Written by Lanette Black, Blogger and Intercessor for IWM
There is a verse that has been of great encouragement to me over the last year and a half. The Lord highlighted the story of Gideon in Judges chapters 6 through 8. I did not fully understand the reason for this at the time but later I began to understand. He has continued to bring this verse to mind many times.
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Judges 6:12
Now, when the angel of the Lord proclaimed this to Gideon, I am quite sure Gideon was surprised by this greeting. Mighty warrior? Why on earth would anyone call me a mighty warrior? At the time of this encounter, God had given the Israelites into the hands of the Midianites for seven years for all of the evil they had done. The Midianites were an oppressive people so the Israelites were living in hiding. They were impoverished during this time to the point of desperation. They cried out to the Lord to save them.
When the angel of the Lord came to Gideon, he was threshing wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. He was in no way looking or feeling like a “mighty warrior.” He was feeling completely abandoned by God.
How often is that how we feel? Do our circumstances cause us to feel abandoned by God? Do we feel rejected or forsaken?
Our circumstances, although difficult, sometimes seemingly unbearable, do not equate to the absence of God. He is for us. He is with us and He is the lover and Keeper of our souls. When we walk through the hard places, we must cling to Him. Cry out for help like the Israelites did! He hears us. We are seen, heard, known and loved immeasurably more than anything we could possibly fathom by our Heavenly Father! There is never a time or a place in our lives where He has abandoned or forsaken us and there never will be. Do not allow your circumstances to diminish your faith. God meets us right where we are, whether it’s hiding in a winepress, overcome with fear and despair or drowning ourselves in addiction, mourning the loss of a loved one or working ourselves like crazy to prove we can measure up to the world’s standards. God meets us right there in the midst of our mess, our trials, our struggles and He walks us, sometimes He even carries us through them.
God called Gideon a mighty warrior because that is who He created him to be. That is who God said He was whether he believed it or not. It did not matter what the current circumstances were. It was about what God could do through those circumstances if we allow Him, if we choose to obey. God says we are fearfully and wonderfully made, His treasured possession, His masterpiece. It is up to us to decide whether we believe what God says or how we feel about ourselves, or perhaps how things appear at the moment. Do we believe the Creator of the universe or our own human perception?
Gideon asked God to give him three separate signs to prove that it was truly God speaking to him. I don’t know about you but that is definitely me! I want to make absolutely sure that it is God that I am hearing and not my own voice or the voice of our society. The goal is always to hear Him clearly and obey without hesitation.
God thinned out Gideon’s army from 32,000 down to 300 men so that when they won the battle they would not boast in themselves but it would be clearly known that only God could have accomplished this.
When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. Judges 6:22
We see in the story of Gideon that when He obeyed the Lord no matter how incomprehensible it seemed, the victory was won and all glory went to God. We have to remember not to put God in a box. He is not limited to our human understanding. If God is telling you to do something and it sounds impossible, do it! He is the God of the impossible. He empowers us to be His warriors here on earth! Your obedience is pleasing to God and He will always be glorified in it. Praise Him!
Lord, we thank You for being a loving, compassionate and faithful Father to us! Thank You for being so mindful of your children and our every need. You see us in our struggles and You meet us there. Yet, You never leave us there. Thank You for walking us through our trials, for never deserting us. We can trust You to be faithful to Your Word. We can stand on every promise You have given us. No matter what our circumstances look like, help us to see with spiritual eyes. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on You. Help us to be steadfast and immovable, mighty warriors for Your Kingdom here on earth! Equip us for every battle we face. Help us to be obedient even when things look impossible. We know that You specialize in the impossible! Thank You, Lord! Increase our faith! In Jesus’ Mighty Matchless Name, Amen!