In preparation for this week’s team meeting I spent a fair amount of time reading and meditating on God’s word and praying through what I should share as we launch Renovate Church Austin. All throughout the week I was drawn to the Old Testament story of Gideon in Judges chapter 6 for a variety of reasons. I found many parallels to our situation and what we, and many others, are endeavoring to do as we step out and follow God. Here were the four things that God impressed upon me this week:
1. Gideon lived during a challenging time in his nation’s history and we live in a challenging time today. This is not the time to be hiding passively in the winepress. God is looking for those who will boldy and courageously follow him. Verse 6, “Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.” This is what our current cultural situation looks like:
significant moral challenges
racial tensions and hostility
significant spiritual decline, confusion, and indifference in our country
global unrest (like the refugee crisis)
2. God cared about the people and the nation and wanted to do something about the situation. Gideon asked a really good question in verse 13, “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?’” Gideon was essentially asking two questions. First, why are we in this situation and why does it seem as if God is silent or powerless? Have you ever thought like this? I think God saw in him an agitation with the current situation. He was provoked to action. In the same way, God is looking for people in this hour who will trust him and step out and follow him into the unconventional…even when it looks daunting and insurmountable. God does his best work when his (and our) back is against the wall or a Red Sea!
3. God called a person/people who felt insignificant to make a difference. Look at what Gideon said in verse 15, “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” In other words, what can I do…I’m just one small person? What can I do…I’m just one mom or one worker at my company or one student? What can we do in Austin…we are just a small group of people getting together? The answer is that God does his best work through seemingly insignificant people who simply trust, step out, and follow him.
4. God would use this seemingly insignificant encounter and insignificant person to eventually do something that would impact thousands. The question is – are we willing to step out and trust God in the same way Gideon did? Are you willing to step out and follow where God has you? What’s waiting on the other side can be world-changing!
Love you guys!
Dave and April