The Unconventional God

The Unconventional God

God uses unlikely people to accomplish unlikely tasks in unexpected ways.  When you read through the pages of Scripture, you will find account after account of people whom God used in great ways in spite of their apparent imperfections.  Gideon is one such example.

Read Judges 6-7

As we read through this passage we discover God has a plan for our troubles but His strategy is often unconventional.  Even though we might get ourselves into trouble because of our own choices, God, by His grace, desires to intervene in our situation and bring us back to Himself.

We can also see God’s plan flows through individuals who allow Him to transform their lives and direct their steps.  Gideon’s story reminds us that God knows where we are, what we are and what we can be with His presence in our lives.  Even though Gideon was hiding from others, God knew exactly where he was and met him in that place.  What a wonderful truth and promise: God knows where we are and He meets us there!

The Bible’s portrait of Gideon reveals a flawed character: the struggles with fear and insecurity, questioning the person and purpose of God, and the need for continual reassurance to move in the right direction.  Yet even though God knew exactly who Gideon was, God still saw what he could be and declares him to be a “Mighty Warrior.”  There is a potential that God sees in each one of us: a picture not determined by our circumstances or condition but by the Creator.

In living out that potential, there’s a few things we need to do:

We need to know God personally

What changed Gideon and redirected the course of his life was a face-to-face encounter with God, an encounter initiated by God Himself.  Even today, God desires to meet with us face-to-face – that is the reason Jesus came and died on the cross for our sins so we can have a relationship with Him.  And this relationship makes all the difference: it allows us to face life with renewed hope.

Even though the nation was experiencing an uncertain future, Gideon discovered a peace that transcended his situation and circumstance.  This is the peace Jesus promised his followers because of their relationship with Him:  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).

We need to deal with the sin issues in our lives

One of the first things God asked Gideon to do was to deal with the idols in his father’s house.  Gideon grew up under the influence of his father’s belief system which involved the mixing of the worship of God and the gods of the nations around them.  For God to accomplish His best in Gideon’s life, he needed to confront these issues and purify his faith in God.

Even today, in a world which tries to mix the worship of God with the values of a culture that espouses ideas antithetical to God, it is important for us to deal with the sin issues in our own lives.  Sin results from the choices we make when we set ourselves up in the place of arbiter of right and wrong, believing we are better suited to decide the path to blessing than God is.  It started in the Garden of Eden when Eve believed God did not have her best in mind and so chose for herself.  Instead of finding true blessing, death was set in motion and could not be called back.

It is important for us to deal with the sin issues in our lives because we can never fully experience God’s purpose for us unless we yield our lives to His leading.  This begins with our returning to our God and experiencing His grace and forgiveness by faith – it is the path of repentance.  Repentance begins with a recognition and confession of our sinfulness and the separation from God it causes.  We then receive His forgiveness and reorient our lives from our relationship with God.  This involves bringing our thinking, feeling and acting in line with His Word.

We need to be clothed with the Spirit

In order for Gideon to accomplish the purpose God had for him, he needed to experience the empowering of God’s Spirit in his life.  Judges 6:34 tells us “the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon.”  The words “came upon” literally mean “to clothe”.  Jesus would tell His disciples after His resurrection that they needed to “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).  This clothing was the empowering of the Holy Spirit to live the life we were called and created for.

In Acts 1:8, Jesus reminded his followers that “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…”  This power is the unleashing of God’s divine potential in our lives to accomplish the purpose which we were created for.  If we are going to accomplish His purpose we need to be filled with His Holy Spirit – that presence which makes all the difference!

We need to partner with people of faith

The last thing to note about living out God’s potential in our lives is the importance of journeying with people of faith.  Gideon could never accomplish the purpose of God by Himself, he needed to partner with the right people: people who believed in a great God who could do great things.  Accomplishing the purpose of God in our lives involves both a personal commitment and a corporate connection.  Personal commitment provides motivation and partnering with people of faith multiplies our influence.

The Unconventional God still uses unlikely people to accomplish unlikely tasks in unexpected ways.  We need to encounter Him daily and allow Him to examine our hearts and lives so we may live purely for Him.  We need to seek the filling of the Spirit each day and connect regularly with people of faith.  In doing so, I believe God will amaze us with who He is and what He desires to do in and through our lives.  So take a moment right now and call out to Him and ask the Unconventional God to use you.