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. 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”
13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? 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.”
14 The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
16 The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” Judges 6:11-16 NIV
Gideon was hiding down in the winepress to thresh his grain. He was hiding. He was hiding when the angel of the Lord appeared and called him mighty warrior. Obviously Gideon didn’t feel like a mighty warrior, remember he was hiding! When the angel of the Lord started conversing with him, Gideon had questions! Why, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Did He bring us of Egypt to hand deliver us to the Midanites? Gideon felt deserted, abandoned by God. He felt let down and now he was threshing his grain in this deep pit at night time, so that he wouldn’t be discovered and have the food taken from him. Then this angel of the Lord appears to him and calls him, mighty warrior? Gideon was questioning God.
Have you ever questioned God? I have. I remember praying for rent money when we first moved to Burley. At the time I felt deserted. Where were all of my close Oregon friends? I felt like it was a case of, out of sight out of mind. I remember praying to the Lord and telling Him, “God, You did not call us to Burley to die. My rent is due in 8 days and we have no way of paying it. Remember God, we are here in Burley, Idaho where you called us!” God was so patient with me. I would remind Him of the widow that prayed insistently, never giving up. Guess what? No matter how I felt God never left me. He was right there providing for me and loving me. He would tell me, “I did call you to Burley.”
I love the Lord’s response to Gideon! “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” Basically God told Gideon to forget about his insecurities and go as you are. God would be with Gideon.
Even then Gideon questioned God again and reminded God that not only was his family the weakest family but he, himself was the least of his family!
God didn’t say, well okay Gideon, you’re right, you are excused, I picked the wrong guy. No he just reaffirmed His call to Gideon! He told Gideon that He would go with him and that Gideon would kill all of the Midianites!
See, we are not the only one in history to feel alone and abandoned! Jesus promised us that He would never leave us or forsake us. Why did He promise that? Jesus knew that we would feel alone, or deserted sometimes. Remember God will go with us when he assigns us to do something! He loves us.
This week in service Pastor Jason spoke to us about Faith. Faith is when you grab hold of things as if they are, when they are not. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, one of Satan’s tactics was, if You are really the Son God…Jesus never responded to that question! We need not to go there with, “Who am I?” When the devil taunts us and asks us, “Who are you?” We need to respond with God’s Word! It doesn’t matter who I am it matters Who I serve!
We have a choice. We can follow what we have been called to do or we can do what we “feel” like we can do. He will go with us! Some of us will say, “But I don’t know what God wants me to do.” Well I have the answer for that! Read your bible and pray every day. Even when you don’t feel like it! Share your faith with others. When you do these things you will renew your mind! We condition our bodies with exercise because we want to stay healthy, it is just important, if not more, to condition your Spirit. Have accountability in your life with someone. Do not conform to the world! Let God transform you. We also need some healing in our lives. God will show us that as we renew our mind by spending time in prayer and with the Word.
So please do not live your life by how you feel but live life in what you have been called! I am excited to see what God is going to do in Burley, Idaho. He is with us! He has promised great things and I am going to grab ahold of everything that God has promised!