As I sit here trying to write this post, the Bama vs. Oklahoma game is on the TV. Half the room here is for Bama and half is for Oklahoma. One person is singing the theme song for Oklahoma the musical and one is singing Sweet Home Alabama. It’s actually kind of funny. Me, I’m just enjoying good football. We are 45 seconds from the half, and it’s hard to tell who is going to end up winning this game. The potential is there for it to go either way. It’s quite the nail biter…
Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” [The angel and Gideon have a conversation…] That night the Lord said to Gideon, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one that is seven years old. Pull down your father’s altar to Baal, and cut down the Asherah pole standing beside it. Then build an altar to the Lord your God here on this hilltop sanctuary, laying the stones carefully. Sacrifice the bull as a burnt offering on the altar, using as fuel the wood of the Asherah pole you cut down.” So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord had commanded. But he did it at night because he was afraid of the other members of his father’s household and the people of the town. “Bring out your son,” the men of the town demanded of Joash. “He must die for destroying the altar of Baal and for cutting down the Asherah pole.” (Excerpts Judges 6)
As I sit here trying to write this post, the Bama vs. Oklahoma game is on the TV. Half the room here is for Bama and half is for Oklahoma. One person is singing the theme song for Oklahoma the musical and one is singing Sweet Home Alabama. It’s actually kind of funny. Me, I’m just enjoying good football. We are 45 seconds from the half, and it’s hard to tell who is going to end up winning this game. The potential is there for it to go either way. It’s quite the nail biter.
Here we see Gideon hiding at the bottom of the winepress. He was hiding because he was afraid. Then the angel comes and calls him “mighty hero” or “mighty man of courage.” Gideon replies, “Umm, sir. I think you have the wrong person. I’m hiding here. In fact, you scared me so much because I thought you were them my pulse is still racing! Courage? No sir, not me!”
Then they have this conversation, and Gideon realizes who he has seen here ‘s with and cries out, “I’m doomed!” Not much self confidence here! No sirree bobby! But God speaks to the potential in him and gives him a directive. “Go tear down the altar of Baal and build an altar to Me.” Gideon’s own father had built that altar to Baal. So he has to take a huge step of faith and go against even those he loved to obey God. And he still chooses to do it.
“But he did it at night because he was afraid.” I love this. I can just see it. Gideon convinces these people to go help him. “God said! He called me a mighty hero. He said I have courage! I can do this! But…let’s go at night so everyone is asleep. Let’s go when no one can see us, just in case. I’m not THAT courageous!” So they go…probably looking over their shoulder the whole time…adrenaline pumping…they probably had a lookout and a code signal, just in case someone came to stop them.
But he did it! He rose up to the potential that God spoke to in him and obeyed the Word of the Lord. He responded to the truth. Yay, Gideon! Way to go! “And everyone cheered him on and everything lined up, and everyone lived happily ever after. The end.” Right? Not so much!
“Bring out your son, Joash, because he must die!” Gideon took a step of faith, a step of obedience, a step towards his potential and towards the truth, and what happened? Everyone came out against him. It all looked like it was falling apart.
This was a real nail biter for Gideon. He thought he did right. He thought he took a step towards truth. And God promised to be with him…”Where are You, God?”
Have you ever had that happen? You saw a promise or something God spoke about you, and you took a step of faith towards that potential…towards that truth…and instead of changing, everything seemed to fall apart? Everything looked like it was going in the opposite direction of what God promised?
Don’t be discouraged. That doesn’t mean that it will end that way. Gideon’s obedience prompted someone else’s obedience (his father’s) and then someone else’s and someone else’s. Gideon kept pressing into that potential until what God had promised was a reality in his life, and it turned an entire nation back to God.
God has spoken some things over you and me. Let’s not get discouraged when it looks like the opposite is happening. God said it. He is faithful. He will do it if we keep pressing into that potential…keep pressing into that promise. And when we take that step towards the potential, we don’t know who it will help and change.
His potential for us is never just about us. We get blessed…yes. But we are blessed to be a blessing. Let’s live a little crazy this year…let’s be crazy enough to believe the potential that God has spoken over us and walk like it’s true and see just what He will do in us and for us and through us!
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 AMP)