Our Father can be weird. His ways of doing things often will make you scratch your head and wonder if He delegated His decision-making to a drunk angel! But then you see His genius and understand His goal. Then, and this can be miraculous, you find yourself embracing and delighting in our Father’s weirdness. Finally, you become weird too!
But at least if you follow Gideon and have read the past three editions of OVERFLOW, at least you will be confidently weird!
In addition to Gideon’s life demonstrating the possibility of being transformed from internally soft to strong and confident, his life also displays how weird our Father can be.
The nation of Israel has an issue. At this point in Gideon’s life the issue is a nation called Midian. The Midianites are forcefully oppressing Israel to the point that, “Israel was brought very low because of Midian” (Judges 6:6). So, God our Father recruits Gideon to be Israel’s deliverer.
As the Gideon-led army approaches the battlefield to fight against the Midianite issue, the LORD intervenes and does something weird. In Judges 7:1-8, the LORD reduces Gideon’s army from 30,000 men to 300! Midian is a formidable foe wreaking havoc on the life and vitality of Israel. Under Gideon’s leadership he has successfully rallied 30,000 Israelite men to the war to fight for their freedom. And just before the battle the LORD sends home 29,700 warriors!
That is weird. Weird as in abnormal. Not right. Bizarre. Non-sensical.
Reducing the army to this degree certainly flies in the face of any conventional war strategy whose goal is winning.
This seems like what a sports team does when they intentionally lose games in a season to secure a better draft position in the next season.
What is our Father doing?
His explanation is an “ah-ha” moment that sheds light on the motive of His weirdness and invites us to join Him there. He explains in Judges 7:2-3, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’ Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.’”
Ah-ha! The LORD reduces the army so that He can be seen as the source of victory! Winning is not an issue for the LORD. Defeating Midian is easy. But the LORD wants to do so in a way that He is seen as the One delivering.
So, our Father’s Kingdom strategies are often weird by design because being seen is far easier in the abnormal than in the normal. Seeing the one zigging is easier when everyone else zags even though the zigger “looks” weird.
You have to embrace this weirdness or you’ll always be frustrated trying to interpret and apply our Father’s strategies. Our Father wants to be seen – He wants to receive the glory for who He is and what He does.
Can’t you see the weirdness, how bizarre it is, that the Father’s master strategy to confront His enemies of sin, the world, and Satan was to incarnate His Son as a man so that He would be murdered and resurrected? Who thinks of that?
Yet, the Jesus plot is so absurd no one else could possibly take credit! The victory is still won. God our Father is glorified!
In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus trains us to embrace this “God gets the glory – His strategies can be weird,” mindset. We are to pray, “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” The “hallowed” means we are asking our Father to work in our lives in a way that He gets the glory. We are asking Him to cull our army from 30,000 warriors to 300. We are asking Him to move in weird ways that do not make sense in the world. We are offering our lives to be demonstrations of His faithfulness.
Learning to embrace our Father’s weirdness is crucial if we are going to relax back into His faithfulness and obediently move forward in His plan.
Like Israel in Gideon’s time, you have issues. You have persons and forces working against you, making you “feel low.” What are your issues? Who is responsible for those issues? Name them. Offer your need for deliverance and victory to our Father. Breathe deeply as you release the battle into your Father’s hands.
In His timing He will make known to you His plan. You cannot force your definition of victory or what you know must be the way forward onto His plan. If you try to force “you” onto Him He will patiently wait until you are done.
Ask others to pray with you, to help you discern His will.
Then fight, in the power of the Holy Spirit, according to the will of our Father in the name of Jesus. And as you stand in victory make sure you say, “There is no way ANY of this could happen were it not for God my Father’s leading!”
LIFE for all of us, like Gideon, in the OVERFLOW of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is weird!