Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 212: Fear. When I agreed & then threw up.

I woke up one day and the Lord told me I was moving.

As if that wasn't enough... He said it was going to be soon. I had no idea what "soon" meant until God gently said to me, "As in RIGHT NOW, Justine. Get some boxes. You are going to need them." So I packed up my stuff in faith, really having no idea where I was going or what I was going to be doing. Within just hours I had multiple job offers all in the same city, someone called and invited me to live with them, and I had a burning in my heart for the desert [which really didn't make sense.....I was a mountain girl!]. I took a few days to think it over (but HELLO it was obvious) and moved to the Arizona desert.

Within just one, short day I began to question God.
Why am I here?
What am I doing in the desert?
God, what are you up to?

As I asked these questions in my heart, I started to think that maybe I was nuts. God kept asking me to do these risky things and I really had no concept of what I was doing, I was just trusting that maybe someday it would make sense.

Two days later I ended up on Arizona State University's campus. A man that I barely knew told me that I should go to a prayer meeting there and because God was up to some weird things I agreed to go. I drove around in circles for a while, debating whether I would actually go , then practically drug myself into the building. I walked in and this younger guy (around 18-years-old) met me at the door. This guy seriously looked crazy. His hair was about a foot long and stuck out straight from his head....picture Mozart after being electrocuted.

He introduced himself and then quickly said, "Do you know why you're in the desert?" I couldn't hide the shock on my face when I said, "Um, no. But I'm assuming you do?" He laughed and said, "You are here to worship. You're a musician right?" Then he walked away. I never saw the guy again.

"Here to WORSHIP?!" I said to myself over and over again. "God, you brought me all the way to the desert just to worship?! Are you kidding me?" Then, once I moved on from feeling shocked, I got angry. "I don't want to do this, God! I thought we left that music stuff behind a long time ago." I decided to try to forget about what that afro-kid said to me.

Then I woke up the next day to a Facebook message. It said something about me being called to worship. I was so freaked out that I don't remember exactly what it said because I slammed my laptop shut and immediately said to the Lord, "You have got to be kidding me?! If you really want me to do this you had better give me one more sign."

I thought God had forgotten about my prayer or was hoping that the worship thing wasn't correct when, out of the blue, a man from the church I started attending called me and said, "Hey, I hear that you do worship. How about you come down to the church for practice and you can sing?"

I agreed. Then I threw up.

And yes, the fear was just that intense.

There's a guy in the Bible who, if he were living today, would totally understand my freak out sessions. Meet Gideon.

Gideon was just a normal Israelite in the book of Judges (ch.6). Israel was worshiping others gods and even though the real God was telling them not to, they did it anyway. So, God sent these people called the Midians to oppress Israel until they cried out to God. God was waiting for them to turn to Him and seek Him with their whole heart. Things got pretty horrible and the Midians started taking all the Israelites stuff, so Israel got upset and asked God for help. So, walla-walla-bing-bang, God sends an angel to this guy Gideon.

Check out Judges 6: 11. It says that when the angel of the Lord came to Gideon, Gideon was "threshing wheat in a winepress." You may be asking yourself, "Self, why in the world is this important?" Well, it shows how freaked out Gideon was. Normally, threshing wheat was done in an open field where wind was used to separate the grains of wheat from the outer shell that you couldn't use. But, Gideon was afraid of the Midians because they would have seen him and taken all of his wheat. So, he threshed the wheat in a winepress which was probably located in a barn-like structure.

So, here's Gideon, hiding from the bad guys with his wheat and an angel shows up and says, "The Lord is with you mighty warrior!" Then Gideon starts arguing with the angel. I don't know about you, but that would NOT have been my response. When an angel says something, you had best be believing it right away! Then God speaks to him and tells him to go to war and Gideon argues some more, totally not believing God.

Then Gideon has the nerve to ask for three signs. Basically, asking God if he's going to win the battle. In the process of going to battle the dude totally shows this massive lack of confidence in God, but God continues to give him the signs anyway. Gideon naturally decides it's a good idea to do what God he goes off to battle.

BUT, then comes Judges 7:
2-3 God said to Gideon, "You have too large an army with you. I can't turn Midian over to them like this—they'll take all the credit, saying, 'I did it all myself,' and forget about me. Make a public announcement: 'Anyone afraid, anyone who has any qualms at all, may leave Mount Gilead now and go home.'" Twenty-two companies headed for home. Ten companies were left.

4-5 God said to Gideon: "There are still too many. Take them down to the stream and I'll make a final cut. When I say, 'This one goes with you,' he'll go. When I say, 'This one doesn't go,' he won't go." So Gideon took the troops down to the stream.

5-6 God said to Gideon: "Everyone who laps with his tongue, the way a dog laps, set on one side. And everyone who kneels to drink, drinking with his face to the water, set to the other side." Three hundred lapped with their tongues from their cupped hands. All the rest knelt to drink.

7 God said to Gideon: "I'll use the three hundred men who lapped at the stream to save you and give Midian into your hands. All the rest may go home."

8 After Gideon took all their provisions and trumpets, he sent all the Israelites home. He took up his position with the three hundred.

300 men! Are you kidding me right now?!

Read verses 8-15. What did God do for Gideon in this passage?

[note: God is SO cool.]

Now read verses 15-21. What was the result of fear in this passage?

Fear always gets you all freaked out and confused, while faith in God makes things infinitely clearer.

To go back to my story about worship... I had gotten myself all wigged out like Gideon was when the angel came to him. I asked God for signs, just like Gideon, that what He had spoken was actually true. God confirmed the worship thing over and over and over again. He said that was what I was supposed to do. Though I did NOT want to go, I showed up to worship practice.

Basically God had something HUGE in store for me that I knew nothing about in the beginning when that crazy guy told me that I was in the desert to worship. God encountered me there, worshiping and playing music, and I've never been the same.

God was/is victorious (just like with Gideon) and now the best parts of my week are when I GET to go worship at the House of Prayer.

What are you afraid of?
What is God calling you to?
What has been your response?

This post is taken from a segment of the REBOOT retreat for high school teens, written and hosted by Jeff Schadt & Justine McKnight. For more information on REBOOT go to


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