During the ongoing pandemic my schedule has been severely pruned. At times it felt like I’m not doing much for God or anyone else. It has taken me quite a while to figure out and adjust to my new normal.
Doing life one day at a time was all I could manage. But now I’m ready for a little self-evaluation and looking towards what God has for me next in this “new normal.” This week as I read about Gideon* God showed me He indeed has important work for me and it is right in front of me.
As I read in Judges 6 a couple of things caught my attention—
First, God tells Gideon to tear down the altar to Baal and the idol and use them to sacrifice one of his father’s bulls. This was his declaration to himself and others that he was turning from his past to follow God and be the new person God was calling him to be—“a courageous warrior” (verse 12). This was quite a change in perception for the frightened young man who was hiding out in the winepress. He did not have a great opinion of himself either. He whined that his clan was the weakest and he was the youngest in his family.
God gives Gideon his mission. “Go in the strength you have and rescue Israel”. Even though Gideon believed himself to be weak and he was living like he was powerless, God knew otherwise. God had given him strength he didn’t know he had. He only needed to act on it to make a difference in his world.
God makes it clear to Gideon, “Have I not sent you?” It’s like God saying, “What do you need an engraved invitation? Get going!”
How often do we doubt the call of God when He makes it clear to us? Even in this pandemic when so much of our lives has been cancelled or postponed, God brings us opportunity after opportunity of ways to make a difference for Him in our world.
Recently I have come across two questions that give me clarity for my mission for each day.
What has God given me to steward today?** How will I steward my time, home, health, relationships, word from the Lord, spiritual gifts, anything God gives me today?
And the second—
How am I discipling those in my little world?***
How will I encourage, bless, and inspire those in my world? I believe I have the possibility to have more impact in my little world—those with whom I have personal relationships more than anything I can do in the bigger world.
But think about it.
My husband has one wife—me.
My kids have one mom—me.
My Grands have one Nana—me.
No other person can be to them who I am.
If I fail the people who are dearest to me, what is the point of anything else? They are my first and foremost priority from God.
And your people need you as well.
And then God gives Gideon the big how—“I will be with you.”
That is it. That is all we need for whatever job God gives us. He is with us. He will give us strength, courage, and direction, but we must be attentive and obedient to what He shows.
Before Gideon could move on his call, he not only needed to turn from his sinful lifestyle of worshipping idols, but he needed to leave behind his defeatist attitude.
I thought—What do I need to leave behind so I can be and do all God is calling me to? I made a list of what I feel I need to turn from.
- Doubt—I almost always have the whisper of doubt on my shoulder saying things like—who do you think you are, your writing is not good enough to matter, in fact you’re not enough. I doubt what I write will resonate with anyone.
- Fear—Then my thoughts move to fear—fear that someone will blast me for something I write.
- One last thing—Actually I don’t have words for it, but I feel it. There is something that keeps me from being as bold as I need to be for God. I’m asking God for His wisdom on this one.
After Gideon tore down the altar and idol, and said yes to God, “the Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon with power.” He called his people to arms and his army began to assemble. Just a little while earlier they were all hiding out in caves, mountains, and strongholds in fear of their enemies. Now they have confidence in God and they are ready to fulfill their mission.
My takeaway for you and me:
We’re stronger than we think. God has said so.
Step out in the strength we have and watch as God gives us more and more. God is with us in whatever He gives us to do (verse 16).
Our world, big or small, needs us to be and do the person God called us to be. Our people need us to be who God made us to be—not a cookiecutter clone of what we see on social media, but fully being the person He made each of us to be.
Even in the ongoing pandemic, what is one thing you feel God is calling you to do? What do you have to steward today or who do you need to be there for?
I would love to hear about your experience.
*Read full account of Gideon in Judges 6-8.
**From Ruth Chou Simons
***From Lifeway Women’s August 2020 monthly Bible Reading plan
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.