Heads Up Gideon! From Surviving to Thriving

I don’t know about the rest of you all, but I’ve had a couple rough years.  Life on the front lines of the prayer movement can feel like being a squirrel accidentally let loose in a bumper car ring, hopping this way and that, hoping not to get creamed.  I’m fighting the good fight and moving forward, but I’ve learned to answer people’s queries “how’s life?” with the response, “I’m having lots of opportunities for spiritual growth,” sometimes accompanied by a wobbly smile.

Maybe that’s why I relate to Gideon.  There he is, hiding out, trying to salvage some dinner for his family in the context of unrelenting warfare.  Definitely in survival mode, keeping his head down.

I love God’s recipe for restoration.  Firstly, He dollops the whole conversation with assurances of His presence “The Lord is with you”.  At the front end, he adds a dash of identity, calling this down and outer a mighty warrior.  Has God been calling you names lately?  He’s not trying to be mean, rubbing it in, or making fun of you.  He’s just calling you forth.

You’re all probably much more spiritually mature than I am, but I can really relate to Gideon’s faith filled response “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?”

I love how God deals with Gideon’s whys and whining.

He doesn’t.  He completely ignores it.  Just pretends He doesn’t hear, and then tells Gideon what He wants him to do.

Go in the strength that you have.  Let me translate that into Alcoholics Anonymous lingo.  “ Just suit up and show up.”  Just show up.  Cause you know what?  It’s not about you, anyhow!

Ouch!

I had a mentor once who saw clearly through my youthful self-centeredness in life and ministry (It’s all about me, Jesus, for my glory and my fame!) and told me, sometimes many times a day.  “ It’s not about YOU, Jill.”

It’s not about us.  It’s about God, and what He intends to do.  It’s about His presence, His purposes.  It’s about just showing up for the game.  “Put yourself into the path of oncoming grace,” another mentor would often say.

So be encouraged, Mighty Warriors, hiding out with your heads down.  The Lord is with you.  Just go in the strength that you have, and watch to see what God does with your itty bitty acts of obedience.

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