13. God uses ordinary people

We have learned so much from Moses' life. He was an ordinary person whose life changed dramatically when the Lord called him into service for Him. His life changed from a lowly shepherd in those days to a mighty leader for the people of the Lord. He was arguably one of the most influential and well known men of all time. He changed from someone who couldn't speak very well, to a powerful leader who made one of the best speeches in history right before his death. He changed from someone who accepted his dreary life as it was, to someone who made a profound impact on the history of the world, through presenting the ten commandments to God's people. He was truly a remarkable man. But at the end of the day, he wasn't really someone in the eyes of the world before he began. As we discussed before, he was truly a nobody. But the Lord saw potential in him. And He sees the potential in you too, believe it!

Moses is one example of someone that the Lord used, that didn't really 'make it' in the eyes of the world. There are a whole lot of examples in the Bible of people that the Lord used in a mighty way, and none of them were really the most popular on earth at that time. I would like to discuss a few of them in the next few devotions. And the main reason is that I want to encourage you to stand tall and know that even if you are a nobody in the eyes of the world, to the Lord you are a somebody. A somebody He wants to use in His eternal kingdom.

The first person I would like to discuss is Gideon. For those of you that don't know, after the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they had judges to rule over them, guide them and help them. Gideon was one of these judges. Now let me sketch the situation in which Gideon became a judge. Upon entering the Promised Land the Israelites were instructed by God to kill all the inhabitants of the land. They however failed to do that and as the time passed by, they started to relax and allowed the gods of these nations to infiltrate their beings. They even started to worship these gods. It was horrific in the eyes of the Lord and He allowed a couple of these nations to oppress the Israelites. Now in Gideon's time it was the turn of the Midianites to oppress the Israelites due to their evil deeds. The Midianites were extremely evil and the Israelites were forced to flee to the mountains. The Midianites stole all their livestock and consumed all their crops until Israel had nothing left and was reduced to starvation. It was only then that Israel realized their mistake of worshipping other gods and cried out to the Lord for help. So it was in this situation that the Lord called Gideon to free the Israelites from these evil Midianites.

Now when the Lord called Gideon to lead the Israelites in a revolt against the Midianites, Gideon was at the bottom of a winepress, secretly threshing wheat in order to hide the grain from the Midianites. He was the least in his entire family and probably got all the jobs that nobody else wanted to do. He was at the bottom of his life both literally and figuratively, with no hope of going back up.

And see now how wonderful the Lord greets him:

"Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!" Judges 6:12.

Gideon must have had the fright of his life. Here he was hiding away from the Midianites, probably scared to death, feeling worthless and without any hope. And here he is called a Mighty Hero. And to top it off, the Lord then goes on to tell him to go and rescue Israel from the Midianites.

He was flabbergasted and immediately looked at the physical circumstances around him. He was the least in his entire family and his family in turn was the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh. In other words he was the weakest of the weak, the most worthless of them all. He instantly doubted himself and protested with the Lord that he couldn't be the right one (sounds just like Moses, doesn't it?). But the Lord stood firm and called him into battle.

Now we can learn something here. The Lord called him a mighty hero, something Gideon would indeed become later on, but the point is before he was one, the Lord spoke life over him. He declared him a mighty hero long before he was one, long before anyone believed in him. The Lord looks at us and sees the potential we have. He saw the potential in Gideon and He sees the potential in you too. You have the ability to become much more than you ever dreamed of. The Lord sees possibilities beyond comprehension. Don't ever look down on yourself. Don't think that you are a nobody and that you will never amount to anything good. That is nonsense. The Lord sees potential and He will open the doors for you. Never listen to your thoughts like:

"Nobody would ever listen to me."

"Nobody ever sees me, I will never amount to anything good."

"I am the embarrassment of my family."

"I am the least educated of my entire family."

"I have wasted my life, there is nothing left."

There are only new beginnings that await you. The Lord has only new beginnings in mind. Remember that Gideon was standing in the bottom of a winepress when the Lord called him, and he amounted to a great warrior. You could too.

Lord, help us to see our own potential. Help us to know where You want to lead us. You see us as we can become, help us to see that too. Amen

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