Matthew 10:7-8

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


In my last post I mentioned that I have been trudging my way through the book of Judges. One of the heroes in Judges is this guy by the name of Gideon. I will admit that when I read the story of Gideon nothing really new popped out at me from any other time in the past when I've read it. A few days later, however, my wife did something that kind of caused my spirit to be stirred up by the story. Kay told me that on the way to work that morning she had popped in a c.d. by Bluetree which contains a version of "God of This City," which was made popular by Christian recording artist Chris Tomlin. There is a mobile home park that has seen it's better days, to say the least, which Kay goes past every morning. This is a place that a lot of people try to avoid, but that morning as Kay approached it "God of This City" started. She said that when that happened all she could do was begin to pray the message of that song over the trailer court and for the people living there. I could tell by the way she told me about this that she had really been impressed upon by the Holy Spirit to do this. As soon as she told me about this experience I then heard in my spirit, "There is a Gideon in that place." It was then that I began to really think about the story of Gideon. There has not been a day that has gone by since I don't think about it. I have also began to pray over that mobile home area everyday. Yesterday, I drove through it praying over each home that I passed and calling for a stirring of God to come out of the people living there. I actually was even calling for "Gideon" to come forth. I also sense that God is telling me that in these chaotic times around the world that there are many unknown, almost faceless Gideons that are about to be called.

In the sixth chapter of Judges we find this Gideon guy kind of in hiding. In fact when I read the story I think he was kind of a coward. He even said of himself that, "Indeed, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house." Gideon had pretty poor self esteem. Because of the severe oppression by the Midianites, Gideon was threshing wheat in a wine-press instead of out in the open like was usually done. Gideon must have felt more secure hidden in an enclosed wine-press, or else he thought if he was seen that a Midianite would come and take the wheat. Regardless he was in hiding. So here we have, as Kenny Rogers might say, the "coward of the county" hiding away when suddenly the Angel of the Lord shows up and says, "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!" MIGHTY MAN OF VALOR.....are you kidding me? I guess I have read where God does look at the potential that each person has, even over what that person may feel about his or her self; let alone what others might say about them. Someone could make a pretty sweet movie out of this story if they wanted to what with all of the special effects that are available, because the Angel of God does some pretty incredible things to convince Gideon that he is indeed the man to lead Israel out from under the severe oppression of the Midianites. If you haven't, you should read it. It's a pretty sweet story. So when I heard, "There is a Gideon in that place," I began to get a sense of excitement. If God calls a Gideon out of there, watch out! Radical changes will begin whether they be spiritual, physical, or maybe a great combination of both.

My challenge for you today will come immediately after these next thoughts. I don't believe there is one person alive who would deny that we are living in a very chaotic world. Way more chaotic than it was even 2 or 3 years ago. People are discouraged, depressed, confused and looking for answers. Many are beginning to search for the truth about where God is at in all this. They need someone to give them hope and give them something to hold onto. I just ran into someone who for possibly the first time in his life is searching out God and believe me, in this case, that is a pretty radical thing. In a way people, like in Gideon's day, are calling out wondering where God is, or even if there is a God. Often in the Old Testament we see a God of wrath who will cause the ground to open up and swallow people because of their sin. That was before Jesus came in human form. That was when God looked directly at sin and could bear to look at it no more. Don't get me wrong, God is still that way as far as detesting sin, but thank God the Son took for us the punishment for the sins of our lives. If He hadn't I would have been swallowed up a long time ago. That is why I don't believe that for one minute God's judgment is behind these disasters that have been happening. I believe that God is being patient with love and grace wanting His creation to return to Him; to find comfort, peace and rest in His arms. To come to Him for answers.

So, just like in Gideons day, people need to be delivered. Maybe in a little different way, but still deliverance is needed. Events of the day have escalated, so don't be surprised if there will be many, some even living in fear, sin, or just uncertainty who will suddenly be visited by the Spirit of God with the call, "Rise up, mighty one!" (Or something like that.) If that call would come to you, are you ready for the challenge? I believe for some reading, God is already calling. Are you ready to be one of the ones who will help change the course? I see a Gideon in you! I like the idea that God could use you and to be history makers. Unlike in the old testament, each one of us has the ability to have the Holy Spirit living in us. God knows that you and I each have Gideon-like potential and I know that He is wanting us to use it.

So should I happen to bump into you somewhere, sometime and you hear me say, "Oh, excuse me, I thought you were Gideon. Are you?" will understand why.

From one mighty warrior to another,
Mark S.

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