There is one guy in Scripture that I cannot get mind off of and God seems to keep calling him to my attention. Who? Gideon. Lets take a little look at part of God's call on his life...
Judges 6:11-16 (nlt) --- Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. 12 The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, "Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!" 13 "Sir," Gideon replied, "if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn't they say, 'The Lord brought us up out of Egypt'? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites." 14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, "Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!" 15 "But Lord," Gideon replied, "how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!" 16 The Lord said to him, "I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man."
God is always up to something. That something is always about loving His people, blessing and protecting them with the big desire of fellowship and time with them. That was true in Gideon's day, and it is still true in ours.
The story begins with this dude hiding (you have to look at the story and the culture) from God and life in general. I have learned that a winepress is dug into the ground and typically one would put a bunch of grapes into the press and get the juice out of them. But in this case Gideon had put wheat in the winepress and was threshing it. That means that you throw the wheat up in the air and let the wind blow the non grain parts away. Problem. A winepress is down in the ground where no wind can get to it. Do you see the picture?
Gideon is doing a 'do nothing' job which will take him 'no where' because he is accomplishing nothing. Ever felt like that? Been there. Done that.
But God comes to Gideon and calls him to serve and to lead the people. Point. God will meet you where you are and ask you to do things you don't understand and things you don't think you can do. But who is God? He is the almighty, creator of the universe, giver of life and salvation, protector and provider...you get the picture.
The people are in need. God calls Gideon. The promise is that God is with Gideon and the people. How is it that God calls Gideon's strength out when Gideon sees himself as weak (again, look at the context of what he was doing in the winepress). Gideon asks "how can I rescue Israel?" and God replies "I will be with you."
End of story. No it is not the end of the story. But the success of what Gideon is to do is set. God is with him.
The story goes on to tell how Gideon tested God. Do we do that? Yep. Then, God cuts Gideon's army by thousands and send only a few hundred men to defeat thousands. Did it happen? Yep. How? God was with them.
God says, "I choose you." But, do we believe God? Do we think God knows best? Can we trust God? Answer to all of them....YES. Are we willing to leave the winepress (wherever we are) and go where God tells us to go(into battle or across the street or into our prayer closet or into leadership)?
By the way, God is still God. And I like this story because it reminds me that each of us can make a huge difference when God is with us. Think about it.