Last week Sam was able to share his passion with you. He asked the question, what if all you heard, all you sensed from God was, “I love you,” would that be enough? Imagine if you sensed, to the core of who you are, that God love you. You wouldn’t have to worry about tomorrow.   You wouldn’t have to compete against others and win. You wouldn’t have to be so self-absorbed. You could finally relax and live life and be healthy. That is what Sam was saying about rest. The only way to have rest for your soul is time with God. He wasn’t talking about rest for your body when you sit on the couch, he was talking about rest for you soul. That’s when your relationship with God goes deeper. That’s when your soul comes to life.

Today I want to share with you my passion. To do this, I want to walk you through a story from a book in the bible called Judges. Actually, I want to start at the end of the story. Here is the end of Gideon’s life, the end of his story.

Judges 8:28 Midian’s tyranny was broken by the Israelites; nothing more was heard from them. The land was quiet for forty years in Gideon’s time. MSG

How cool would it be for that to be written about you? Imagine, tyranny is broken and everyone lives in peace for forty years, because of you.

When this took place, the Jewish people did not have a king and they did not follow God. So God allowed their enemies, like the Midian’s to come and torment them. The people would suffer so God would send a judge or a leader to save them from the torment for a period of time. Probably the most famous judge or leader that you have heard of was Samson. When these leaders lead, it gave the people a relief, a time of rest from their enemies.

In this story, because of Gideon and what he did, the Jewish people had forty years of peace from their enemies. Let me ask you, did Gideon’s life matter? What it important? Gideon’s decision to follow God, did it have any implications? Was God with Gideon? Obviously, yes. It’s easy to see that Gideon was important and that God was with him because we are reading the end of the story.

Let me ask you about you. Does your life matter? Is God with you? What have you concluded about your life? You are probably in one of four camps.

  1. My life doesn’t matter so I treat my life like a piñata, I destroy it. You end up lost and confused.
  2. I attend church but I care more about my Instagram hits, success, toys, relationships, making sure everything looks perfect, etc. To you, you are trying to get God to bless and protect your story, your life. Your life matters but it’s about you.
  3. I attend church but I am in beat down survival mode. To you, you are tired of doing the right things over and over and getting no validation for it. And you don’t do anything to make any changes because you don’t want to face the battle. You have given up. You’ll do the right thing but you will never find joy and meaning in life.
  4. My life does matter. And because it matters, I will face and overcome every challenge to love and project those around me. To you, your life matters but it’s about helping others.

Here is what I want to tell you today: Your life matters and God is with you. And, over the next five, ten, thirty years, your decisions will have an enormous impact. How do you react when I tell you, your life matters deeply? Do you struggle to see it? Do you hear that and say, ya, I heard that before, whatever.

Back to Gideon’s story. In the beginning of Gideon’s story, the Midian’s are oppressing the Jewish people forcing them to live in the mountains or underground. They are a scared, broken down people, just trying to survive. God enters and says the following through an angel.


Judges 6:12-18

12 The angel of GOD appeared to him and said, “GOD is with you, O mighty warrior!”

In other words, “Gideon, your life matters deeply.”

Check out Gideon’s response.

13 Gideon replied, “With me, my master? If GOD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, ‘Didn’t GOD deliver us from Egypt?’ The fact is, GOD has nothing to do with us – he has turned us over to Midian.”

Gideon basically says, “Ya, right I’m a mighty warrior. How is it possible that You are with me and our people after You allowed us to be in this spot?”

When I tell you, your life matters, and God is with you, is this your response too? You don’t believe it. You think if my life mattered, then why am I in the spot I am in? How can my life matter? It is a royal mess. I’ve damaged it beyond repair. Life has badly mistreated me. God couldn’t possibly be with me.

This is one of our greatest challenges. We have this crazy notion that if God was with me, my life would be perfect. My parents wouldn’t have cancer. I wouldn’t have divorce or bankruptcy in my past. My kids wouldn’t be cut from the sports team. If God is with me, my life would be perfect! That’s non sense. God is with us in the middle of our mess.

If you think that God is not with you, here is God’s response to you.

14 But GOD faced him directly: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?”

God says, go. I have sent you in my strength. Gideon still can’t believe it.

God’s message to you, from this day forward, I send you into your life with my strength. Don’t doubt me.

15 Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.”

Gideon does a quick review of who he is and argues with God, “I got nothing.”

When I tell you, your life matters, when I tell you that God is with you, do you continue to argue with me in your head? You think you are so bad off and you have nothing to offer. God continues to send you a message.

16 GOD said to him, “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.” 17 Gideon said, “If you’re serious about this, do me a favor: Give me a sign to back up what you’re telling me. 18 Don’t leave until I come back and bring you my gift.” MSG

Listen to me carefully, your life matters and God is with you. And every argument you make with God that your life doesn’t matter, God simply says, “Believe me, my strength is with you.” God today, right now, needs you. He placed you right where He needs you.

Long story short for Gideon. He leads 32,000 troops and God takes them down to an army of 300 so that no one could take credit for the victory. Through Gideon, God defeats the Midian’s army. Let me read for you the end of the story.

Judges 8:28 Midian’s tyranny was broken by the Israelites; nothing more was heard from them. The land was quiet for forty years in Gideon’s time. MSG

Imagine if Gideon didn’t believe his life mattered, that God wasn’t with him, and did nothing.

Imagine if you didn’t believe your life mattered, that God isn’t with you, and you do nothing.

Your life matters. God is with you. Stop being a victim. Stop creating excuses. Fully engage the God mission. Jesus said,

Luke 19:26 That’s what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag. – Jesus MSG

It begins by taking care of your heart.

Take care of your spouse and your family.

Go to work and be spectacular.

Invest your life, on purpose, into others.

My passion is for you to know, your life matters deeply and God is with you. The decisions you make will have huge implications. If you fully engage, maybe at the end of your life, they will say, “And everyone in his/her family lived in peace.”