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Week of April 11, 2010

“ . . . My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”  ~Judges 6:15

            How many of us have ever felt like Gideon, believing false truths about ourselves that have stunted our growth and attempted to undermine our God-given destiny?

            Author Dondi Scumaci describes it well in her book, Designed For Success: The 10 Commandments For Women In The Workplace.”  In the very first chapter she says,

            “Imagine that when you were born, you were given a box.  The box is empty to begin with, but almost immediately people begin to put messages into it.  Some of the messages make you feel strong and safe and powerful; others teach you to doubt yourself and your abilities.

            “Over time the box is filled with messages.  Some are duplicates.  You’ve received them more than once and from more than one person.  One message tells you it’s important to be popular, one reminds you to always be very polite, while another tells you to wait to be recognized—because bragging is very bad.  Your messages warn you against making mistakes, rocking the boat, or being pushy—because nobody likes a bossy girl.

            “Now imagine shaking the box!  The messages get all mixed up.  That makes it hard to separate the encouraging, empowering messages from the negative, limiting ones.

            “You grow up and carry your box of messages to work.  As you being to use them, you discover that, for much of your life, the messages have been managing you.  Now you must learn to manage them.” 

           This is the very place where Gideon found himself.

           Gideon processed through discouraging old messages and new encouraging ones from God throughout the remainder of Judges chapter six.

            Although Gideon’s self-doubt was high, and his faith was low, by stepping forth into God’s instructions—albeit with trepidation—he managed to overcome obstacles and reach the divine destiny God had for him.

            How about you?  Is anything holding you back from reaching your God-given potential?  If so, have you asked the Holy Spirit to intervene, to reveal the issues of your heart and lead you to overcome to full victory?

            God sees our potential, and He has a plan to advance us all the way.  His purpose being that He loves us, He loves nations, and He desires to use us to affect them.  God’s vision is big.  It goes beyond us.  As Gideon was set free from his fears and ungodly beliefs, others were also restored.  It was a battle that was worth fighting.  And so is yours.

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell

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