Written by Pastor Eric Everhart
This year our youth decided that they would work through the book of Judges for our Wednesday night the book study. Judges. Wow! I’m so proud they want to dig in deep, even in some tough readings, to help them learn about God and grow in their faith.
As we continue our studies in the book of Judges a few things have really stood out. We see first the continued sin, defiance, and brokenness of God’s people. Second, we clearly see God’s love and faithfulness for his people as he rescues them time and time again. Then there is a season of peace–but his people begin the cycle all over again. “Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals” Judges 2:11.
In the midst of all this, God uses some very ordinary “nobody’s” to accomplish some very extraordinary feats of rescue. God raised up Judges to free the people from their own undoing: Othniel, Ehod, Deborah, Shamgar, Gideon, and the list goes on. These were average, everyday people that God equipped to do some amazing things. I’m sure they didn’t wake up one morning wanting to go to battle or do some heavenly work for God. But God raised them up, empowered them, equipped them, and used them to protect and free the broken people of Israel. “Then the Lord raised up judges,[c] who saved them out of the hands of their enemies.” Judges 2:16
I had the amazing opportunity to travel with Bev Abma to Africa a few years ago. We went there to visit pastor Cosmos, to encourage his church, and to witness what God was doing there with his people. On top of that, I got the awesome opportunity to be a guest speaker at a very large youth convention in one of the villages. But how in the world was I going to communicate with these youth from Africa? Why would they want to listen to me, an outsider? How was I going to share God with young people halfway around the world?
Long story short, it was life changing!! After bending some horseshoes, a few steel bars in my teeth, and snapping a few baseball bats, God used my gift of strength to earn the right to be heard by a few hundred teens and pastors from Africa. With an interpreter by my side, translating every word, I shared my testimony from my heart and communicated my passion for Jesus Christ with those teens hanging on every word. You could feel the work of the Spirit in that place and in the lives of the people and it was so amazing!! Later, I had the privilege to lay hands on and pray over many teens who made a decision to follow Jesus as their savior.
I can’t help but look back at that special time and think, only God could have done that. He raised me up, he empowered me, and he equipped me for that moment, just as he did with the Judges. This was the work of God! All I had to do was be obedient to the call and trust that he would provide all I needed. By doing so, his word went forth in a foriegn language, and his love and grace was extended to the people who needed to hear it that day!
Has God called you to do something and your response was, “I can’t do that,” “I’m not good enough for that,” or “God should pick someone better than me?” Be reminded, if God has laid it on your heart to do, no matter how big or how small, he will equip you and empower you to accomplish his will. Trust that God will lead you in all he calls you to. Be prepared to step out, even from your comfort zone, to be obedient in all that God asks you to do! As you answer even the smallest of requests, God will use you to unleash his powerful good news, unconditional love, and his amazing grace on a world that so badly needs it. God can use anyone…..yes anyone, including you!
ARE YOU OPEN TO SEE HOW GOD MIGHT USE EVEN AN ORDINARY PERSON LIKE YOU TO DO SOME EXTRAORDINARY THINGS FOR HIS KINGDOM?
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who gave me strength, because he trusted me and gave me this work of serving him.” 1 Timothy 1:12
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