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What Gen Z Needs from You and I…Immediately!

The story of Gideon in Judges 6 finds him hiding at the winepress feeling forgotten, hopeless, insignificant, and living in defeat. This is exactly where many young people are today – little self-worth, hopeless, and unimportant. The Angel of the Lord appears to Gideon and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor” (Genesis 6:12, NKJV). The word “valor” means courage and is used 250 times in the Old Testament.

The angel was giving Gideon a new definition of who he was to be. No longer should the new Gideon look to the old Gideon but rather his point of reference should be how the angel described him – a man of valor, courage, or “mighty warrior” (NIV). Many times, we find God calling and equipping people before a task. However, in spite of the angel trying to overcome Gideon’s weakness, he still chose to focus on his inability.

“Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” Gideon responds back to the Lord, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” (Judges 6:14-15, NKJV)

Like he did with Gideon, Satan tells Gen Z you have nothing and are nothing. He lies to them and keeps them in the winepress by vain imaginations and excuses. The next thing the devil steals is the supernatural. He wants young people to be miserable, never seeing any divine intervention in their lives, making them doubt God’s very existence.

Listen to what Gideon said to the Angel of the Lord in Judges 6:13, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”

Tragically, Satan’s lies like with Gideon’s generation, are attempting to deceive and destroy an entire generation of youth today. Case in point, suicide is now the second leading cause of death among America’s teens today. In Ohio, my home state, suicide is now the number one cause of death among Gen Zers from age 10 to 14 years old. In a country that is advertised to be the closest thing to utopia on the planet, why are so many of our young choosing to take their own lives? Undoubtedly, the answers center around the lies of the enemy – you have nothing, and you are nothing.

What the Holy Spirit Restores in Gideon

God would not give up on Gideon and his generation, and neither will He give up on today’s youth culture. “And the LORD said to him, “Surely, I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man” (Judges 6:16, NKJV). From there we see God restore three potent qualities in Gideon’s life that God makes available to every young person today through His Holy Spirit. The first is:

The Fire of God

There had not been fire in Israel in many years. Gideon saw the power, the fire, the glory of God and thought he was going to die! (see Judges 6:17-21) The best way to see the fire of God come into your life is to pray, worship, and fast for it. Cry out to God for an uncontrollable passion for Christ in your life. God promises us, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV) Secondly, God gave Gideon…

Convictions

Gideon pulled down his father’s altar and separated himself from the devil’s strongholds. We need to boldly declare to the world that we are on the Lord’s side. (see Judges 6:25-33) What are convictions? It is the quality of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes or says. How do we acquire convictions? They can be modeled and passed down to a young person by a person of influence in their life.

I have seen convictions modeled in my own father and mother while growing up. Honestly, I can’t remember them intentionally passing them down to me and my siblings, but rather on our own we took ownership of them as we witnessed them consistently modeled in our parent’s lives. The same cycle has repeated in raising our own son.

I remember a time laying on a table in my chiropractor’s office with a curtain between me and my son, Gabe, who was waiting for me. He was probably around seven at the time. A woman walked into his room with a couple of children Gabe’s age. I could not see them, but I was able to listen in on their conversation without them knowing it.
Suddenly, I heard Gabe say in a loud voice to one of the children, “You shouldn’t read that book. That book is evil. It has stories of bad things in it. Things we should not read.”

Next thing I heard was what sounded like a gasp come from the mother. She quickly responded to Gabe while reassuring her children that there was nothing wrong with Harry Potter books. And then she asks, “Who told you reading Harry Potter is evil?” He then proudly blurted out, “My dad says it’s evil and he is pastor.” It was at that moment, I was glad I was behind the curtain out of sight. I am sure if she knew I was near, she would have had some choice words for me. Nonetheless, I was proud of Gabe for standing up for his convictions at such an early age. Today, he still holds to his convictions, and is not shy about sharing them with believers as well as unbelievers.

Why do you need convictions as a Generation Zer or anyone for that matter? Because convictions serve as anchors in life. They keep you from drifting from one belief to another, or into having no beliefs at all. Of course, I am referring to convictions that are cemented in truth…that come from absolute truths from the word of God.
Finally, here is a third quality that God gave Gideon…

His Vision of Victory

The Bible says the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon and he blew his trumpet. God gave Gideon a vision to defeat the Midianites, and he boldly declared his vision and dream through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Judges 6:34-35) God is still in our day sending His Spirit to be poured out upon young men and women giving them great vision for what He desires to do in our day.

“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My men servants and on My maid servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28, 29, NKJV)

Fire, convictions, and a vision for victory: three powerful qualities or gifts that God has available for Generation Z now. It’s vital that we followers of Christ in the church today intentionally possess and pass these qualities on to Generation Z. We can’t give something we don’t have. Let’s ask ourselves: Do we have a fire - the fire of the Spirit burning inside of us? Do we have convictions in our personal lives that might be picked up by those we are leading? And, do we have a vision for victory that we are boldly proclaiming to others?

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