelites hide in caves, fighting for sheer survival. They invaded their fields, stole their crops, killed their animals, took away their water sources, and left absolutely nothing for the Israelites to survive.
Basically, life royally sucked for the Israelites. Everything was a total mess. All that had gone right in the past for them had now gone terribly wrong. All hopes of life ever being better were forfeited, along with their means of survival. So the Israelites did the only thing they could do, they fell to their knees and cried out to the Lord.
And my friends, this is when things started changing.
No doubt, that is exactly when things will start changing for you too. When in full surrender you cry out to the Lord, the Lord turns the tables and makes things happen in a day that you couldn’t make happen in a lifetime.
Before we go any further, let me ask … just how big of a mess are you in? How ugly have things gotten? Are you finally desperate enough to cry out to the Lord for help? Whew, one thing I’ve discovered over the last 20 years in my walk with God is I really don’t have to wait until sheer destruction to cry out to him. I don’t have to wait until the dead end. I don’t have to wait until everything else has failed. Sometimes I still do, then I always look back and realize that was super stupid. You know, super stupid. That’s stupid on another level. Continuing to try doing this on my own when it hasn’t ever been working for me, well that’s super stupid.
Girl, are you being super stupid right now? Have you been counting on others to pray for you, but you haven’t surrendered and prayed for yourself? Ohhhhh child, things are going to be super messy until you learn a better way.
For 7 years the Israelites were under attack by the Midianites, and finally on the 7th year, they cried out to the Lord. This is when the angel of the Lord came to Gideon.
Gideon was the youngest and smallest of a very poor family. He was ordinary in every way. He saw himself as nothing more than a poor boy fighting to survive. Gideon was hiding, threshing wheat and then Judges 6:12 “the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
Gideon is confused. If the Lord is with us, why has everything gone so wrong? And why do you call me a mighty warrior? Can’t you see I’m the least of all of these. I’m a nobody with nothing.
God saw something in Gideon he didn’t see in himself. This disastrous mess he found himself in was the perfect alignment for a purpose he was yet to understand, but he would.
God told him to tear down this alter that had been built for another God, and build an alter for him. Oh that was a risky move, one that could get Gideon killed, but he did it!
And what Gideon didn’t understand at that time was, this act of obedience was what led him to discover that he really was the mighty warrior God said he was.
He didn’t look like a mighty warrior. He didn’t have the track record of a mighty warrior. He didn’t feel like a mighty warrior, but a mighty warrior is who God said he was, and that is exactly who he would become. But first, tear down this false alter and build one for the one and only true God. What followed was outrage and threats. And through this, Gideon rose as the mighty warrior he was called to be.
Warriors don’t rise in peaceful, blissful, perfectly happy circumstances. Warriors rise out of ashes of defeat to declare the victory God has for them. Look around sis, is that where you are? Are you standing in the ashes of defeat and the remains of all that has gone wrong? THIS IS WHERE YOU RISE! THIS IS WHERE YOU DISCOVER WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT GOD HAS PUT WITHIN YOU.
You are a mighty warrior. You are not a weak, defeated woman. You are not an insignificant nobody. You are not a washed up has been that’s too far gone. You are not broken. You may be the least of all you think should be chosen, but you are hearing this today because God says IT’S YOU. You’re the one he wants to work in. You’re the one his power will flow through. You’re the one that will see change.
The end of the story? Gideon takes his army of 300 men into battle against the Midianites who had been terrorizing them for 7 years. How many Midianites were there? Well, scripture puts it like this in Judges 7:12 “The Midianites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.”
Translation: that’s a whole crapton of enemies. Likely hundreds of thousands of people. And God had led Gideon to take an army of only 300. Oh, don’t you know sometimes God sets us up with impossible odds just so his power can be revealed? Don’t you know when the world says you’re out, God says it’s the perfect time for you to be totally in?
And so, victory came. The Israelites cried out to God, they came back to him and what he had commanded of them, and Gideon realized he truly was the mighty warrior God said he was, and that mighty warrior led a tiny army to defeat a huge enemy.
Isn’t this the same journey you and I are on today? Learning to cry out to God? Coming back to what he has asked of us? Recognizing who he says we are? Then fighting the battle to stand in victory?
Yes girl, that is YOUR STORY!
Cry out to him.
Believe what he says about you.
Rise up and move forward.
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