I’m currently reading the book of Judges and it is encouraging to know that God is so merciful. After the death of Joshua, the Israelites lived in sin and only cried out to God when attacked by their enemies. Each time God heard their cry, he’d select a judge to lead them to victory over their enemies. Gideon was one of the judges God used to save Israel from the Midianites (Judges 6:14).
This post, though it starts by pointing out God’s mercy, is really about who God says we are – our true identity. When the angel of the Lord approached Gideon, he addressed him as a “mighty warrior”. In the eyes of God, Gideon was not just a warrior but a mighty one.
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
Judges 6:12 NIV
Gideon on the other hand had a different perspective of himself…
“Pardon me, my Lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
Judges 6:15 NIV
How Gideon viewed himself was a fact but it was not the truth. Fact and truth sound synonymous but i support the notion that the difference lies in who bears the word or the vision (can’t remember where i heard this from). The world delivers facts but God through His word delivers the truth.
My current status (fact) is nothing close to God’s word over my life (truth) and in the past couple of days i have “attempted” to be angry with God because the fact and truth don’t match and it is very frustrating. I say “attempted” because each time i choose to act on my emotions, the Holy Spirit reminds me of His promises and encourages me to believe and give thanks to God.
When the Lord calls us (in other words, when He gives us an assignment), He empowers us, and when He empowers us, we are encouraged to act on His word.
Soon afterward the armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east formed an alliance against Israel and crossed the Jordan, camping in the valley of Jezreel. Then the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with power. He blew a ram’s horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him.
Judges 6:33-34 NLT
Once empowered, Gideon gathers men for war but He still doubts himself so on two occasions he asks God for a sign using a fleece (Judges 6:36-40). After being encouraged with the signs seen, Gideon moves with his men ready to fight. However, God tells him that his warriors are too many and tells Gideon to reduce their number; otherwise, the Israelites will not acknowledge God as the orchestrator of their victory.
After downsizing his army from 32,000 men to 300 men, God probably senses Gideon’s fear (Judges 7:10) and encourages Him to act through the dream of a Midianite which was interpreted to mean that victory had been given to Gideon (Judges 7:14-15).
In chapter 8 of Judges, we see that Gideon has fully embraced his identity as a mighty warrior because though exhausted (both he and his army), he continues to pursue the Kings of Midian. Even the rejection received from the men at Succoth and Peniel did not discourage or stop him (Judges 8:4-9). In the end victory is won and he acknowledges God as ruler of the Israelites.
But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.”
Judges 8:23 NIV
When in doubt or when not confident in who God says we are or what He has called us to do, who do we turn to for encouragement? Circumstances may make us doubt or make us lose hope but what is God saying in that moment? Don’t let the words of men or circumstances bring you down or make you feel worthless. Instead…
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 NIV
Not sure of how to renew your mind? Meditate on his word and agree with God by confessing who He says you are. You can start with these scriptures…
2 Corinthians 5:17
If you are a believer, know that you are more than a mighty warrior because the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) lives within you (1 Corinthians 6:19). Hold on to His word for our God is faithful.
If you are not a believer, know that God loves you so much and does not require you to have a clean slate in order to be saved – He will clean your messy slate. All He requires is for you to confess Jesus Lord over your life and believe in your heart that He raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 10:9).
The journey of a believer or follower of Jesus does not promise to be a smooth one but we thank God for the Holy Spirit who empowers us for greater works.
Stay blessed mighty warriors!