Gideon is one of those stories in the Bible that I go back to over and over again. He was scared of his enemies, so he was hiding when the angel appeared to him. The angel then greets him with, “Mighty Hero! The Lord is with you” (NLT). I’m sure Gideon had a confused look on his face and then looked around for the hero. He then asked a great question any of us would have asked. If the Lord is with me, why are things so bad? He didn’t get an answer though. Instead, the angel calls on him to save Israel from the very enemy he’s hiding from.
In Judges 6:14, the angel of the Lord said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” I love this response because it is a great picture of who God is. He calls us to do things in our own strength and giftings. When we see ourselves in the mirror, we think who we are and what we have is not enough. God sees beyond our fears and insecurities though. He sees who we can become if we would trust that He’s with us and will pick up the slack for the things we lack if we will simply step out with what we have already been given.
I believe every one of us are called to do something. There is a purpose and a plan that God has for each of our lives. It’s up to us to trust Him to be with us, and to walk in that calling. It’s time for us to quit looking at ourselves with these human eyes so we can trust what God sees in us with His eyes. It’s in our weaknesses and inabilities that His strength is made perfect. He only asks that we trust Him enough to do the things He called us to. If God has confidence in you, I think it’s time you had it too. Through Jesus, you are more than a conqueror. You are a mighty, valiant hero ready and equipped to do what He called you to.
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The story of Gideon has got to be one of my favorites in the Bible. In Judges 6, Israel was being tormented by the Midianites. When they planted crops, the Midianites would come camp on top of them to destroy them. If they had cattle or sheep grazing, the Midianites would steal them. It says the Midianites would show up in numbers too high to count. The Israelites were in fear and had hiding places in the caves and mountains to get away from them. It was a dark time for Israel.
Gideon was threshing wheat hidden from sight when an angel showed up. He greets Gideon in verse 12 with, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” (NLT) Gideon then questions how the Lord could be with Israel in this time of suffering. He even goes as far as saying that the Lord has abandoned them. The angel calmly replies, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” Just like that, Gideon received his calling.
What sticks out to me in this verse is that Gideon was told to fight these people, who were too numerous to count, with his own strength. God wasn’t offering supernatural strength, just the promise that He was with him and that he was called to do it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed for God to give me supernatural abilities to fulfill my calling. I don’t see myself as able to do what He’s called me to do in my own abilities, but this story gives me hope.
I feel like a kid who’s scared even they first learn to ride a bike without training wheels, tThe parent holds the back seat and says, “You can do this. I’m with you holding the seat.” That’s the image I get from this story. God was telling Gideon, and us that we can do what He’s asked us to do in our own strength because He’s back there holding the seat running with us. It’s up to us to pedal in our own strength.
Whatever God has called you to do, He’s equipped you to do in your own strength. It may seem, impossible, but because He has called and is with you, it is possible. Don’t look at the task ahead. Look at the One holding the seat and trust Him to fulfill His promise through you. You are more capable than you think. You are more qualified than you believe. You are stronger than you know. Don’t be afraid to walk in your calling. The Lord has sent you.
I always enjoy reading about Gideon. There is so much to glean from him and how God used him. At the time, Israel was being bullied by the Midianites. When their crops would grow, the Midianites would trample them. They would also steal their livestock so they had no meat to eat. It was a scary time to be an Israelite. Even Gideon was hiding when God called him a mighty warrior. He couldn’t see how he was a mighty warrior or that God was with him because of what was going on in Israel.
In Judges 6:14-15, the conversation continued, “Then the LORD turned to him and said, ‘Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!’ ‘But Lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!’” (NLT) Not only did he feel like God wasn’t with him, he thought of himself as a nobody from nowhere.
God doesn’t care where you’re from, how unimportant you think you are, or what your circumstances look like. He doesn’t pick His leaders that way. God looks at the posture of your heart and your availability. You will never have the capability on your own to accomplish what He’s calling you to. However, with His help, you will be the mighty warrior He sees in you and is calling out. It takes faith and courage to come out of hiding in order to be all that God has called you to be.
Gideon had to come out of the wine press if he was going to lead Israel against the Midianites. You’re going to have to come out of where you’re hiding too so God can accomplish His will. He won’t force you out. You have to choose to step out. He has already spoken to you. He has already called you more than you are. It’s time to quit making excuses and be who God called you to be. If you do, God’s promise to you is found in verse 16. The Lord said to him, “I will be with you.”
One of my favorite people in the Bible is Gideon. I’m reminded of his story so often because I find myself in need of all the lessons it teaches. In Judges 6, the Bible explains that times were bad in Israel. The Midianites were destroying crops, killing animals and harassing the Israelites. There wasn’t anything anyone could do to stop them. The Israelites lived in fear because of all the bad things that were happening. If they had grain, they had to thresh it in hiding. If they had goats, they had to keep them hidden. Anything in the open would be taken.
Gideon was threshing his grain in the bottom of a wine press so no one would see him. An angel appeared and called out to him, “Mighty hero, The Lord is with you.” Gideon, who was hiding because he was afraid of the Midianites, didn’t think twice about the angel calling him a hero. What caught his attention was that the angel said, “The Lord is with you.” He took a double take at the angel and must have thought this guy didn’t know much. How could he say that when so many bad things were happening?
He confronted the angel and asked, “If The Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?” Have you ever felt that way? When everything in life is going wrong and you feel abandoned by God. It’s an uncomfortable place. A dark place. Fear of the future grips your mind. You find yourself constantly worrying about things that you have no control over. You feel like God has forgotten you or worse, abandoned you in need. Your mind tells you that God doesn’t care. That He doesn’t see you in your pain.
In this verse, the angel reminds us that God’s presence in our lives isn’t proven by our circumstances. Our lives can be falling apart and God can still be with us. We’ve somehow come to believe that God is with us when things are good and has abandoned us when times are bad. His presence is with you no matter what. He is with you even when you can see His hand or feel His presence. He is with you when your life is so dark that you can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. He is not only with you, He’s preparing you for greatness in those times. Greatness doesn’t come from an easy life. It’s forged in the darkness and in the fire.
Whatever you are facing today, I say to you, “Mighty hero, The Lord is with you!” You may not feel like a hero, but you’re still standing through everything. You may not feel like The Lord is with you, but He has never left your side. He has been standing next to you through everything you have faced and everything you will face because He will not abandon you. He will not forsake you. He will not forget you. He will deliver you when the timing is right. He will lead you to better times when you have learned all He wants to show you in the dark. Stand strong today because The Lord is with you.
Gideon has always been one of my favorite people in the Bible. He was able to do so many great things, but he was a lot like you and me. He dealt with fear and doubt constantly. He never wanted to act on something unless he was sure it was from God. He didn’t think of himself as a person who could do great things, but because he was willing to be used, God was able to do mighty acts through him. I see a lot of parallels between who he was and who many of us are.
When the angel of God first visited him, he was hiding in a wine press threshing grain. He was afraid the Midianites would see him, so he did his work out of sight. Even though he was out of sight of his enemies, he wasn’t out of God’s sight. He knew right where to find him and met him there. God does the same for us. He knows we deal with fear and try to run and hide from the things that overwhelm us. He sees us where we are and will come meet us in that place.
The next thing that happen shows just who God is. The angel seeing him hiding calls out to him in Judges 6:12, “The Lord is with you, mighty man of fearless courage (AMP).” Ha! Here’s a guy hiding from his problems and God doesn’t call him out on it. Instead He calls out what is inside. In other versions, the angel calls him “mighty hero” (NLT), “mighty warrior” (NCV) and “mighty man of valor” (KJV). God calls out what is on the inside, not what can be seen on the outside.
God knows that you and I are weak in our own strength. We are timid and afraid when circumstances roar like a lion and try to devour us. We hide from our problems, drown our problems and keep quiet about them. I’ve tried all three to get rid of them, but none of them worked. It took God calling out who He created me to be to come out, face them and to fight them. He did the same with Gideon.
After the angel visited Gideon, the Midianites moved closer to him and threatened him. In verse 34, it says, “The Spirit of The Lord clothed Gideon with Himself. (AMP)” God took off the clothing of fear and wrapped him in Himself. Suddenly Gideon was no longer afraid because he now knew who he was in God. He had boldness to go out and fight. He blew a trumpet and gathered an army together. Even then, he had doubt. God came and assured him that He was with him. He won an impossible battle because he trusted God.
Don’t be defined by your fear today. Be defined by who God sees in you. Let Him wrap you up in Himself and give you the courage to be the hero and mighty warrior that you need to be in order to face whatever your enemy is. God isn’t asking you to face it or fight it in your own strength. He’s asking if you’re willing to step on the battlefield and to allow Him to fight for you. Don’t be held captive by fear and allow it to keep you in hiding. Trust who God says you are, stand up and face that enemy. God will do the rest.