Friday, September 11, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Guest Post - Walk into the Extraordinary

I "borrowed" this article from a weekly e-newsletter that I receive from SISTERS.

I found it uplifting and encouraging, and wanted to share it with you.

Walk into the Extraordinary

By Bonnie Peacock

It was a day just like any other. As Gideon threshed wheat near the winepress, the unexpected happened. An angel appeared before him, "The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour" (Judges 6:12).

Gideon knew immediately that this was one lost and confused angel. Why, he was the youngest of a poor, obscure family. What could he do? He was powerless. How could God possibly use him?

Born into a nation that had walked away from God, attempting to hide wheat from the Midianites was a way of life for Gideon. Tired of living under the heavy hand of their enemy, the children of Israel began to call upon God to save them. Now an angel had come with a message of deliverance, but he had picked the wrong person. Of the entire nation, he had selected a young man with little prospects for the future.

It is easy to relate to Gideon. He had the audacity to ask the outrageous questions that we are reluctant to put into words. "If You are with me, God, why am I in such a mess? You delivered us out of Egypt only to allow us to fall prey to the Midianites. You want to use me to deliver my entire nation? If this is really You, You have to show me a sign!"

The angel did the miraculous before Gideon's eyes, yet he still fleeced God. Not once, but twice. At last he was convinced that he was hearing from the Lord.

With thirty-two thousand men at his disposal, everything seemed promising. But then God began the process of selecting and rejecting until Gideon was left with just three hundred men. God took this small group, armed with only trumpets, pitchers, and lamps (torches) and caused the Midianites to utterly destroy themselves.

What an amazing, wonderful story! From our perspective, we can smugly wonder why Gideon ever questioned God at all. Surely if an angel appeared to us, we would immediately, without
hesitation, obey.

But we all ask questions. God beckons us down a path that we have never walked before, "The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour!" We quake, question, and flea in fear. How can God use us? What if He lets us down? The task is too great! He expects too much of us. Doesn't He know who we are? Isn't He aware of our lack of experience and abilities?
God is looking for those who are willing to obey. Perfection is not a requirement. Self-sufficiency and tremendous confidence are not either. "Peace be unto thee; fear not!" (Judges 6:23) God's reassurance is needed when we stand at the crossroads of the familiar and a new assignment
from the Lord.

Just like Gideon, we are weak, defenseless, and without adequate resources to accomplish what God requires of us. But, "our sufficiency is of God" (II Corinthians 3:5). "The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon" (Judges 6:34) and he was able to face and accomplish the task that God had placed before him. Without God's assistance, it is impossible to boldly accept the challenges that lie ahead. But it is not up to us! When we face the enemy, task, or ministry that God has called us to do, we too will hear His assurance. "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left" (Isaiah 30:21).

In the Spirit today, can't you hear a voice gently speaking?
"The Lord is with thee, thou mighty [wo]man of valour!"