Have you ever noticed that God often calls people when they are completely immersed in the challenges of the moment?
Yes, it’s true – the Bible is full of examples of God calling people who are in the midst of life’s challenges. Moses, Joseph, Gideon, and the list goes on.
Moses was out in the dessert running from killing a man in Egypt when God called him. He had a speech problem and yet God was calling him to speak to Pharaoh.
Joseph was hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, and eventually landed in jail, yet God called him in the midst of it all.
Then there is Gideon. Gideon, a man from the weakest clan in Manasseh, from the least family in the clan (Judges 6:15). Gideon was fighting just to survive and keep his family fed before the Midianites destroyed all their crops.
Gideon was just living life, in the challenges of the moment, when all of a sudden, God shows up and calls out his Destiny.
Gideon had a moment where he was given an opportunity to break free from the cycles of life that he was stuck in. He had a choice to stay where he was at, making excuses, feeling trapped and frozen by fear, or step out in faith and obedience to the things the Lord was asking him to do.
Have you ever found yourself in a life pattern you wish to break free from?
You know, a cycle, which keeps repeating itself?
Have you ever felt like you keep going around and around the mountain only to end up back in the same spot?
You want to break free, and yet it seems you are powerless to do so?
In fact, if we are all honest, we all have patterns we need to break free from. In my own life I have seen patterns that need to be broken. I keep going in circles, never really making any forward progress, until something changes, the Spirit of God breaks in and I am able to break free from the cycle.
The book of Judges outlines a time in Israel’s history when they were stuck in a cyclical pattern with each Judge God sent them. The pattern had four stages to it:
- Rebellion – Sin – Doing their own thing – Israel doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord.
- Retribution – Consequences for their sin. They became slaves, were in bondage, oppressed – God allows the nation to be conquered and oppressed by neighboring nation(s).
- Repentance – Crying out to God– the people cry out to God
- Restoration – God Rescue’s/Saves them – God sends a judge to deliver the Israelites.
This four stage cycle repeats throughout the book of Judges after the judge dies.
We too can get stuck in a cyclical pattern in our own lives, yet there is always a consequence to sin. Sometimes it affects us in the moment and sometimes, we don’t see it until later, but it is always there.
God wants us to break free from things that are holding us back. Judges 6:7-34, outlines 5 steps that can help us break out of the cycles in our lives.
5 Steps to Break the Cycle
- Acknowledge God has a purpose for our life (12-18)
Gideon and the people of Israel where experiencing trouble, yet they kept blaming God for the mess they were in. However, they were living out the consequences of the sin and rebellion.
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” (Judges 6:13)
When God called out Gideon’s destiny, he tried to make all kinds of excuses for why he couldn’t do what God wanted and we do too.
God was on Destiny Lane calling to Gideon. Gideon wanted to go down pity party lane, but God wasn’t having it.
Gideon heard the Angels words, he just didn’t fully understand or believe them. Our lesson here is that we must not see our limitations and weaknesses.
Instead we must SEE & Acknowledge God’s Purpose
The name Gideon literally means: Tree cutter. The spiritual connotation is: Victorious.
2. Take Action – It’s a demonstration of our Faith and Trust (Vs 19-24)
God called Gideon to take action upon what He was asking him to do. Gideon was called to tear down the alters and rebuild a holy one and then sacrifice. God was asking him to confess and repent of any sin.
When we take action, we always get to choose which path to take. When we choose to put our, faith and trust in God, He will give us peace. Even when our emotions want to rule – God will give us peace in the midst of the storm.
3. Obey God’s Word regardless of our feelings (vs 25-27)
Immediately God tells Gideon to do something: Cut out/down – the sin or the high places. God asks us to do the same. Cut out or tear down the sin in our life where we have placed other things as more important than Him (God).
Gideon was fearful, yet he choose to believe God and obey. We too must push past the fear and step into faith. God will meet us there.
4. We don’t have to go it alone. (vs 27)
Gideon had help tearing down the alters and doing the task God had asked him to do.
Gideon took a great risk to obey God, the people of the town wanted to kill him, but He had others surrounding him – he was not alone.
Our lesson here is that we don’t have to do it alone either. The enemy wants to isolate us, God wants us in relationship with others. We can:
Ask for prayer
Ask people to stand with us and support us
Pursue healing from specifically trained individuals which will help us to break the cycle
5. Stand your ground (vs 28- 28-34)
Opposition will always come when you step out in obedience to the Lord. The enemy will fight to maintain his foothold. Sadly sometimes people who should be supporting you will criticize you. People came against Gideon and even called him names, but he stood his ground
Gideon stepped out in obedience to the Lord and stood his ground even when people came against him, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him.
Yesterday on my very first Vlog I shared that we are in a season where God is calling the Gideons to Arise! You and I are the Gideons.
God is calling us to cut out and tear down the places in our lives that are holding us back.
It’s time to break the cycle and break free into the things God has called us to do!
Dear Lord, I pray that you would send your Spirit to help us break free from the patterns and cycles in our lives that are holding us back. Show us Lord the places in our lives where we need cut things out or tear them down. Lord, we repent and ask for your forgiveness for not acknowledging your purpose for our lives. Help us as we push past the fear and things that are holding us back. Lord give us your strength, courage and wisdom as we step out in obedience to what you are calling us to do.
PS – If you missed my very first Video Blog posted earlier this week, you can find it here: Gideons Arise!
My Post: “The Journey through Change” was featured here: