I find it encouraging that God didn’t expect Gideon to get his act together before He called him out of his “whinepress.” God met him right where he was.
Though Gideon may have forgotten God, God hadn’t forgotten him.
God’s heart has always been to Rescue and to Save!
As we celebrate Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday this week I find there are some similarities between Gideon’s encounter with the angel of God, and the encounter of Jesus with all man-kind.
When God came and spoke to Gideon He didn’t consider what was true in Gideon’s life. He looked past the true and focused on the truth.
God wasn’t moved by Gideon’s past. His sin and rebellion didn’t disqualify Gideon from having an encounter with God.
God didn’t discuss Gideon’s present fear or question why he was threshing wheat in a winepress.
God looked past Gideon’s insecurity and the reasons why he thought he couldn’t be the one God should choose to save His people.
Gideon and the Israelites were at the mercy of their enemies with no hope.
It was their cry for help that moved the heart of God to come to them.
God sent His angel…
God chose a man…
Gideon was chosen to rescue God’s people from the oppression of their enemies. He was chosen to bring victory and salvation to many. But the victory that was won through Gideon and the salvation it accomplished lasted only for that generation.
Man-kind needed a permanent solution. It needed a Rescuer and a Savior that would be for all people, and last for all generations.
God sent His Son…
God chose all mankind…
As God sent His angel to encounter Gideon, God sent His Son, Jesus, to have an encounter here on earth so that all His creation may be moved from our past, out of our present, and into the destiny God has created us for!
Jesus’ encounter here on earth changed everything!
The fear, scarcity, and insecurity that the enemy meant for harm has been dealt a death blow.
Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life has come into our true, and has made a way out of our “whinepress.”
God sent Jesus as your Rescuer, your Savior!!
God has chosen you…
So I encourage you to consider…
What is true of you?
- Maybe your true is that you have never entered into a relationship with God through belief in His Son, Jesus. If you have never received the forgiveness God has provided through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus you are living separated from God by your sin and rebellion, oppressed by the enemy of your soul.
This true; the fear, scarcity, and insecurity that sin and rebellion bring are intended to be the the very things that bring you to the end of yourself. They are the very things intended to break you, humble you, and bring you to your knees. These are the things intended for you to cry out to God for rescue and salvation! When you cry out to God, admit your sin, ask for His forgiveness through the blood of His Son, Jesus, and embrace the truth, you begin living forever in relationship with your Heavenly Father!
- Maybe your true is that you are a child of God. You have a relationship with God through belief in Jesus and all He accomplished on the cross, but you have allowed those things that are true in your life to trump the truth of God.
What has happened to cause your true to say that God doesn’t care about you?
Who has disappointed you so that your true says that God can’t be trusted?
What unanswered prayer tells you that God doesn’t answer when you cry out to Him?
When weren’t your needs met so that your true has caused you to take things into your own hands?
Who have you allowed to define who you are so that your true says you aren’t valuable, worthy, loved by God?
We have a choice of what we will do with those things that are true of us. We can’t avoid the true that comes from difficult situations. We will all experience the true of disappointment from the broken promises of others. Not all of our prayers will be answered in the way and the time we expect. While God promises to supply all our needs, there are times He will stretch our faith as we learn the true of waiting on Him. We are all surrounded by those, who because of their own hurts, insecurities, and jealousies will label us with words that aren’t according to the way God sees us and how He loves us.
Jesus couldn’t avoid the true in his life.
Jesus knew the true that was about to happen to Him; the whipping, the scourging, and the death on a cross caused Him to cry out three times to His Heavenly Father in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The true caused Jesus to sweat drops of blood as He pleaded the cup be taken from Him.
But it was the truth that enabled Jesus to say, “Not My will, but Your’s be done.” It was the truth that enabled Jesus to look beyond His true, and see the pleasure and the joy it would bring His Heavenly Father and all His creation!
And it is God’s truth that will enable you to move beyond your true, surrender your will, and bring you out of your “whinepress” into the destiny God has called you to.
As you celebrate Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday this week remember that…
Jesus understands the anticipation and the agony of the true…
He knows the pain of dying to self and the surrender of His will in the Garden of Gethsemane,
but, He also remembers the truth, the joy set before Him, that enabled Him to endure the true,
and as He sits at the right hand of God, He is interceding for you, asking the Father that your faith won’t fail and that you will boldly and courageously live out the destiny He has created you for!
“O Mighty Warrior! The Lord is with you! Come out of your “whinepress” for I am sending you to rescue and to save!”
The Story of the Passion Play…
This time of year, celebrating Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday, I’m reminded of a time when I heard the Lord speak something to me. It was in December right after we held the Living Nativity. I heard the Lord say, “That was the beginning of My story, now I want you to complete it with a Passion Play.” I was like Gideon with all kinds of reasons and things that were true to me of why I could ‘t do that. I had no idea of where to begin. The Nativity Story is relatively easy, but the Passion is a whole different Story! But, God wouldn’t let it go. The Holy Spirit kept prompting me till I finally agreed to lay aside my fears, my excuses of what was true to me, and trusted that if was of Him He would provide everything needed.
I planned a meeting and invited all my friends who had been part of the Living Nativity, shared this calling of God, and asked them to help with casting a vision. I was so encouraged by their response and enthusiasm to join in this new adventure.
I was amazed and overwhelmed by the specific ways God provided all our needs!
The Holy Spirit guided me as I put together the script which was scripture and songs that were so fitting.
All the acting parts were filled, including the role as Jesus, a man who just became a leader in the Bible study Mark and I are involved with. The Holy Spirit prompted me one evening at Bible study to ask him if he would consider playing the part of Jesus in a Passion Play. To my amazement he replied that he had played that role before and that, “Yes” he would love to do it!!
My next question of God was, “Where should we have this play?” The Lord took me out to our field and I saw the large flat rock in the middle and began to envision a theater in the round. The rock could serve as the stage with the audience seated all around. I began to become excited. Everything was actually coming together!
Lord, what about props and costumes? These were found in storage at a local church which wasn’t using them that year. We had available to us; chairs, costumes, and even a huge wooden cross!! Along with our horse, used as the donkey for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem, and the tomb which friends built, God provided every thing needed!
But even exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond…every Sunday from February until the beginning of April it was warm and dry so we could have practice outside!
The dream of a Passion Play God put in my heart back in December became a reality because I chose to exchange my true, my fears, scarcity, and insecurities with God’s truth.
I chose to let go of my fears and fear God so that His will would be accomplished.
My friend, as a beloved child of God, you have been created with a destiny that God wants to accomplish through you. Joseph had his pit and prison experiences on his way to the fulfillment of his dream. Gideon had his “whinepress” experience on his way to fulfilling the destiny God had for him. So you too, may be facing fears, scarcity, and insecurity, but don’t allow them to define you. Look into the perfect word of God, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth and allow Him to exchange your true with His truth. Let go of your fear, and fear the Lord.
There is nothing God calls you to do that He won’t also equip and provide for you.
As a beloved child of God…
He sees you as a “Mighty Warrior,” who has the Living God dwelling within you, destined to carry out great victories for His glory!
The Lord is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed!