As mentioned in my last post, I recently attended a women’s event at my church. Shayla McCormick of Coastal Community Church was our guest speaker. On Day 2, still gleaning from the story of Gideon, she shared that she often feels both overwhelmed and underqualified to do the thing(s) that God has called her to do. I totally relate to that, and I’m sure you can too.
We hear the whisper of God prompting us to do something new. Something totally out of the character with our usual way of acting or reacting. Something brave and daring and exciting. And while our spirit may be quick to say “Yes, Lord. If you say so”, our awareness of our own shortcomings (with fear along for the ride) speaks up and says “Uh, Lord … I think you have forgotten who you’re talking to. The person you probably want for this job lives three doors down to the left.”
Which is probably why this particular bullet point really caught my attention … as well as my imagination.
“Building up strength requires exertion of strength.” ~Shayla McCormick
Or as I rephrased it in my notebook: You won’t experience your victory until you step up to bat.
And that got me thinking, and as usually happens, one thought leads to another.
We know from Judges, chapter 6, that Gideon was called by God, from his hideout in a winepress, to rise up and lead the Israelites in battle.
Spaghetti Thought #1: The fact that Gideon was threshing wheat reminds me that the promise of Deuteronomy 28:12 is that He will “bless the work of my hands”. Therefore, my hands are required to actually be doing something practical in order to be blessed. To state the obvious, wheat can’t get threshed until someone first puts in the work to plant the seed, and later harvest the crop. And last time I checked, if no one goes fishing, no one eats fish. But a garden hoe doesn’t catch fish, nor will a fishing pole till the ground. So if I want to enjoy the reward, I had better be putting in the work and using the right tools for the job.
Spaghetti Thought #2: When Gideon went into battle, he would of course be wearing armor. You and I need to wear armor too, spiritual armor, every day. And in the same way that Nehemiah counseled the Israelites to rebuild the wall with a weapon in one hand and a tool in the other, we greatly increase our success when we are not only busy doing the work, but are also wearing the Armor of God to keep us protected (offensively and defensively) from that rascally old devil who is always trying to steel, kill and destroy God’s plan for our lives.
“From then on half of my men worked and half stood guard, wearing coats of armor and armed with spears, shields, and bows. And our leaders gave their full support to the people who were rebuilding the wall. Even those who carried building materials worked with one hand and kept a weapon in the other, and everyone who was building kept a sword strapped to their waist. The man who was to sound the alarm on the bugle stayed with me.” Nehemiah 4:16-18 (GNB)
But it’s not the image of Miss Hope wearing the Armor of God while tending her fields with rake and wheel barrel that stirred in my imagination that day. It was the thought of her with a baseball bat.
Spaghetti Thought #3: Sometimes you just have to “take a swing“.
Life can be hard sometimes. Disappointments will come. My heart will hurt. But no matter how hard the fall (be it of my own doing, or from circumstances completely outside my control), because of Jesus Christ, I don’t have to stay down. I can be washed clean of the gunk all over my face and clothing. I can return to the well of HOPE for refreshment when I’m weary of spirit. I can release my pain into the care of Jesus and instead choose to forgive. I can, in His strength, get back up and take another swing.
And another, and another, and another, and another!!!
Friend, what is your faith swinging for today? Healing? Finances? A new job? A spouse? Deliverance from an addiction?
Remember that “building up strength requires exertion of strength”, so exert those spiritual muscles and take another swing!
And keep on swinging until you get your victory!!
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