All the leaves are green
All my friends are gone
I’m livin’ in my hometown
I can barely get along
I feel sorry for myself
That’s an easy thing to do
I feel sorry for the world
I feel sorry for you
Yes I am a pitiful sight
I can’t even get one thing right,,,,
I know just what it’s like
To be ridin’ in the rumbleseat…. J Mellencamp
Discouragement seems to be trying to rear it’s ugly head these days. Being introverted sometimes you latch on to songs and it sticks in your head. Know matter how hard you try, you just cannot shake it out of there. Even if you haven’t listened to the song for quite a while. I am not sure if that is a blessing or not. I am just waiting for God to answer my prayers. People say that God is never early, but seldom late. I am not sure if that is true or not. I think some one made it up to make themselves feel better. Meanwhile in the waiting you wonder if there is something wrong with you. What did I miss or what did I do wrong? I think we are all trying to find our way in this world, hoping for some good to come from somewhere. Some hope, some encouragement, some friendship, some love, and possible some direction from God. Maybe I am looking in the wrong direction when it comes, or I am distracted when God is trying to get my attention. At times I feel like I am so unsure of what to do, it can drive myself into a tizzy. Then when I think I hear from God, I need double or triple confirmation and three signs and I still wonder if it is me or God.
One day the angel of God came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites. The angel of God appeared to him and said, “God is with you, O mighty warrior!” Gideon replied, “With me, my master? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, ‘Didn’t God deliver us from Egypt?’ The fact is, God has nothing to do with us—he has turned us over to Midian.” But God faced him directly: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?” Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.” God said to him, “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.” Judges 6 Message.
Here we have Gideon hiding out and God appears to him and tells him who exactly is, “O Mighty Warrior”, yet Gideon doesn’t get it and comes up with all these excuses why he is not. I feel that way at times, “who am I”, “I can’t do this”, “why does nothing go right for me”, and so on? I tend to beat myself up and take myself out of the picture. I can think of more reasons not to be who God called me to be, rather than who I truly am in God.
Gideon said to God, “If this is right, if you are using me to save Israel as you’ve said, then look: I’m placing a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If dew is on the fleece only, but the floor is dry, then I know that you will use me to save Israel, as you said.” That’s what happened. When he got up early the next morning, he wrung out the fleece—enough dew to fill a bowl with water! Then Gideon said to God, “Don’t be impatient with me, but let me say one more thing. I want to try another time with the fleece. But this time let the fleece stay dry, while the dew drenches the ground.” God made it happen that very night. Only the fleece was dry while the ground was wet with dew. Judges 6 The Message.
Gideon still needs confirmation from God. I can’t even remember how many times I have prayed for God’s help and guidance and it has never gone the way I thought it should. Maybe that’s the problem, thinking that I know what’s best for me and my situation. Maybe God has been taking care of it all this time. Maybe I am doing better than I think. Again, the enemy tries to come in and trip you up.
Gideon got up early the next morning, all his troops right there with him. They set up camp at Harod’s Spring. The camp of Midian was in the plain, north of them near the Hill of Moreh. God said to Gideon, “You have too large an army with you. I can’t turn Midian over to them like this—they’ll take all the credit, saying, ‘I did it all myself,’ and forget about me. Make a public announcement: ‘Anyone afraid, anyone who has any qualms at all, may leave Mount Gilead now and go home.’” Twenty-two companies headed for home. Ten companies were left. God said to Gideon: “There are still too many. Take them down to the stream and I’ll make a final cut. When I say, ‘This one goes with you,’ he’ll go. When I say, ‘This one doesn’t go,’ he won’t go.” So Gideon took the troops down to the stream. God said to Gideon: “Everyone who laps with his tongue, the way a dog laps, set on one side. And everyone who kneels to drink, drinking with his face to the water, set to the other side.” Three hundred lapped with their tongues from their cupped hands. All the rest knelt to drink. God said to Gideon: “I’ll use the three hundred men who lapped at the stream to save you and give Midian into your hands. All the rest may go home.” After Gideon took all their provisions and trumpets, he sent all the Israelites home. He took up his position with the three hundred. The camp of Midian stretched out below him in the valley. Judges 7 The Message.
I wonder how Gideon felt after God reduced his army. At the beginning God gave Gideon an outcome, “You will defeat the army of Midian as one”. God gave Gideon a destination, but the road to get there was more than what Gideon thought. I feel that way at times, that it is never going to be easy, or this looks impossible. How will I even get there. I often have plan b and c in reserve just in case plan a doesn’t work. At times God can give me a word, or a direction and I have a hard time trusting Him. I look at my circumstances and my own abilities instead of just having simple faith and trust.
That night, God told Gideon: “Get up and go down to the camp. I’ve given it to you. If you have any doubts about going down, go down with Purah your armor bearer; when you hear what they’re saying, you’ll be bold and confident.” He and his armor bearer Purah went down near the place where sentries were posted. Midian and Amalek, all the easterners, were spread out on the plain like a swarm of locusts. And their camels! Past counting, like grains of sand on the seashore! Gideon arrived just in time to hear a man tell his friend a dream. He said, “I had this dream: A loaf of barley bread tumbled into the Midianite camp. It came to the tent and hit it so hard it collapsed. The tent fell!” His friend said, “This has to be the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite! God has turned Midian—the whole camp!—over to him.” When Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he dropped to his knees before God in prayer. Then he went back to the Israelite camp and said, “Get up and get going! God has just given us the Midianite army!” Judges 7 The Message
That is interesting that Gideon had to go into the camp of the enemy to get a word from The Lord. How did Gideon end up at the one tent where some guy had a dream? Gideon worshipped God right there in the middle of the enemies camp. At times I feel like that is where we are at in this world. Right there in the middle of the enemies camp. Satan is the ruler of this world. He is our enemy, so i guess we are in the middle of the enemies camp. Jesus has already defeated this enemy, but we still must take time to listen and to trust.
He divided the three hundred men into three companies. He gave each man a trumpet and an empty jar, with a torch in the jar. He said, “Watch me and do what I do. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly what I do. When I and those with me blow the trumpets, you also, all around the camp, blow your trumpets and shout, ‘For God and for Gideon!’” Gideon and his hundred men got to the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after the sentries had been posted. They blew the trumpets, at the same time smashing the jars they carried. All three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands, ready to blow, and shouted, “A sword for God and for Gideon!” They were stationed all around the camp, each man at his post. The whole Midianite camp jumped to its feet. They yelled and fled. When the three hundred blew the trumpets, God aimed each Midianite’s sword against his companion, all over the camp. They ran for their lives—to Beth Shittah, toward Zererah, to the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. Israelites rallied from Naphtali, from Asher, and from all over Manasseh. They had Midian on the run. Judges 7 The Message
In other translations I have read that the enemy became so confused that they fought among themselves and defeated themselves. What a sight that must have been to watch. So remember that when it looks hopeless it is probably not. When you feel discouraged or feel like you are a nobody and nobody cares, that is not true. God has a plan and a purpose for everyone. He does not make junk. You are very important to God. You are His treasure. I wish I could tell you what God’s plan for you are, or who you are in Christ Jesus, but that is something you have to find out for yourself. Ask God and I know He will tell you. Listen for that quiet voice, you will hear it. You don’t even have to put a fleece. We all have a destination from God, How we get there is different for each one of us. Somedays are up and some are down. take time to listen and to worship and you will get there. The battle has already been won for you, you just need to show up. You can’t lose.