“Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianties. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, ‘Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!’ ‘Sir,’ Gideon replied, ‘if the LORD is with us why has all this happened to us? … But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.’ Then the LORD turned to him and said, ‘Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midinaties. I am sending you!’” (Judges 6:11b – 14 NLT)
Gideon is remembered by history as a man of faith (Hebrews 11:32) but he did not start out that way.
The Israelites have again “done evil in the LORD’s sight” so God handed them over to the Midianites. For seven years the Midianites invaded Israel and raided them of their crops, leaving them destitute. Gideon is down in a wine press threshing wheat in order to hide from the marauding band of raiders. He is doing and ordinary thing on an ordinary day when the LORD calls him to become a leader and deliverer of the Israelites from this current enemy.
Might hero. Gideon does not see himself as a mighty hero. He’s in the wine press to avoid being caught. He’s a farmer, not a warrior. God, however, does not see Gideon as Gideon sees himself. God sees Gideon as the man he is called to be. With this, the LORD invites Gideon to live into a new identity and believe he is more than his circumstances indicate.
Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you. God commissions Gideon with his task. He does not give him any kind of super powers or any kind of special skills. He simply tells Gideon to go as he is; it is enough.
Gideon’s response is exactly what most of us would respond with; But Lord. Those words are words of doubt. “How can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manessah, and I am the least in my entire family!” Gideon believes God can do nothing because he and his family are nothing.
Let’s rest here for a moment. This is where many of us live. We live ordinary lives doing ordinary things. We go to the grocery store, dry cleaners, empty the dishwasher, fold a load of laundry, and walk the dog. We look around and decide that we are of little use to God because we are ordinary. And ordinary people are not mighty heroes.
We define ourselves through our circumstances, just like Gideon did. He looked around and defined himself as a farmer in hiding, the least of all the members of his family who were part of the clan that was the least of all the clans in his tribe. Useless. Worthless. Good for nothing.
I don’t have an education, how can God use me? I am not married, how can God use me? I don’t work, how can God use me? I earn minimum wage, how can God use me? I have health issues, how can God use me? I am too young, or too old. How can God use me? How can I affect this situation? I am nothing. Worthless. Useless.When we define ourselves by our circumstances we make God impotent in our lives. Click To Tweet
But that is not what God sees. He calls us to more. More than our circumstances seem to say we are or can be.
He calls us mighty hero and invites us to step into our God given identity.
This is tough. I grapple with this all the time. Every single time someone asks me how writing is going I am challenged to live into this lesson. Honestly, for me the nagging question is: Who am I to write this devotional book? I am not a preacher. I don’t have seminary training. I don’t have a journalism degree. Who am I? I am a nobody. There is no reason in the world why anyone should publish my work.
I, we, like Gideon, believe God can do nothing with us or about us because we are nothing. We make God impotent.
The beautiful lesson we get out of Gideon is that God asks us only to believe in who sends us, who he says we are, that we have all we need to get started, and trust him to do the rest.We might think we are nothing, but God calls us Mighty Hero and invites us to live into his… Click To Tweet
There may be no reason in the world why someone would be interested in this devotional book, except God. So I write in faith, I post my blog in faith, and if you happen to be reading this someday in a for real publication – well then, that’ll be a witness that speaks for itself.
God is not impotent. He takes imperfect people who choose faith. He takes the ordinary who live into their God given identity and causes something extraordinary to happen. Gideon is remembered as a man of faith because, when invited by God, he chose faith over fear and lived into who God said he was.
Mighty hero, are you living into who God says you are such that your story will be remembered?