Going Deeper with the Message:

In the Midst of Chaos
by: Barb Barnhart

History has a way of helping us put our lives in perspective. When we read in the Old Testament about the Kings of Israel and Judah, we realize quickly that many of them did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. The chosen people of God, who were delivered out of Egypt, began another descent into idol worship following the death of Joshua. It became a frightening time of chaos for those who chose to continue to follow God.  

On Sunday, Pastor Tim shared with us the problem that we are afraid to do what God would have us do. Gideon, indeed, is a person who can help us realize that if God is with us, we do not need to be afraid.

In the midst of the chaos of his time, Gideon had fallen into a time of self-doubt and disillusionment. He was living his life in fear of what could happen, and struggled to believe what God had said to him. Often, we find ourselves living in this same frame of reference. It is important for us to look at how God interacted with Gideon to see a glimpse of how He desires to interact with us.

Then the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Gideon said to Him, “Please Sir, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened? And where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about? They said, ‘Hasn’t the Lord brought us out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.” –Judges 6:12-13

When the Angel of the Lord came to Gideon, it was not with pomp and circumstance—it was quietly and calmly in the place Gideon was working. Likewise, God often comes to us in the mundane. It is our responsibility to be aware of His presence. Our close relationship with God enables us to know that He is speaking to us and wanting to guide us.

God sees our potential. In the midst of the chaos of the world, God saw that Gideon had the potential to be a mighty warrior. This happened as Gideon walked in God’s guidance, and was cautiously obedient to God’s directions. We must be willing to take off the things that distort our vision of who God has created us to be. In 2 Corinthians 3:5, it says, “It is not that we are competent in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our competence is from God.”

God had an assignment for Gideon. God chose Gideon to lead the Israelites to victory over the Midianites. Through God, Gideon’s obedience led to victory. The question we must ask ourselves is what is the assignment God has given us, collectively and individually.  As we take courage and walk in each of our individual assignments, God will bless our lives and ministries. Zephaniah 3:17 shares this blessing from God:

Yahweh your God is among you,
A warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with gladness.
He will bring you quietness with His love.
He will delight in you with shouts of joy.

Living out the Message:

Take God at His Word
By Andrew Archer

On Sunday, Pastor Tim continued our series, Timeline. In this series, we are looking at some of the major points of Biblical history and how they all fit together, telling one unified story that points to Jesus. He shared about a chaotic time in Israel’s history in which they frequently abandoned God for worthless idols. When this happened God would allow other nations to carry out His judgement of them by attacking and overpowering them. This would lead them to turn back to God, and then God would raise someone up, a Judge, to lead and deliver Israel. Tim zeroed in on a specific Judge: Gideon. 

Gideon was an interesting man. He described his family as the weakest in all of Manasseh, and explained he was the youngest, implying that he was the weakest, in his family. When he is introduced in the narrative, he was hiding. This doesn’t sound like the kind of guy I want to lead my oppressed people in rebellion over my oppressors. He was not very courageous, and also struggled to believe what God had told Him. 

We see the Angel of the Lord came to Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Gideon didn’t believe Him. He questioned the Angel of the Lord. His belief in God was based more on His circumstances than what God said to be true. Sometimes the same can be true of us. We struggle to believe what God says to be true. Today I wanted to remind you of some of those things. 

If you have placed your faith in Christ as your Savior, God calls you:
• redeemed and forgiven of all of your sins (Colossians 1:13-14)
• free from condemnation (Romans 8:1-2)
a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
• His child (John 1:12)
• God’s handiwork (poem) (Ephesians 2:10)
• free (Galatians 5:1)
• never alone (Matthew 28:20)
• loved (Romans 5:8)
• a citizen of Heaven (Philippians 3:20)
• more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
• the salt and light of the Earth (Matthew 5:31-14)
• an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20)
• God’s co-worker (2 COrinthians 6:1)

My encouragement for you today is to take God at His word. Believe what He says about you. Memorize some or all of these passages of scripture and cling to the truth of who God says you are.