Judges 6:16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.”
The story of Gideon brings to mind Paul’s experience with his “thorn in the flesh,” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) in that it was an exercise in recognizing human weakness and trusting God’s strength. Here, Gideon has just protested his own lack of strength, and through the angel the Lord says to him, very simply, “I will be with you.” Gideon had more doubts later, but the demonstration of consuming the offering with fire and then disappearing (verse 21) was pretty convincing at this point! The vast majority of our fears, if not all of them, come from failing to look to God and see Him as He is, both loving and omnipotent. I think we acknowledge God’s omnipotence in theory, but tend to doubt it when it comes to specifics. Likewise, we believe that “Jesus loves me,” just as the song says, but doubt it when we slip up and sin. Humility and repentance are necessary, but on that foundation we should have rock-solid assurance that God is God and that settles everything. The story of Gideon has resonated for thousands of years because God took a nobody and demonstrated His power , justice, and covenant faithfulness through him. When God could do it through Gideon, He will have no trouble using us. The key, however, is being sure that God alone gets the glory, as comes out in chapter 7. The minute we think, “I can do this,” we fail. We’ve got to stick with, “God can do this, even using me.”
This has been a major issue in my life, and the fact that I haven’t recognized it much of the time has been an even bigger issue. God has given me many different gifts and abilities, and I have tended to trust in those gifts and abilities, essentially thinking, “I can do this,” and so have accomplished very little. What I should have been doing all along was think, “If God could give me me these abilities, then He can really do anything!” Right now, when I am well past what most people would think of as retirement age, God is lining things up and moving in ways that have me in awe of what He might do. I have demonstrated conclusively that I can’t accomplish much on my own, but there are literally no limits to what God can and will do, even using me.
Father, thank You for this Word. Thank You for getting through to me in various ways. Help me indeed let go, of the accelerator, the brake, and even the steering wheel, trusting and obeying You completely. May Your will be done fully and perfectly in and through me, for the establishment of Your kingdom and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!