“FEARLESS1”

I began to panic as I realized I was lost and about to drive over the bridge into Paterson, NJ.

Growing up in rural PA it was culture shock to drive through the suburban streets of Bergen County when I married and moved to New Jersey. It was a real challenge and required a lot of courage to navigate Route 17. But city driving was something I avoided for over thirty years, with no intention of ever facing that fear.

One winter afternoon, as it was just getting dark, I was driving through Hawthorne with my daughter looking for a thrift store we wanted to shop at. I thought I knew how to get to the store, but somehow I ended up on the wrong road. When I saw the bridge in front of me that crossed over into Paterson and realized there were no more turns I could take to avoid going over it I began to panic. My fear increased as I drove across and once on the other side, once I was “in Paterson,” I was officially afraid and all I could do to help feel better was to lock the doors. As I was loudly expressing my fear I found the first place I could turn around and drove back over the bridge as fast as I could. I gave up looking for the thrift store and thankfully found my way home.

Fear keeps you in your comfort zone.

Later as I told my story of fear and panic to Mark and to others I was able to laugh at myself, but inside I never wanted to experience that again.

About a year after that terrifying experience a friend and I went to a ministry seminar that taught about sharing the power and love of God with others that we meet as we go about our day. After each teaching session they provided time to go out and practice what we had learned. The first time we kept it safe and went to a strip mall close to the church. But the second time we got into my car and decided to ask God where He wanted us to go. My friend really wanted to go into Paterson. She felt God was calling us to go there.

Paterson! No way!

But it must have been God, because I couldn’t even believe it myself as I agreed to go there. I told her I would only do it if she promised to use her GPS and told me where to go. Well, she did find directions how to get into Paterson, but once we were in the city, she had no idea of where specifically we should go. So since it was lunch time we looked for a place to eat. Well, if you’ve ever been to Paterson you will now there really aren’t many familiar eating places. We finally saw a pizza shop. Now, where to park? Thankfully God was gracious and there was a convenient parking place close by.

After eating our slice of pizza we asked God to give us a “word” to share with the girl behind the counter. We each felt we had something to encourage her with so we went to her and told her what God had to say. We only got a few words out and realized she didn’t understand English. But to our delight she went back and brought others who could interpret for her! There was something very rewarding about blessing her with a “word” from the Lord.

The return trip was successful and I was thankful for the way God “set me up” to face my fear, but it was only because my friend was with me and something I still wouldn’t want to do again.

There was something else that happened at that seminar. In hind sight, I realize it was very significant. There was a prophesy given about Paterson. How God was coming in new and powerful ways into the city of Paterson. I remember as I heard the prophesy given it resonated with my spirit. I didn’t understand why, especially since I had such a fear of being there. But it definitely made an impact in my heart, and I left that evening pondering the words, wondering what they meant.

Several months after that seminar I woke up with a very vivid dream. It was a dream that had an urgency about it, one that filled me with passion. I dreamt about having a cafe. A place where people could come to talk, share life, a safe and caring environment, and of course to drink coffee!

I didn’t know what to do with it, but it filled me with desire. I told my family, my friends, whoever I talked to about the dream.

Then again, several months later, we received a letter from a ministry in center city Paterson, Star of Hope. In their letter they told about some of the new directions they were moving in with their facility and one of them was to open a cafe! When I read the letter the desire from my dream rose up within me. I asked Mark about it and since we know several of the leaders that work at Star of Hope he set up a meeting to find out more about it. We found that the cafe wouldn’t be open for several months so I took an application to volunteer, not sure if this was what God had or not.

In my dream the cafe was a white “house” located on a street in a small town. Star of Hope looked nothing like that!

Life got busy. I rarely thought about Star of Hope. But, one morning I did. I found myself wondering what was happening there. I was sure it was opened by now. As God would have it…that afternoon I received a text from one of the leaders at Star of Hope asking me what I was thinking about helping out with the cafe. I couldn’t help but be amazed that I had just been thinking about it that morning. I even answered his text by saying, “funny you should ask me today!”

I knew God was calling me to consider helping out. It was June and I was about to help with summer day camp, so I told him I would pray about it and let him know by August.

As I prayed I was amazed how peaceful and even interested I was in doing it. One summer day I was in the area, Mark’s business is just 10 minutes from Paterson, and I felt the Lord prompting me to drive to Star of Hope. I kept trying to excuse it away, but I knew God wanted me to do it alone, and afraid. So, with my GPS set, I headed my car into Paterson. I was just crossing into Paterson when I looked at the car’s license plate in front of me and this is what I saw…

What are the chances that I should be behind that car, at that time, while driving into Paterson alone and afraid!

I felt like Gideon when he was told by God that if he was still afraid he was to go down into the enemy’s camp and listen. When he found himself beside the exact tent where the soldier had the dream and it was interpreted loud enough for Gideon to hear, he was in awe of God, and fell to his knees in worship!

I couldn’t get down on my knees in worship, but Oh my goodness, I was in awe of how incredible God is! God knew my fear, yet He loved me, and wanted to show me that He is greater than any fear that I face!

I will never forget that visual!

That license plate on that white car is forever imprinted in my mind!!

When I arrived at Star of Hope the person I needed to talk to about volunteering wasn’t even there, but God accomplished what He wanted to do.

He dispelled my fear of Paterson, and I have never been afraid since!

I did begin volunteer at the cafe and have driven into Paterson every Thursday since September. There is much I have been learning…too much to tell about now, but I am convinced, just as with my fear of working with teens…

that behind every fear lies an incredible opportunity for God to reveal His glory!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let your Faith be Bigger than your Fears!

What would this world look like if all the believers, the entire body of Christ, would no longer be slaves to fear, but live as children of God?!

It may look a lot like it did during the early church…

“And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus. After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:29-31

What if the children of God would come out of our winepresses of fear and scarcity, tear down our idols, and listen to and obey the truth of God!

What if, instead of believing we were the least of the least, we believed we were the “mighty warriors” God says we are?!

What if we faced our fears and allowed God to replace them with His truth? What if we walked by faith instead of being controlled by our fears?

What difference would it make in our lives if the truth of God greatly encouraged us, and made us eager to fight our battles? What if His truth so overwhelmed us every day that it caused us to fall to our knees in worship?!

How would the Bride of Christ, without spot or wrinkle, impact the world in which we live?!

There seems to be an epidemic of stress, anxiety, and depression in the world today, and it has crept into the church as well.

Fear of not measuring up, the fear of what people will think, the fear of sickness… these cause us to strive and stress as we compare, compete, and attempt to self-diagnose.

We have so much news and information at our fingertips today, but rather than choosing to listen to those things which are “true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise,” we often choose to listen to those things that we are drawn to because of a fear that is already within us. Some people call it a “morbid curiosity.” Some times we have certain “symptoms” that we just want to “check out.”

If you really take a good look into the things you read, listen to, click on…often you will realize there is a fear hidden deep within that is drawing you to it.

The enemy uses the power of fear to either…

weaken, paralyze, and destroy you, trapped as a victim in a prison of self-focus, or self-pity

or, to cause you to

control, manipulate, and dominate your life and the lives of those around you as you seek to survive and protect.

Either way fear puts your eyes on self!

God has a lot to say about fear in the Bible.

There are two types of fear…

You will either, “Fear the Lord your God”

Or you will fear the things of this world.

The object of your fear will determine your thoughts, your words, your actions.

Several days after I wrote my last blog about how the fears of parents can affect their children I saw a movie that was about that very thing. The fear of a mother greatly affected her daughter’s life. As the story unfolded I understood why this mother had the fear she did, and though she went to great extremes to protect her daughter, her fear came true. It was an example of how deceived and unaware we can be to our own fears and how harmful our fear can be in the lives of those around us.

This is the enemy’s plan for our harm. He takes advantage of the difficulties in our lives to implant a spirit of fear within us so that we become wounded and devastated. That spirit of fear controls our thinking, our words, and our actions until that fear becomes our reality.

But…the truth is…

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Fear is a spirit.

We need to fight it with spiritual weapons, in the spirit realm.

Fear is not from God.

Fear is evidenced in stress, anxiety, and depression.

When we see these at work within us we can go to God and ask Him to show us the fear that is at the root of our striving. As with Gideon, God knows us completely and knows exactly what to say to expose the lie and to dispel the fear.

Faith is the antidote for fear!

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear,” 1 John 4:18

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

As a child of God, you have the authority to cast out the spirit of fear within you.

You have the right to apply the blood of Jesus to cleanse all the sin you committed living under the deception and control of that fear.

And you have the right, through faith in the name of Jesus, to live free from all fear, in the power of the Holy Spirit, through the love of God, and with the sound mind of Christ!

“When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship before the Lord.” Judges 7:15

Gideon faced his fear.

Gideon heard the truth of God.

Gideon’s fear was turned to faith.

Gideon bowed in worship before the Lord!

The ordinary is about to become extra-ordinary!

 

 

Every Problem Holds a Promise

“Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack.” Judges 7:11

Yes, I realize I used this verse last week, but I find it is filled with truth that has really spoken to me this past week. God has been showing me how important it is to listen to what He has to tell me when facing an impossible situation. God knows that my natural response is to focus on what I see and allow my fear to keep me worrying, and anxiously striving to take care of my situation, but this verse reminds me that He calls me to come and listen to the words He wants me to hear, words that will greatly encourage me and actually make me eager to go into the battle that will bring victory and freedom!

Within every problem there is a promise from God,

an opportunity to learn something new about God,

and the ability to be changed from the “least of the least,” into “a mighty warrior”!

Gideon’s true was a valley covered with thousands of enemy soldiers. His understanding expected only defeat, and certain death. If his fear remained Gideon would have experienced the very thing he feared. What he saw and what he knew to be true was keeping fear alive within him. Fear was paralyzing him.

But this battle wasn’t a battle of human ability.

This was a battle to show the Power of God!

God needed a “mighty warrior” to fight the battle!

God is the only One who fully knows you. He knows the impossible situation you face and He knows exactly how He intends to work everything together for your good. He understands the fear you have and He wants to cast it out with His perfect love, His words of truth, and His precious promises.

“Gideon crept up just as a man was telling his companion about a dream. The man said, “I had this dream, and in my dream a loaf of barley bread came tumbling down into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent, turned it over, and knocked it flat!” His companion answered, “Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!” Judges 7:13-14

“O Lord, did I just hear what I think I heard? This was Your promise to me when I was in the winepress. This was Your promise to me when You told me to send all those who were afraid, home. Now here in the enemy camp, out of the mouth of my enemy, You reminded me once again of Your promise! O Lord, forgive me for my fear, for making it all about me and about how I see this battle. I am humbled by Your love for me, by Your ability to instill fear into the enemy, and by Your power to bring victory to Israel through the three hundred soldiers You have chosen!”

God’s words greatly encourage!

God’s words make you eager to do the thing you once considered impossible!

God’s words turn the “least of the least,” into “mighty warriors”!

Last week when facing an impossible situation I cried out to God and He spoke words that He wanted me to listen to.

They weren’t the easiest words to hear, but God is for me and He loves me, and His words are always intended for my good.

My “impossible situation” was concerning my relationship with my daughter. Those few minutes between feeding the donkeys and packing her lunch the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see my fear.

I feared she wouldn’t love me.

My relationship with my mom wasn’t one of talking and spending time together. We didn’t share our feelings, hopes, or dreams.

I wanted my relationship with my daughter to be different.

It’s strange how the very thing I wanted more than anything, the love of my daughter was slipping through my fingers and it seemed there was nothing I could do about it.

What was once an incredible relationship with my daughter was becoming just like the relationship I had with my mom; a distance was coming between us, something was pushing us apart. What was it?

The very thing I feared was happening!

This wasn’t what I wanted and I knew it wasn’t what God intended. This was the harm that the enemy meant. I didn’t believe the comments from others when they said…

“She’s just being a typical teenager.”

“Oh, she’s fourteen?” (as though that explains the issues we were facing)

These are lies from the enemy to deceive parents.

Believing these keeps the focus and the blame on the teen, and off the parents. These keep parents from going to God to ask Him what He has to say.

Perhaps some of “typical teenager” behavior is the result of the fears of the parents.

But, what the enemy means for harm, God intends for good!

That morning I saw very clearly that I had been striving for her love and because I feared I would lose her love, and our close relationship, I became obsessed, striving to make her happy.

The Holy Spirit helped me to realize my striving wasn’t  causing her to feel loved, but instead she was becoming entitled, ungrateful.

And it was that entitlement and ungrateful attitude that I began to resent.

I saw that when love is motivated by fear it becomes twisted. It became about me.

My love had strings attached;

expectations…

conditions…

control…

wanting to be loved back.

Love motivated by fear is manipulation.

The recipient of this type of love feels trapped.

Either they will stay in the trap and become compliant, co-dependent, or harbor resentment to keep the peace.

Or, they will flee from the trap to escape the expectations and manipulation.

How many parents have seen their teens go down the very road that was their worse fear?

How many times have kids inherited their parent’s fears, instead of God’s promises?

Though we may not be aware of our fear, it comes out in our words, in our actions. While subconsciously we strive to keep that fear from becoming a reality we are actually keeping it alive. We think we are preventing it, but the fear is actually controlling us and in response we control those around us.

The only way to keep our greatest fears from coming upon us or our children is to be free from the fear.

Because fear is the enemy’s greatest strategy it is clothed in deception.

Our flesh is very protective of our fears. The enemy keeps us deceived. So we come up with reasons, excuses, or resort to blaming others to explain away the symptoms of our fears.

It was easier to find things in my daughter to blame for the distance in our relationship than it was to see any of my own faults. 

And in reality, I’m sure she does carry some of the “blame,” but that isn’t for me to determine. I am responsible for the things God shows me. And I have a feeling that when I love her as God intends for me to, the things that she does, those “typical teenage” things, will decrease.

When I first heard the words God said to me it was humbling to realize I had done so much to hurt our relationship. But, in His loving and gracious way, God brought to my mind that this fear has been at work generationally; it was something I inherited. In a strange way I found that revelation helpful. I better understood my own relationship with my mother. It took away my condemnation of her lack of demonstrating love towards me. My heart became gracious towards her realizing she too had fears that hindered her love for me. And as the Holy Spirit brought revelation I realized that I had the ability snd the authority to confess my fear, repent of my sin, and break the generational stronghold over my family relationships.

I am so thankful for the words God had for me to listen to. I’m grateful that they dispelled my fear, greatly encouraged me, and made me eager to fight the battle between my spirit and my flesh so that I could gain the victory over the enemy’s strategy of harm. I feel as though a great burden has been lifted from me and I have already seen evidence of God restoring our relationship!

 

 

 

 

Without a Battle, there is no Victory!

I was standing in a circle of twenty teens and five leaders. We were all holding hands, taking turns praying for our trip to Creation Fest in Harrisburg, PA. Our cars and vans were loaded with tents, food, supplies, and suitcases packed for our five day camping and festival experience. Though I had never attended Creation Fest and I had never been responsible for a group of teens before, the planning and packing had been exciting. The youth leader at our church had recently moved on, and since our sons were preteen we offered to take the youth group and a few other adults to Creation Fest. We were somewhere in the middle of our prayer time when an incredible fear came over me. I began to ponder the five hour trip with my van filled with teens, teens I really didn’t know very well. The reality of what I was about to do suddenly overwhelmed me with a fear that made me want to go home…literally! If this was the Gideon story and he announced that all who were afraid were to go home I would have been the first one to leave. I was actually thinking, “I’m going to walk away from this circle of people, get in my van, and drive home. Nobody can stop me. There are no suitcases in my van…”

Gideon had prepared for the battle, he had gotten everything ready, but sitting there across from the thousands of enemy soldiers it seems as though the reality of his impossible situation caused fear to rise up.

Your beliefs determine your direction.

What you think about when facing an impossible situation will determine how you respond.

Thoughts are powerful!

The words you speak when facing a difficult circumstance will determine your actions.

Words are powerful!

Negative, fearful thoughts and words have no place in accomplishing the impossible. They have the power to send you home from the battle that God calls you to fight. Though you see them as ways to keep you safe, they only put you right back into bondage, away from where God is calling you to.

Without a battle, there is no victory!

Without a victory, there is no freedom!

Negative thoughts and words of fear and doubt give the enemy ammunition for his attacks against you. Your thoughts become actions and your words give the enemy permission to bring the things you fear upon you.

What was I going to believe?

What was I going to do?

Would I go and get in my van and drive home as my thoughts were telling me to? Would I give into the fear that was causing me to dread driving a van full of teens for five hours?

Or would I push my thoughts aside, face my fears, and get into my van, trusting God to make a way where there seemed to be none?

God was for Gideon.

God didn’t give up on Gideon.

God wanted to remove all Gideon’s fear.

“That night the Lord said, “Get up! Go down into the Midianite camp, for I have given you victory over them!  But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah. Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack.” So Gideon took Purah and went down to the edge of the enemy camp.” Judges 7:9-11

“If you are afraid go and listen…”

God wants to use your fear to be the reason you go to Him and listen. 

Your fear is based on a lie. As long as you believe that lie you will have fear and it will keep you from the battles that will bring victory and freedom.

When you choose to go and listen to the words God has for you to hear, the words of truth that He has to tell you, they will dispel all your fear.

“The armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east had settled in the valley like a swarm of locusts. Their camels were like grains of sand on the seashore—too many to count! Gideon crept up just as a man was telling his companion about a dream. The man said, “I had this dream, and in my dream a loaf of barley bread came tumbling down into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent, turned it over, and knocked it flat!” His companion answered, “Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!” Judges 7:12-14

God’s words of truth dispel fear!

God’s words encourage and empower!

“When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship before the Lord. Then he returned to the Israelite camp and shouted, “Get up! For the Lord has given you victory over the Midianite hordes!” Judges 7:15

God’s words turn your…

Fear to faith!

Faith brings worship!

Worship brings courage!

Well, thankfully by God’s grace, I was able to push my thoughts aside, and I was able to face my fears. I did get in my van, along with about six teens, and I did drive to Harrisburg, PA. The trip behind me, I enjoyed the camping and festival very much. There is so much more to this story, but as I look back I realize it was a battle that God wanted me to fight. Mark and I have worked with teens ever since and it has been an incredible journey that was part of God’s plan to overcome my fears and to instill faith, worship, and courage.

Did you ever find yourself needing to take your own advice? I found myself in the middle of an impossible situation just this past week. It was something I had no idea what to do about or how to solve, but it was something that really needed some resolution. I even said to Mark, “I need to read my blog.” So I cried out to God asking Him to make a way where I saw no way. We prayed together asking God to show us what to do.

The next morning I began to hear the Holy Spirit speaking. Some time between feeding the donkeys and packing Kayla’s lunch I had an amazing revelation…

The Lord showed me a fear that was causing me to respond with thoughts and words that were creating my impossible situation. He showed me how my fear was causing me to strive, and to become consumed with thoughts and words that were actually bringing about the very thing that I feared.

Once a fear is exposed…

Once a lie is brought out into the light of God’s truth…

It looses its power!

The burden is lifted!

The Holy Spirit continued to show me what to do now that I saw my fear, the lie I believed.

I asked forgiveness of the one that I offended. While walking with a friend the Holy Spirit prompted me to tell her, to speak it out. In the gym God reminded me of His truth and replaced it with my true. So often I get caught up in believing I am a rescuer, but when I listened to God’s words of truth, He reminded me that I have been created to point others to their true Rescuer, Jesus. I then confessed my sin of believing the lie, and the striving I was consumed with, and asked God’s forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus.

God is a relentless, compassionate Father who wants to purify and refine you from all fear.

It is those impossible situations that create the opportunity to face your fears, so you can fight the battle God has designed for your good!

God will use your impossible situations meant for your harm to be the very circumstances that turn your fears to faith, your faith to worship, your worship to courage, and your courage to victory so that you will live in the freedom He intends for you!

For without a Battle there is no Victory,

and without a Victory there is no Freedom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Greater Purpose of the Impossible

What if the trial you are going through right now is your training ground to be a mighty warrior? What if what you are going through is teaching you to hear the voice of your Commanding Officer? What if your desperation is the very situation that is intended to cause you to cry out to God for an answer, a sign, so that He can show you He is with you?

Would you respond differently knowing that your impossible situation is actually intended to change you from who you are today into the mighty warrior God calls you to be?

What if the greater purpose of your difficulty is that God wants to show you that He is the God of the impossible so that you will be forever changed?

God doesn’t intend for you to stay as you are.

God calls you to be a mighty warrior for the Kingdom of God!

Gideon took his fleece in his hands and rung out a bowl full of water while the ground around him was dry. He took up a dry fleece when the ground around him was wet. He saw and he touched the supernatural signs from God. He experienced the answers to his prayers in real, tangible ways. His true couldn’t understand it. He couldn’t explain it with human reasoning.

God heard Gideon’s prayer.

God answered Gideon’s prayer.

God showed Gideon that He was with him.

Isn’t this what we really want to know, that God hears us, that God answers us, and that God is with us?

Every time we realize that God hears us…

Every time we see God’s answers to our prayers…

Every time we see evidence that God is with us…

We are changed, we are never the same!

Gideon was going through training…being changed… being prepared as a mighty warrior.

“And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.’” And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained.” Judges 7:2-3 

“What?” 

“God, did You just say what I thought You said?”

“I was afraid when I was in my winepress. I was afraid when I tore down the false gods. I’m still afraid, yet I’m suppose to tell all these soldiers who are afraid to go home? Can I go with them?”

Fear was being eliminated.

Fear has no place in the impossible.

Fear weakens

Fear paralyzes

Mighty warriors have no fear!

What was Gideon thinking when he saw two-thirds of his army get up and leave? Gideon’s army was already so much smaller than their enemy’s army.

“God, isn’t it better to have twenty-two thousand soldiers who are afraid than to be left with just ten-thousand soldiers?”

Gideon was facing scarcity once again!

What do you do when the people you are trusting in suddenly get up and leave? What do you do when your recourses suddenly come to an end? What do you do when you are trusting for full, but you only see empty?

This is when you need to hold onto the Words of Truth, the Promises of God.

“The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”

“Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”

“Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

This is when you need to remember the night when you pushed through your fear and tore down your father’s false gods.

You need to remember building the altar to God on top of the rock, the aroma of the burnt offering, and bowing down in worship.

You need to remember the water running through your fingers as you wrung out the wet fleece over dry ground.

Gideon was being changed. God was stripping him of himself…his fear, his trust in himself, his own understanding…

Though the remaining soldiers had no fear, there were still too many, God wanted less.

“But the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. Then it will be, that of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ the same shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.” And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water. Then the Lord said to Gideon, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place.” Judges 7:4-7

God is relentless to fulfill His Greater Purpose

He was creating such an impossible situation it would clearly not come from human might, human power, but from God alone!

God had another requirement of the mighty warriors who would fight this battle. He tested them by how they drank water.

Those who got down on their hands and knees and turned their backs to their surroundings and their eyes to the water, those God told Gideon to send home.

But those who reached down and brought the water up to their mouths with their eyes still alert to what was going on around them, those God chose.

Mighty warriors stay attentive to their surroundings, always alert and ready. 

Three hundred courageous soldiers,

alert soldiers,

mighty warriors,

Impossible!

Why is it that we often think when we are obedient to God, when we are following in His ways, everything will go smoothly? That it will make sense? Gideon heard God’s voice, it wasn’t going smoothly. He was obedient to what God told him to do. It certainly didn’t make sense.

Yet, there he was sitting with his army of three hundred, the army God gave him, fully in the will of God!

While across from him…

“Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.” Judges 7:12

Impossible!

Yet, the man who was sitting there on the hill surrounded by his three hundred mighty warriors was becoming more and more the mighty warrior God saw him as. He was becoming a different man than the one who was in the winepress just days before.

Truth was replacing true

Faith was replacing fear

Hope was replacing discouragement

Humility was replacing insecurity

Gideon’s thinking was lining up with God’s will, his beliefs were giving him new direction, greater purpose!

Sometimes all you have left to hold unto, all you have to trust in, and all you have to believe in…

are the Promises of God.

Just ask Abraham, Job, Lazarus, Paul…

Impossible situations come to everyone in one form or another. But rather than be offended and turn your back on God, or begin to strive in your own ability, choose to believe that there is a Greater Purpose than you could ever imagine.

Choose to see your impossible situation as an opportunity for God to show His glory!

Choose to seek Him and to listen to all He has to show you. There may be something you need to “die to,” something you need to sacrifice to God. Perhaps there are some “false gods” that need to be cut down. Maybe your “army” will be whittled down beyond all possibility. You may find yourself surrounded by your enemies. But, remember, these stories in the Bible aren’t just nice bedtime stories. They are true accounts of people just like you and me who have found themselves in similar situations. They bring hope where there is no hope and they reveal the love and power of God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

So, mighty warrior, it’s time to trust God with your impossible situation so that God can display His glory so all will see how Great is our God!