And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Judges 6:12-13 (NKJV)
Israel was once again suffering as a result of their rebellion against God. Once again God in His amazing mercy toward His people was going to raise up a judge to deliver Israel from their bondage. The person God had chosen this time was Gideon. God prepared Gideon for this call with a word of encouragement that called him a mighty man of valor and let him know that God was with him. Gideon then responded with a question. There’s no telling how many times I’ve read this passage but today Gideon’s question resonated with me.
I feel Gideon’s pain. Where are all the miracles I’ve read about in Scripture and read about from church history. Gosh, where are all the miracles I read about from other places?
How did we get from the church having prayer meetings that ended with God shaking the earth and doing great miracles, to the church having prayer meetings where few show up and nothing seems to change?
How did we get from God working through His Church/people to heal, and perform miracles to a Church that is largely skeptical of such things?
How did we get from a Church that transformed entire cities and caused those who profit from human slavery to sin becoming worried about being put out of business, to a Church that’s content with a service with snazzy music and an uplifting sermon?
When did we stop getting to do the stuff? When did the church stop transforming communities?
When did we go from the captives being set free, and lives being radically transformed, to people praying a prayer but remaining unchanged?
When did all this happen?
Why have we become content with the way things are?
Why are we okay not getting to do the stuff?
Why do we accept this?
Why are we not clothed with power from on high?
Why do we have such low expectations?
Why are unbelievers comfortable in our services and not falling down crying out, “Truly the living God is among you!”?
As I said, I feel Gideon’s pain.
Jesus I repent of accepting powerlessness as normal and defeat as the default.