There is NO place He can’t find you.
There’s a lot to learn out of this week’s study of Gideon and the background of his people and how they had grown so far away from God. But that first line, that was a BIG take away for me.
If you’re following along in Priscilla Shirer’s workbook of Gideon, let me encourage you to listen to this week’s audio version. It is powerful. What struck me after studying about the disobedience and disaster was this statement from Priscilla, “This crisis is NOT POWERFUL enough to place you out of the reach of God.”
Have you been through a major crisis? Are you in one today?
Finances are broken. Your marriage is crumbling. Children are adrift. Your job or your relationship or your health or your emotions have run amok.
Your crisis, your situation, your circumstance, CAN NOT place you outside of the reach of God.
But let’s rewind a bit. Look at what the study covered during Week 1. If you look at how Gideon and the Israelites got to this oppressed place of utter devastation, it’s because “The Israelites thought having access to some of the promised land was better than having to fight for ALL of it.” They stayed comfortable and complacent instead of upsetting the equilibrium and obeying God completely.
Yikes. That’s frightening. How many times have we started down the path God called us but just refused to go all the way. Priscilla asks what battles are we facing today because of something that we didn’t destroy earlier (when God asked us to)? What if a portion of the crisis in our lives today is because of a circumstance where we failed to follow God in obedience all the way. It left embers in our life that rekindled into a fire that burned down our house.
That’s not only the case in our own lives as we study in Day 1, but it can be the case that the choices of our parents or grandparents can affect what we are left to deal with as we explored Day 2. Maybe, as Priscilla encourages, God is asking you to break the ties with something for the sake of those that will follow you in your family. You can see these cycles as news flashes every day – addiction or financial ruin or infidelity or abuse or fearfulness – the “sins of the father” passed down to the child. But God is willing to call you out to a new day and a new place to break the cycle of faithlessness. “The main message of the entire Bible is God’s redemption of humanity.”
There is so much background in this first week of studying Gideon – understanding the rise and fall cycles of God’s people and how they were redeemed. There wasn’t much of a focus on Gideon, yet! But wait, it’s coming. And it started unfurling in Week 2′s audio session to kick off this next week of homework. Not only did we learn that our crisis, like Gideon’s, can not place us beyond the reach of God, but we also learned that the crisis can actually POSITION us for God’s calling on our life and, critically, the crisis doesn’t dictate our capabilities.
I love that as Priscilla begins to walk us into the beginning of Gideon’s story she points out this passage in Judges 6:12: When the angel appeared to Gideon, he called him a “mighty warrior.” Gideon hadn’t fought any battles. He was scared and hiding in a winepress threshing wheat. But God gave Gideon a name that was not reflective or specific to his current behavior or circumstance. Rather, He calls Him a named determined by his capabilities (which no one had even seen on display yet).
You are a warrior. It may not feel like that in your current circumstance. But God calls us royal and chosen and brave. Just as He did Gideon before he had ever proven worthy.
What did you learn studying about the people of Gideon’s day? What struck you as you read Judges 6? What area of crisis can we pray with you about? What cycle, in your own life or those that have gone before you, do you need to break? Share what you’re learning, or what you question, as you walk through Gideon alongside us.
(If this is your first bible study, and you’re struggling with where to find the scriptures, I just go to www.biblegateway.com and type in the book of the Bible name and the chapter and it will pop up for you to read.)