July 31, 2013
The Gideon Complex
Know that the Lord is God. He made us, and we belong to him; we are his people, the sheep he tends (Psalm 100:3, NCV).
Friend to Friend
Situational ethics is now being taught in many of our public schools. One teacher, wanting to illustrate that human reasoning is many times wrong, gave the following situation to a class of high school students:
"How would you advise a mother who was pregnant with her fifth child based on the following facts: Her husband had syphilis and she had tuberculosis. Their first child was born blind, the second child died. A third child was born deaf while their fourth child had tuberculosis. The mother is considering an abortion. Would you advise her to have one?”
In view of these facts, most of the students agreed that the mother should have an abortion. The teacher then announced, “If you said ‘yes,’ you would have just killed the great composer, Ludwig von Beethoven.”
You and I were created as a living, fleshed out depiction of God’s love. We can celebrate the precious truth of Psalm 139:14-16 (NCV), “I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What you have done is wonderful. I know this very well. You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother's body. When I was put together there, you saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old.”
Just think of it! God Himself supervised our formation. We were created in love – for love and with a specific and holy purpose in mind. We can rejoice with the Psalmist who wrote, “Know that the Lord is God. He made us, and we belong to him; we are his people, the sheep he tends” (Psalm 100:3, NCV).
Many women buy into the lie that we are little more than puppets in the hands of God; that He created us as tools for His personal use or slaves to do His bidding and carry out His plan. In this verse, “Lord” literally means “Father” or “dearest Daddy,” indicating an intimate relationship between a loving Father and His child.
God undoubtedly has plans for us, but we misunderstand the character and heart of God when we assume those plans serve as a punishment or penalty for not being good enough. Jeremiah understood the heart of God toward His children when he wrote, “I know what I am planning for you," says the Lord. "I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NCV). The best plan, the highest plan for our lives rests in the hands of the One who created us.
In the early days of the automobile, a man's Model - T Ford stalled in the middle of the road. No matter what he tried, he couldn't get the care started. A chauffeured limousine pulled up behind the stalled car and a wiry, energetic man stepped from the back seat to offer his assistance. After tinkering with the engine for a few moments, the stranger said, "Now try it!" The engine immediately leaped to life. The well-dressed man then identified himself as Henry Ford. "I designed and built these cars," he said, "So I know what to do when something goes wrong."
When our lives are broken, when the plan falls apart and everything goes wrong, we need to wait on God, knowing He created us and knows us best and loves us most. We are chosen, just like Gideon.
The Bible is filled with men and women who were unlikely servants. Weak, fearful and unwilling, they fought against the call of God, offering excuses and pleading for exemption – just like we do. Gideon was such a man.
Judges 6:11-16 (NIV) “The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." "But sir," Gideon replied, "If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian." The Lord turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" "But Lord, "Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." The Lord answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together."
Like Gideon, we listen to the wrong voices, bow to the wrong audience, and diligently catalog flimsy excuses in hopes of escaping whatever step of faith God asks us to take. In doing so, we miss the highest blessings He has to offer.
I want it all! I want everything God has for me! I don’t want to miss a single step on my journey to the heart of God. I want to be the woman God created and now calls me to be. How?
Gideon was a farmer, a family man just trying to earn a living and put food on the table. Like us, he felt inadequate and unworthy of God's choice. But God saw what Gideon would become, not just what he was. The angel called Gideon a “mighty warrior,” a title that is almost laughable because Gideon certainly didn’t look like a mighty warrior nor did he act like one. Therefore, the only explanation or reason he could possibly become a mighty warrior was because the “Lord would be with him.” Gideon surrendered to God. He didn’t understand God’s plan, but he trusted God and chose to step out in faith.
Just as God chose Gideon, He has chosen you. Just as God equipped and empowered Gideon, he will equip and empower you. Just surrender.
Father, I now surrender to Your plan for my life. I am afraid and feel unworthy and unprepared. But I trust You to provide the strength and power I need to obey You. In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read James 2:14. Examine your life in light of the faith James describes in this verse. Record your thoughts, identifying the area(s) in your life that are most plagued with doubt. Spend time this week, submitting those areas, in faith, to the power of God.
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