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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior’ . . . The Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’ ‘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.’ The Lord answered, ‘I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.’”—Judges 6:12, 14–16 (NIV)
Who do you picture when you think of a mighty warrior? I picture Hercules or Thor. I don’t picture Shaggy from Scooby Doo. When we first meet Gideon in Judges 6, he has way more in common with Shaggy than Thor. In Judges 6:11, he’s threshing wheat in a winepress out of fear for the Midianites. Today, this would be like washing your car in your bathtub because you’re afraid of your neighbor. Doesn’t sound like a mighty warrior, right?
And Gideon knows this, because when he’s told, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites,” Gideon responds, “But Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”
He’s a weak warrior from a weak family. So, why is he called a mighty warrior? God tells him with the first words He speaks to him and then again in verse 16: “I will be with you!” And as Romans 8:31 (NIV) says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Now, I want to point out the most important detail of this interaction: the angel of the Lord. Who is He? It’s Jesus! The One who 1,200 years later would be called Immanuel—God with us—was literally with Gideon.
However, when Gideon realizes he’s in the presence of the Lord, he becomes even more fearful! But Jesus tells him, “Peace! Do not be afraid” (Judges 6:23 NIV). He speaks peace to Gideon. This same peace, relief, and release from fear is available to us!
As Christians, we don’t have to walk in fear because the perfect love of Jesus drives out fear through the power of the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:18)! Because He is with us, we can walk in His plan and purposes with courage, boldness, and supernatural strength. We don’t have to live in fear because “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV).
This is what makes Gideon mighty! Gideon has a mighty God on his side who is going to accomplish mighty things in and through him. You see, God’s calling on your life is also God’s enabling! What does that mean? It means that anything God calls you to do, endure, or step out in faith for, He enables you by the power of the Spirit to carry out. And so, “go in the strength you have” means that He’s sending you with His power.
Go, friend, mighty man or woman of valor, because the valor of Jesus is upon you. His might, power, peace, strength, grace, and love are upon you! All Gideon had to do, all we have to do, is trust.
Pause: In today’s culture, why is it hard to let some of our weaknesses and flaws show? What is one way you can choose to depend more on God’s strength in your life?
Practice: Where is God calling you to step out in obedience? Maybe He’s calling you to switch majors or careers, move to a new city, move across the world as a missionary, start a Bible study, seek counseling, or start a conversation with a coworker, classmate, or neighbor about Jesus. Maybe, like the people of Israel at the beginning of Judges 6, you feel Him inviting you to repent or break free from a stronghold! Whatever it is, go in the strength of Jesus! Go in prayer, obedience, worship, trust, boldness, confidence, faith, and with great expectation! While the call may seem scary, you don’t have to walk in fear because God is with you every step of the way, and He will bless your obedience and do a greater work than you could ever imagine!
Pray: Father, I pray You would help me in my fears and provide me the strength to walk in the purposes and plans You have for me. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.