In Judges 3:31, we look at an ordinary man named Shamgar. Although Shamgar was an ordinary man, through God he was able to do extraordinary things! It is written that Shamgar defeated 600 Philistine warriors with an ox goad. An ox goad is a traditional tool that is used in farming. The ox goad is a long rod that has a small, sharp, pointed end. Today, we would refer to an ox goad as a cattle prod. The tool is used to guide livestock that carry plows and other farming equipment. Needless to say, one would not consider an ox goad to be the ideal weapon of choice in combat. In addition to that, the Philistine warriors were known for operating with a highly trained military, as well as expert knowledge in metalsmithing. It is important to note that the Philistine army was a well-prepared unit, and while possessing expertise with metals, it is very likely that they used weapons far superior to an ox goad. Nevertheless, an ordinary man, Shamgar, was victorious over 600 Philistine warriors.
God is looking for “Shamgars” today. God is looking for the ordinary people that He can use to do extraordinary things for His kingdom. There are three (3) key elements to answering God’s call in the manner that Shamgar did:
1.) Start where you are
If you wait to figure out what you’re going to do, you’ll soon find out that haven’t done it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t procrastinate. Where you are currently is of no consequence. The most important thing is that you start! Start wherever you are. In 2 Timothy 4:2 the scripture says: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince,rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” Shamgar started exactly where he was.
2.) Use what you have
What has God put in your hand? God put a staff in Moses’s hand. Moses took that staff and led a nation of people to their destiny in a land that was set apart by God. God put a slingshot in David’s hand. David took that slingshot and against what appeared to be insurmountable odds, he became a legendary warrior king. This requires great enthusiasm. Enthusiasm comes from the Greek root, enthous, which means “in God.” God’s enthusiasm should be all over us. God has given us everything that we need; we just have to use it with enthusiasm! In Phillipians 4:13 the scripture says: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” God has given us all unique talents and skills and it is our responsibility to use them for His kingdom. For Shamgar it was an ox goad; what has God given you?
3.) Do what you can
Too often we look at things that we can’t do and we become discouraged. We need to start focusing on the many things that we CAN do. When we do all the things that we can in order to serve God’s purpose, God will then supernaturally empower us to do things beyond our imagination. We often overlook and underestimate the power of prayer. In Luke 18:1 Jesus says: “Then He spoke a parable to them that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” Prayers can outlive the lives of those that utter them. There is power in passionate, persistent prayer. Sometimes you can’t do much in the natural, but what you can do in the spirit is more than enough. Sometimes you don’t have much, but what you already have is more than enough!
Lord I pray that I remain prepared to carry out Your plan for my life. I pray that I am ready to start wherever I am so that I can help serve Your purpose. I thank you for the unique set of gifts, skills, and talents that You have blessed me with. I pray for an enthusiastic spirit so that I may use my gifts for Your kingdom. I pray that I am swift to do what I can. God I put all trust in you, and the things that I don’t think I can do will be made possible with and through You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!