Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sin of omission

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

I've got a soft spot for my boy Gideon. He's a scaredy-cat, plagued by fear and unbelief, yet not necessarily paralyzed by it. At the very beginning of the introduction of his character, two examples of Gideon's lifestyle of fear appear. First, in Judges 6:11, we see Gideon threshing out wheat in a winepress, hiding himself and his sustenance from the enemy. Later, in Judges 6:25-27, the LORD asks Gideon to destroy the altar of Baal that his father has and to instead build an altar to the LORD on top of it.

In both instances, Gideon is afraid. He is afraid of his enemy  the Midianites, others' perception of his actions and perhaps even the reaction of the idol he has established in his life. What would Baal do to he and his family? What would his father do to him? What could the Midianites do to him? Even further, what could this LORD do to him?

In spite of his fears, he goes forth and does the thing. He walks in that which God called him to walk in. He threshes the wheat, even though he is hiding from his enemy. And he tears down the altar of Baal, establishing an altar of God in its place, despite the fact that he does it at night, too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day (Judges 6:27).

I see so much of myself in his story. Yet in a recent season, mine has an added dose of sin. Unlike Gideon, I did not go forth and do the thing. Gideon hid himself in the cleft of a mountainside or under the covering of a dark night sky, yet he still responded to God's call. On the other hand, I allowed myself to be paralyzed by fear and flat out failed to respond. I froze and my standing still equated itself to the sin of omission. Delayed obedience meant disobedience this time.

Gideon learned to function in his lifestyle of fear. He's got the act of threshing wheat in an awkward environment down pat. He's got the Baal worship thing down, surely established as a pattern of worship early in his life. It may or may not be working for him, but he's still doing it. Yours truly however, can't even claim that I was functioning well in this particular area. I wanted to be a functioning fearaholic at best, but God in His mercy, wasn't going to allow that either.

God speaks to Gideon early on: "I am the LORD your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell" (Judges 6:10). And He has firmly, lovingly, spoken a word to me a few weeks ago: "I am the LORD your God Shelly, you shall not fear ..." That my friend, is a command, not an option, based on who my God is.

I am His, created and equipped to do the good works He has called me to do. And the same is true for you sister. You were created in His image, called to bear much fruit in areas that He has prepared in advance for you. Things He has called just you to do. Giftings He has given you. Resurrection power working in you, in this season, at this moment, for His glory.

He doesn't need me to make His name great. He doesn't need you either. But we are given the unspeakable gift of participating in His Kingdom purposes. Lord, in your mercy, I sure don't want to miss it.

So I'm going to go forth and do the thing, even if I do it afraid for a little while. For soon, I will walk more boldly in the spirit of power, love and discipline He has given me, realizing that He has not given me a spirit of timidity (2 Timothy 1:7).

I'll do it afraid then, backed by the power of a God who is more than able.

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