Welcome to Zimbabwe…

Have you ever been afraid to do something, but decided to do it anyway? That’s how I felt when I planned my 6-week mission trip to Zimbabwe, Africa when I graduated from Bible School 20 years ago. I wasn’t going in a group. I was meeting up with missionaries over there and helping them for 6 weeks. Just little ‘ole me…all by myself. But I felt the Lord tug my heart to do it, so off I went. It wasn’t without it’s challenges, and to be honest, I was ready to just turn around and go home when I got there, but God was with me, encouraging me, and I really learned a lot about TRUST…

So Jerub-baal (that is, Gideon) and his army got up early and went as far as the spring of Harod. The armies of Midian were camped north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength.  The Lord told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.” That night the Lord said, “Get up! Go down into the Midianite camp, for I have given you victory over them! 10 But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah. Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack.”…When the 300 Israelites blew their rams’ horns, the Lord caused the warriors in the camp to fight against each other with their swords. (Excerpts Judges 7…I encourage you to read the whole chapter here)

Have you ever been afraid to do something, but decided to do it anyway? That’s how I felt when I planned my 6-week mission trip to Zimbabwe, Africa when I graduated from Bible School 20 years ago. I wasn’t going in a group. I was meeting up with missionaries over there and helping them for 6 weeks. Just little ‘ole me…all by myself. But I felt the Lord tug my heart to do it, so off I went.

And it was quite the adventure, let me tell you. From delayed and missed flights to having to spend 3 unexpected days in South Africa (Thank God I just happened to have friends there I could stay with). I missed the crusade team in Zimbabwe and had to take a bus 5 hours by myself in a strange country without being able to speak the language. Good times!

zimbabwe

Fear tried to settle in, but His peace was with me. I made it to the crusade and met up with the missionaries and had a wonderful and fruitful trip. It wasn’t without it’s challenges, and to be honest, I was ready to just turn around and go home when I got there, but God was with me, encouraging me, and I really learned a lot about TRUST!

God told Gideon to go and defeat the Midianites. He had 32,000 men come out to help him, but God had a different plan. If you read the whole chapter, you will see that God sent home whoever was scared…22,000 men to be exact. There were only 10,000 men left. I wonder if Gideon kind of gulped, wiped off his sweaty palms, and said, “Okay. This is doable. We still have 10,000 men here. We can do this!”

Then God whittled away at that number even more. After the next test, of the 10,000 remaining men, only 300 men made the cut to go fight in the battle! Only 300 men! I can just see Gideon gulping now. “Ummm….God? You do have a plan, right? I’m a little scared here! Only 300 men? Really?”

But God encouraged his trust. He led Gideon to overhear the Midianites telling each other that God had given Gideon victory over them. Well, all fear was gone and Gideon raced back and called the troops to action. “Let’s go! God’s got this and we are gonna win!!!”

So…they sneak over to the camp, blow their ram’s horns, break their clay jars, and shout! I’m pretty sure that would NOT be a great battle strategy for our troops overseas right now, but this was the battle plan God gave to Gideon. Ooookkkkaaaayyyy!

As soon as they obeyed God’s plan, “…the Lord caused the warriors in the camp to fight against each other with their swords.” I love it!!! THE LORD CAUSED…He didn’t need their help. He didn’t need their muscle. He didn’t need their military prowess…He only needed their trust and their obedience…it was HIS to do all along.

Sometimes we look at the battles we are facing and fear settles in. But just like He did with Gideon, God is right there to calm the fears with His truth and give us a battle plan…a strategy of attack. Sometimes that plan will make no sense at all…like giving when you are so far in debt you can’t see the end…or speaking words of life and healing over your sick body….or in Gideon’s case – blowing a ram’s horn and breaking a clay pot and shouting.

Our acts of obedience and our trust are all God needs to work with. It’s our job to trust and obey…it’s His job to perform the miracle. What are you giving Him to work with? Let’s trust and obey and watch what He can do!

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP)

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