New Year’s strength

what God seesIn the book of Judges (chapter 6)  we meet a man named Gideon.  Most remember him from the great battles he won in the name of God, and as the judge who was pressured to be become a king — but refused.  He pointed the people back to God reminding them that their king was God and His law was to be their guide for life.

But it didn’t start out that way.

We first encounter Gideon hiding out in a wine press, trying to thrash some grain in a manner that would not call attention to itself.  He was afraid that his enemies would see him and come steal the grain.

Most wine presses in those days were holes in the ground.  Instead of being up in the open air where the dust and chaff could blow away — Gideon in down in a dirty, dusty hole.  wine press

God comes to him and says:

“The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

I have this image of Gideon looking around in the cloud of dust — sweat making the filth of the grain stick to his body — standing in a pile of straw.  His first thoughts would be….me?

Do you not see me right now?

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.”


I have been to church and heard all the stories, but do you know what is going on in my life right now?  Last year was a “hot mess” and 2014 isn’t looking so good either.

I just don’t see God working in my life right now.  I’m not even sure He working anywhere.  Just look around — read the news.

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.”

God — are not listening?  I’m nothing.  The work of your kingdom is for the big boys.  You know — Andy Stanley, Phil Robertson, John Ortberg … those kind of fellows.  I’m nothing.

As you enter the New Year remember something.  If you want to know the value of something you see what someone will pay for it.

What would someone pay for you?   Jesus said you were worth his life.

So, mighty warrior, where is God sending you this year?   Go in the strength God provides — not your own.

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