Where Do You Go?

Judges 6:24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.

Memorials are usually reserved for famous people or groups of people.  If you have ever been to Washington D.C. you know that the town is full of such magificant structures. 

But in the Old Testament it was common to build a memorial (altar) to God to remember what He had done for them.

When Jacob has a dream from God of a stairway to heaven. 
When Jacob made peace with Esau.
When Israel defeated the Amalekites.
When God gave Moses the 10 commandments. 
When God dried up the Jordan river so they could cross.  

Here Gideon builds a altar to commentate God calming his fears.  

He worshipped God there. He praised God there.  He gave thanks to God there. 

When he was afraid, he could go back and remember!

Can you think of some places in your life where God did a great and wonderful thing in your life?  A place where He calmed your fears?  A place where He spoke life changing wisdom or knowledge into your life?  It is time to remember those places.  I would encourage you to take a few moments to sit down and write down what God did and where.  Keep this list accessible and when you feel fear or confusion in your life - remember. 

PRAY: Dear Jesus, please help me remember all the great things you have done for so I will be encouraged in the days ahead.  AMEN. 

WHAT'S YOUR POV?

Judges 6:23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.”

Gideon has figured out that he has seen an angel.  He's a little freakout, to say the least.  So God speaks to him.  "Hey, Gideon!  Chill dude!  There's nothing to be afraid of!" (My paraphrase) 

So let's review.
The Midianites have invaded their world and taken everything by force.
An angel, maybe God Himself, has visited Gideon.
Gideon is told that he is the new leader (Judge) of Israel
Gideon is informed he will trounce the Midianites.

Nope, no reason to be afraid.  Right?  Put yourself in Gideon's sandals for a moment and ask yourself, "What would you do?"  Yea, that's what I thought.

POV (Point of view) is everything.

Today while driving to church I had to make a right-hand turn at a stop light.  A bicyclist was getting ready to cross the street. I see that he has the right of way and that the crosswalk sign agrees with me.  But the buy behind me cannot see the bicyclist nor does he pay attention to the crosswalk sign.  Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk!

I don't move but look in my rear view mirror.  He's losing it.  So I wait for it.  Wait for it.  Wait for it. And sure enough, as soon as he can see the bicyclist his demeanor changes.  POV is everything.

From God's POV, there is nothing to fear.  He doesn't fear the Midianites.  He doesn't fear Baal.  He doesn't fear hell itself.  There is nothing to be afraid of when you see your life through God's eyes.  Fear will soon turn into faith, as we will see with Gideon.  It's a process, but one worth the journey.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, change my POV.  AMEN


I Saw A Angel!

Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Have you ever met an angel?  Maybe.  I believe I have.  Years ago, when Betty and I were first married, a man stopped me in the parking lot of the apartment complex where we lived.  He was desperate and needed assistance.  I had compassion on him and gave him what little I had.  Some might say I was naive, but in my heart, I knew that this was the right thing to do.

As soon as I turned the corner to go into the complex, I thought of something I want to say.  I turned around, and the man who was standing no more than 3 feet away from me was gone.  There was nowhere for him to hide, he disappeared.  I knew what had happened.

Judges 6:22 Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now, I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.”

Gideon realizes he has been talking to an angel.  He loses it. 

Well, what would your reaction be?  I went up to my apartment and freaked out!  I knew what had happened and it shook me to my core.  

When God speaks to you, when He sovereignly moves in your life, it will shake you to your core.   There is something about the supernatural that has that effect on us.  We spend so much of our lives in the natural that when something new presents itself - it shakes our faith.

The first time God spoke to Moses, it didn't go so well.  The first time He spoke to Jonah, Zechariah (John the Baptist's dad) and others.  So if you struggle the first time with this, it's ok - you're in good company.

Remember when you connect to God.  It shocks you, but there is no reason to be afraid.

You, like Gideon, will feel worthless.  When Isaiah saw the Lord in a vision, even he said, "I am a sinner!"  There is something about being in the presence of God that puts everything in perfect perspective.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, speak into my life, calm my fears, allow me to have Your perspective and lead me today.  AMEN


IT'S ALL TRUE!!!

Judges 6: 19 - 21 19 So Gideon went into his house and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the terebinth and presented them. 20 And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them.” And he did so. 21 Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight.

It doesn't seem to mean much at first read, but the angel proves to Gideon that he isn't hallucinating.  

We see Gideon going to prepare a meal and an offering to give to the angel.  This is important.  Gideon could have asked for the angel to do a miracle, like make the Sun go black or do some kind of trick.  The religious leaders tried to do that to Jesus, and all Jesus said was, An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, (Matthew 16:4).  Gideon took a different approach.  He showed God honor and respect with his actions first.

Don't devalue your relationship with Christ by asking Him to do tricks or some kind of nonsense to "prove" His worth and value to you.  Instead, honor Him and respect His with all of your heart.  He is your friend.  Make sure that He is so precious to you that you will honor Him and love Him above all else. 

Gideon brings the meal and offering to the angel.  The angel then tells him to pour the broth over the meal.  This is reminiscent of Elijah pouring water over the offering before calling fire down from heaven.  Then in a flash, the angel and the food are gone.  Gideon is left standing there going, "It's all true!" 

I know that truth is lost to some.  Others have given up on finding it.  But if you take a moment to honor God.  To give Him a chance to prove Himself.  I believe that you will find out the same thing that Gideon discovered.  "It's all true!"  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I worship You with all my heart, please show me your truth for my life.  AMEN  

Are You Hallucinating?

Judges 6: 17 - 18 17 And he said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. 18 Please do not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my present and set it before you.” And he said, “I will stay till you return.”
Gideon is wondering if he's crazy.  He figures that if he fixes a meal and the angel eats it, then he isn't hallucinating.

Gideon doubts himself, not God.

This is an issue for many people today. They don't doubt God, His existence or presence.  They don't question His goodness or mercy.  They attend church, pray to Him and believe in the Word of God.  But they doubt themselves.  Their qualifications, their skills, their value to the Kingdom of God.

It's easy to understand because in our eyes we see who we are - Sinners.  Sinners who deserve judgment and eternal damnation.

But when we see ourselves through His eyes, we are sinners saved by grace.  We are saved?  But we don't deserve this.  Gideon didn't think that he deserved God's presence or His calling to deliver the nation of Israel.  If he didn't deserve it, therefore, he must have been hallucinating.  

When God speaks to you, and He will, it is very likely you will think that you've lost it.  How you see yourself and how God sees you can be so different that believing His Word can be difficult.

That is why our act of faith to depend upon Him continually can allow us the liberty to be set free from our sight and our sin.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I want to see what you see.  Increase my faith to see.  AMEN   

Do You Have 20/20 Vision?

I have horrible vision.  It's something like 20/200 or so.  Without my glasses, I am blind as a bat.  I have seen my world through corrective lenses since I was in the 4th grade.  They are the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing I take off at night.  

But how do you see yourself?  When you look in the mirror what do you think?  Do you have 20/20 vision from your perspective or from God's  

Judges 6:16 And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”

God has told Gideon that he is going to deliver Israel from the Midianites.  To which Gideon, in essence, said, "Are you kidding me?"  I'm nobody, from a family of nobodies, that's from a clan of nobodies!"  Every felt that way?

God says, "Defeating Midian will be like beating up one man."

This doesn't seem to add up, does it?

Your perspective vs. His perspective will often be as opposite as night and day.  The word is contrast, the state of being strikingly different from something else.  What God says about you, can either challenge or change your perspective.

Contrast without faith makes what God says look impossible.   But seeing yourself the way He sees you, by faith, can give you a new fresh outlook on life.

God spends a lot of time and patience on Gideon and on us.  It isn't until Judges 7:15 that Gideon finally get it.  How long will you take to see yourself through God's eyes?

You are one who worships God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
You are one who can lead your marriage, family, friends, and acquaintances to a stronger relationship with Jesus.
You are one who is gifted by God to do something great for His Kingdom.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I don't see it, but I will choose to believe it.  AMEN