Has God called you to a ministry that’s completely out of your comfort zone? Welcome to our world. At first the idea gave us a good laugh, then became the subject of fervent prayer, and finally tentative action. God made it clear to Kelly and I over a period of months, that He was calling us to purchase and remodel a house in Tillamook to become a men’s halfway house.
Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine doing such a thing, nor did we have the desire. We’re not experienced or knowledgeable in this area. Yet God chose us to pursue a venture that will only succeed if He is in charge of making it happen. It’s forcing us out on a limb, without a paddle, between a rock and a hard place, in over our heads, if you know what I mean.
We identify so strongly with Moses and Gideon’s stories that we might even change our names to Moseon and Gideous. When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt he laughed too. This former prince of Egypt turned shepherd, was insecure about his qualifications. He tried arguing with God. You can see how well that went by reading Exodus chapters three and four.
In a similar scenario, God called Gideon to lead an Israelite army against the Midianites. He was threshing his wheat in a wine press at the time, hiding from that very same enemy. He was a scared runt, from a no-account family, who needed God’s reassurance every step of the way. Ever been there? I find myself in his story in Judges chapters six and seven.
So why does God call people who aren’t interested, prepared, or qualified, who try to argue their way out of doing big things for the kingdom of God? Wouldn’t it be better if He chose spiritual super-heroes to do His work? I found the answer in Judges 7:2. Gideon had an army of 32,000, but God told him to send home anyone who was scared. Then God weeded out 9,700 more until there were only 300 fighting men left. And He sent them into battle against an enormous army of trained Midianite soldiers with trumpets, jars, and torches! Why? So they couldn’t boast they had conquered the enemy through their own strength.
When I start to worry about our lack of knowledge, finances, experience, and more, I’m reminded the success of Redemption House is completely up to God. He brought together a board of Spirit filled men whose experience, knowledge, and passion for this work keep us going. He has connected us with other ministries to learn from and model after. Volunteers are springing up to teach, befriend, and give to the men who come to Redemption House.
We are gaining confidence, “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers…” (2 Cor. 3:5-6, NIV).
Today, if God is calling you to an impossible task and you find yourself arguing in a Moseon-Gideous sort of way, I want to encourage you to say yes. It will be scary and challenging and uncomfortable…and the most exciting ride of your life. It will force you to trust God for every decision and move you make. Then, when we see hearts changing and lives being transformed, we will know who deserves all the praise.