Posted by: New in Every Way | April 4, 2012

“I Don’t Do Windows”

Last Wednesday’s blog (Who Me?) featured Gideon—the unknown Israelite who dared to believe God’s message that he was “da man” to deliver his nation from the harassment of the Midianites.

While the campaign against the Midianites was in progress, Gideon stayed tuned to heaven, and the Lord guided him, step by step, strategy by strategy, miracle by miracle. He did not operate according to conventional wisdom, nor bow to social pressure. (Consider the fact that he tore down his father’s pagan altar, when the Lord told him to.) He understood when to rely on God and when to do something himself. Read the whole story—in so many ways, Gideon modeled how to partner with God.

Then there’s the rest of Gideon’s life. It starts out well: The Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.” But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you” (Judges 8:22-23).

Good for him! He knew what God had called him to do and what he had not called him to do. He was keenly aware that he was not the one who had made the nation’s deliverance possible—it was the Lord.

But the people were so needy. Gideon wanted to help, so he asked them to bring him the gold earrings they had taken from the defeated Midianites. Melting them down, he made an ephod—a replica of the one the Lord had instructed a high priest to wear. No doubt Gideon thought that when people came to worship, the ephod would turn their eyes and hearts to the Lord, who was their true help and true king.

It didn’t work. The people worshipped the ephod. It led Israel back into idolatry.

Do you see a huge lesson in this? Gideon was (according to the angel) a “mighty warrior”—not a priest. The task God created him for was to “save Israel out of Midian’s hand”—not continue to lead the people afterwards.

When he stayed true to his God-given identity and destiny, he prospered beyond his greatest dreams. When he did what his neighbors thought he should do, he failed.

Sure, it’s good, sometimes, to branch out and learn new things. It’s okay to bake something for a sale or help a neighbor paint his house—even when those aren’t your main purpose in life. But there’s also a time to say, “No.” Even Jesus did not respond to every need he saw. After spending time in prayer, the Holy Spirit guided him to the right people and situations. When the situation wasn’t right, Jesus didn’t stick around

Ask the Lord what it is he has tapped you on the shoulder to do. If it’s—let’s say—to start a carpet-cleaning business, and folks try to get you to do other things, go ahead—say it: “I do carpets. I don’t do windows.”

Make It Personal

  • When asked to serve on a committee, coach a team, etc., do you feel obligated? Are you really the one who needs to do this job, just because someone else thinks so?
  • Can you trust the Lord to put it in someone else’s heart to do the things you really have no business taking on? Could you pray about the need instead of thinking you have to solve it?
  • Are you letting the Lord show you who you are and who you are not? How much more of a world-changer will you be, once you do start being the real you?


  1. Great questions to ask ourselves to keep us out of works and resting in His grace.

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