April 14, 2021
Thank you for receiving this reminder to pray for our prodigals and for revival. You’ve heard it said that revival starts with “me.” In reality, revival begins with God! While God may choose to use you or me as instruments in the progression of His Kingdom, everything good and profitable begins with God, ends with God, and is enabled by God.
The fascinating story of Gideon, recorded in Judges chapters six to eight, reminds us that God is the source and supply of our strength in every battle. At that time, the Midianites were afflicting God’s people; they swooped in like “swarms of locusts” to devour the food supplies of the Israelites (Jud. 6:1-6). In great numbers, they wreaked havoc among God’s people, leaving them in fear and poverty.
Gideon was an unlikely person for God to choose to lead His people to victory, but this is how God works. He takes people who are weak in themselves and supplies them with the strength they need to do His work so that He might get the glory. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Cor. 4:7).
But let’s be careful with this concept of weakness. Weakness should never be a crutch for us to stay in the land of defeat. Our weakness should not produce inability, but rather dependence upon our God. It should drive us to Him!
We are weak. We need to acknowledge and own that, but we don’t want to stay there. We want to live in the realm of His power and strength.
Also, we need to stop labeling people. Labels are dangerous. We often label people by their weaknesses and limitations. (And sometimes we do this to ourselves, as well.)
For example, Thomas is often called, “doubting Thomas.” And yet Thomas made the most outstanding declaration of faith in the Bible: “Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (Joh. 20:28).
Timothy has been labeled, “Timid Timothy,” as though because of his quiet, introverted personality he was not as capable or effective as the bold apostle Paul. When it comes to Gideon, often, his weakness, inability, fear, and unbelief are emphasized.
But when we listen to what God calls us, our labels begin to slip off. Gideon was hiding to thresh wheat in a winepress when the angel of the Lord appeared and said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior” (Jud. 6:12).
God called him a mighty warrior because that’s what God intended him to be. When Gideon listened to the voice of God and allowed Him to use him as an instrument in His hand, little by little, he became the great and mighty warrior of God.
This is what happens when we allow God’s truth concerning us to override our own personal fears and inabilities.
Living in God’s strength requires us to respond to His desires. It means we need to learn to become fully dependent upon Him and not ourselves.
“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?’” (Jud. 6:14).
Gideon had his struggles, as we all do, but he took this command of God and fulfilled it. Because he was obedient and relied on God’s strength, a mighty victory was won, bringing Israel rest and peace for forty years (Jud. 8:28).
Don’t limit God! Often in our weakness, we limit God instead of allowing Him to work through us. The message God gave to Moses as the people stood before the waters of the Red Sea was, “The LORD will fight for you” (Ex. 14:14).
The LORD is a warrior. This is also what God did for Gideon, and what He will do for you. He always has our best interest at heart. The greatest battle ever fought was on the hill of Golgotha, where He defeated our worst enemies: sin, Satan, death, and hell. He conquered magnificently and rose in glorious triumph.
It is this that gives us confidence as we face our battles today. He is with us. He is sending us. He is enabling us. Let us live in obedient faith and experience His great strength today.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Eph. 3:20).
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel