You can Win!
Judges 6:15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
Gideon was my cousin! I’m kidding! I have not traced my lineage to Gideon. But his statement in Judges 6:15, sounds like something I have said to God a time or two. But what I said was more like, “Excuse me, God, you know this is Taura and you know I can’t do what you called me to do because…” and then I list whatever excuse is most appropriate in that moment. “I don’t know the right people. People don’t know me. My hair is natural. I am overweight. My shoes are too tight. I don’t have the right clothes.” Just any ole excuse, I can come up with, I come up with it!
And the Lord replies to me just like He replied to Gideon in Judges 6:16. “I will be with you…” And then the mattered is settled. I say yes to the job, the project, the speaking engagement, or whatever the fear is that is holding me back.
If He called you to do it, He will equip you for it. So Gideon’s task was to go up against the Midianites, who had imprisoned the Israelites. The Israelites continued to do evil in the sight of the Lord time after time (sound like anyone you know?) And the Lord punished them, this particular time by making them subject to the Midianites, who were very oppressive. They cried out to the Lord for help again and in His graciousness, He answered.
An angel met Gideon, the mighty warrior and told him that the Lord was with him. Gideon was like, “NO he couldn’t be, because if He was, this wouldn’t have happened. The Lord has abandoned us and given us to the Midianites.” But God said, “I am sending you to strike down the Midianites.”
The Lord prepared Gideon for battle and told him to gather his men together. Gideon gathered the men together, but God said he had too many. Gideon told any man that was fearful and wanted to go back home to leave. 22,000 left! Can you imagine the scene? 22,000 able-bodied, fearful men walking away to go back home. Thank God there were still 10,000 men. But God told Gideon there were still too many men. So He said sent them to the water and said all those who lap water like a dog would stay with Gideon. That was only 300 men.
I am sure Gideon was thinking, Wait? What? Only 300 men are going to defeat the Midianites, who had over 120,000 in their army. Then the Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred that lapped I will deliver you, and give you the Midianites into your hands. Let the others go home.” (Judges 7:7)
There is a song that says, little becomes much when placed in the Master’s hand. As a cousin of Gideon, I would have been thinking, ummm I think I may need just a few more people to go with me. But God said, you’re good, I am with you. Don’t you love how He makes sure that they will know that HE won this battle and not Gideon. If Gideon had taken all of the men, they would have said, it was just because they had all of the strongest, mightiest men. God removed all of the men so they would know it was Him.
He does the same with us. He removes all doubt when He blesses us. He puts in you in places that your GED can’t grant you. He puts you in houses that your credit score won’t allow. He puts you in positions where your background wouldn’t dare have opened the door. He makes the impossible, possible.
You can win! He wants you to know with all your excuses, you can win. With all the resources that you don’t have, you can win. With all the people that left you, you can win. With all the baggage that you and I insist on carrying, you can win. Look at Gideon, a man who didn’t believe in himself and felt that he was from the weakest clan, He still WON. You can too! Remember to live in the RED ~ Loved and Forgiven.
When the King Couldn’t Sleep...
Esther 6:1 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him.
Have you ever heard the saying… Heavy is the head that wears the crown? Translated, it means that people with power, authority and responsibility have much to manage and they have a lot on their minds. Since the women’s movement of 1848 in New York City, women have increasingly entered into fields and areas of power. Becoming CEOs. CFO’s, Doctors, Lawyers and Principals and much more, women have much on their plates. Their crowns are often heavy and lead to insomnia when their sleep is interrupted with the cares of the world or their companies, staff, husbands, and homes.
Insomnia has been my friend on and off for many years. It has shown me that I shouldn’t take sleep for granted and that rest is so important. However, years ago, a friend told me that when you can’t sleep it’s a perfect time to talk to God or read the Bible. I now try to do both or write during those moments of insomnia.
King Xerxes, the Persian King (Esther 6), couldn’t sleep one night and decided to read the record book, which was the day to day journal of the events of the kingdom. He came across the story of Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, who raised her after her parents’ death. Mordecai foiled the plans of the royal eunuchs who were trying to kill the King.
Grateful for Mordecai, the king asked his servants what had been done to reward this great man. His servants replied, nothing. So this begins the plot twist! The king asked if there was anyone out in the court during this time and the servants replied, Haman. So he invited Haman in to inquire of him of what should be done to honor a great man. Ironically, Haman was in the court because he was about to ask the king to hang Mordecai because 1) Mordecai was a Jew 2) Haman hated Jews and 3) Mordecai refused to bow to him!
The king however asked Haman, what would be appropriate for a man he wanted to honor. Ego-driven and thinking it was him that the King wanted to honor, he replied, “bring out a fine robe, a crown, and ride this man around on a horse proclaiming his greatness.” The king said go do it, now! To his surprise, it was Mordecai. Can you imagine how Haman felt? You could have bought him for a penny! He was BIG mad after that and devised a plan to kill ALL the Jews. However, that’s when Mordecai encouraged Esther to get involved. Read the book of Esther.
The theme of Esther can be summed up in a phrase my granddad used all the time… When you dig a ditch, dig two, because the first one you dig, will be for you. In this case, there wasn’t a ditch but a gallow. In Haman’s attempt to destroy the Jews, God’s chosen people, he was destroyed.
What I love about this Biblical account is the fact that the Jews were saved in essence because the King couldn’t sleep. There have been so many times that I have had sleepless nights and felt a great disdain for my friend insomnia, but sometimes the sleeplessness is because God is trying to lead me to a truth, or talk to me or open my eyes about a situation or circumstance that I’m going through.
I no longer despise sleepless nights. Like the King, I get busy, I start reading or writing or simply sit still to listen. There are NO coincidences in the Kingdom of God. The King HAD to have a sleepless night; he HAD to read the record book; Haman HAD to be walking through the court at that very moment to request the death of Mordecai. Esther HAD to be the chosen queen after Queen Vashti was cast out.
There is NOTHING in your life that has happened by coincidence – not your college choice, career, your job, your boo thang, your spouse, your children, your friends, your church, your home. NOTHING! God is a strategic God. He doesn’t throw out plans and assignments all “willy nilly”. Every event in your life has lined up for a purpose. If you don’t believe me, sit back and reflect on how you arrived at where you are today. You will see God’s hand all over it! I promise! Pinky Promise!
Hey! Remember to live in the RED – loved and forgiven!