The Lord is with you

Faith is about measuring your potential, not on the basis of your natural gifts and experience, but in the surety of God’s presence and promises.

It is almost a humorous story. It’s found in Judges 6:11-18:

“Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.’ And Gideon said to him, ‘Please, sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this hap­pened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.’ And the Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?’ And he said to him, ‘Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.’ And he said to him, ‘If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. Please do not depart from here until 1 come to you and bring out my present and set it before you.’ And he said, ‘I will stay till you return.’”

God approaches Gideon to call him to lead Israel in a very important battle and calls him a “mighty man of valor.” Where does he find this “mighty man”? He finds him threshing wheat in a winepress. He’s doing something indoors that you normally do outdoors because he is afraid of the very people whom God is going to call him to attack! God calls him a mighty man not because of Gideon’s natural strength and courage, but because of what Gideon will be able to do in the power that God will give him. We know this is true because God begins his statement with these words: “The Lord is with you.” Poor fearful Gideon even questions that.

Then Gideon essentially says: “God, you must have the wrong address. I’m the least son of the most inconsequential tribe in all of Israel. How in the work do you expect me to save Israel?” As this statement reveals, Gideon both misunder­stands who he is and who God is. If you fail to remember who God is His power, glory, and grace, and you forget who you are as a child in His family, you will always mismeasure your potential to do what God has called you to do. You will measure your capability based on your natural gifts and the size of whatever it is that God has chosen you to face. Thankfully, since God is with you, you have been blessed with wisdom and power beyond your own that give you potential you would not have on your own.


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