Friday, March 22, 2013

Gideon and Me or Tear Down Those Idols and Build An Altar

Judges 6- 8 are full of life lessons.  While I am sure I will not pull all the significance from this passage; these thoughts leap at me, grab my attention, encourage me and challenge me. 
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Gideon was productive, he was doing what was expected, but in the midst of the activity he was hiding. (6:11) 

God heard the Israelite cries and reminded them - I AM everything you need, I have all you need (6:7-10)

God didn't define Gideon on the basis of his bondage, defeat or hiding - He saw Gideon as a mighty warrior, strong and courageous. (6:12) Gideon became the man God envisioned as He surrendered and obeyed. 
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WHY? Faced with the presence of the holy, Gideon asks, "If God is with us then WHY am I in this situation." (6:13)

God's answer? Marching orders...Go in the strength of the Lord, I am with you, my presence is what you really need, it's all you need to GO....(6:14-16)

There's the whole fleece thing - it's fine to ask God for confirmation of His word to you - wise even. (6:17-24)

Gideon tore down the idols and  built an altar to worship God. (6:25-27)

THEN Gideon came out of hiding - he walked in victory and he led others to victory. (6:28 - 8)

The humble prize of Gideon's victory became a snare, an idol, for his family. (8:23-27)

I see myself in Gideon - in a small way. ::wink:: 

I was productively hiding. Hiding from an eating disorder which refused to stay dead. Transparent in most other areas of life...but hiding this one area. 

God heard my cries for deliverance...and He answered...I AM the way, the truth and the life...I AM your way out. 

God lovingly and surprisingly began to show me HE never called me fearful, intimidated...He calls me loved, safe, secure, whole, courageous...

I too asked God - if YOU are all I need then WHY am I in this mess? Again. I thought this was dealt with decades ago. WHY? 

God answered with marching orders....FOLLOW ME TO FREEDOM...for me this meant hacking away from commitments until I had time to spend hearing and watching in order to follow...A fast... A totally new lifestyle....Daily obedience in this very mundane basic of life - eating...Even when the excitement of dropping numbers is gone stalls.... Plateau is an ugly word. 

Did you catch this? Gideon TORE DOWN THE IDOLS AROUND HIM AND BUILT AN ALTAR OF WORSHIP  TO GOD! Idols can be the very best of things in my life. They can be rich places of blessing. I see how Gideon's victory became an idol...I'm both challenged and encouraged. I have shakily, tearfully and yet determinedly,stubbornly,  ruthlessly torn down the idols in my life in the past nine months. I pray He continues to show me any idol or about-to-become-idol in my life. (BTW it's not easy to give up activities you love, foods you crave, relationships you are sure you must have).

Then...Gideon came out of hiding...still productive....but out of hiding and he led others in victory to victory. I honestly don't relate to this at this point....I'm still teaching my children daily, teaching kids at PCOC weekly, I meet with a  lovely group of women monthly, I answer PWOC questions from those who contact me...I've not quit ministry....but I've certainly been led to follow Him to more margin in my life. 
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Margin - cleared white spaces - which He fills with surprising and magnificent doodles.  I feel strong. I am hidden with's a precious season. I pray as the season transitions I remember to take the lessons into a new season...but maybe the season will tweak but not really change...Follow Me will not this time He knows I am weary of hearing myself speak and He has led to a season of hearing His voice and His only....because He knew I could not battle this enemy with divided attention.  

Abba, I am mindful sweet victory can become an idol in itself. Keep me ever alert to the danger of victory surpassing the sweetness of your presence in my life. And, now that the idols are down, the strongholds are broken and I'm enjoying a few spoils of victory; be with me as I build a lifestyle of worship - an altar - where your authority is celebrated! 

...march on with courage my soul. (Judges 5:21b - NLT)

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...