That same night the LORD said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the LORD your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.” Judges 6:25-26

 Gideon was chosen by God to do mighty things for the people of Israel. God’s people were under constant attack from enemies that surrounded them. From time to time He chose common, ordinary, unsuspecting people to do courageous, heroic, acts of deliverance for his people. Often these people were not only unsuspecting but somewhat unwilling to do the task prepared for them.

Perhaps no one was more hesitant than Gideon. When he received God’s word that he was the new go-to guy for Israel’s deliverance he balked at the idea. He wasn’t strong enough, powerful enough or wise enough to be a hero. Besides, from Gideon’s perspective, his family tree was a mess. The backyard at home was strewn idols and altars to false gods.

God saw things differently that Gideon. Gideon measured the possibility of success according to his strength. God measured success by God’s ability and willingness to use Gideon for the purposes He had ordained. God did not wait for Gideon to become a spiritual role model. He didn’t choose him because of his standing among his people. God told him to simply “go in the strength you have”. He refused to let Gideon’s heritage be an excuse for God’s ability to use him in a mighty way. Gideon went on to lead the people of Israel to great victories over their enemies.

People still use the same excuse Gideon used when approaching life. We base our success ratio on the heritage handed down to us from our parents or those in our family tree. We measure our dreams according to ‘the cards we’ve had dealt to us’ without adding the ‘God factor.’ The only ones that should be tied to the family tree are monkeys. They were born there and will spend their entire lives there.

The mistakes, abuse and poverty of our youth should not keep us from living up to the potential we have through Christ. He isn’t interested in our past. He is only interested in how he can use us for his glory in the future. God can use us even if we are unsure, outnumbered or weak. He alone is our strength and our deliverer.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I thank you for the fact that You can use me no matter how strong or weak I may feel. I thank you for Jesus and His forgiveness. Like Gideon, I have some idols in my yard, things that keep me from pursuing you. Please forgive me for not believing. Empower me through your Holy Spirit to remove those idols so that you can work through me in mighty ways. Amen.

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