THE STARTING PLACE OF “GO”!
‘Standing Down’ in the wine press, Gideon threshed wheat. A once powerful nation, Israel had allowed themselves to become mentally, physically and emotionally shackled to a cowardly, motionless mindset. Their enemy prevailed. Without neither military nor spiritual might, they resolved to hide in the caves of the surrounding mountains. Their insecurities prevailed.
The angel of the Lord came to Gideon and addressed him as a ‘mighty warrior!’ But this first acclamation wasn’t enough to move him. Why? Gideon was focused on what he didn’t have. His faith bounced between walls of intimidation and his nation’s victorious history. He lived angry. It would take a second word from God. It’s this second word that became his starting place. ‘Go in the strength you do have and save Israel!’ Judges 6:14 (NIV). That word carried a different message. Start! Go! Gideon changed his focus. He found his starting place.
Going in the strength we do have is always an option. We don’t have to fake it until we make it. This principle carries with it what my father modeled for me growing up. Going in the strength you do have was his mindset. Daddy believed and practiced making something out of nothing. Consequently, He was never still.
Daddy loved oak wood. In our modest home he proudly installed oak floors. One day he bartered with someone who had an old oak dining table. Daddy traded them our maple table and chairs for a ragged old oak table. To give you a clearer picture, imagine a table with newspapers and linoleum glued to the top of it, sitting in all its glory in a chicken yard! You get the picture. I went with him to pick it up. In my preteen mindset, I thought he was nuts. I would soon understand what restoration was about. In what Daddy called the tool shed, he did his magic. He redeemed it. He made something out of nothing. Today, it’s a family heirloom.
That’s what God does with our nothing. Out of the wine press, Gideon evolved into a mighty deliverer of Israel. First, he had to go with what he did have. Going in the strength we do have is the starting place of ‘go’! Making something out of nothing is a mindset. Our starting place is often in the abandoned places where life used to be or never was grand. Going in the strength we do have puts our insecurities on ‘stand down’ orders. It activates faith. Going in the strength we have is a real place. Activated, it becomes a real plan employing transformational power.
Maybe you’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for God to repeat Himself with a miracle that you get to watch happen. But the reality we find in the great trailblazers of God is that He called them to begin where they were. He calls us to do the same. He challenges us to see something where there is nothing. We may only see a chicken yard holding a desperate oak table captive. But God sees the fine grains of a masterpiece in the chicken yards and wine presses of life. He is the miracle worker. We have to ‘go’ in faith and change the world within us before we can change the world around us.
‘Go’ is the starting place of champions. Don’t live a ‘stand down’ life when the Redeemer of mankind commands us to ‘go in the strength we do have”. Stay ready. Live set. Go!