Gideon was (in his own eyes) an ordinary man. On the surface there was nothing extraordinary about him. He was living in a difficult time for the people of Israel. They had left the Lord’s ways, and done what was evil in His eyes, and He had given them into the hands of the Midianites, who were heavily oppressing them.
God knew the situation, and He had a plan. One day, the angel of the LORD came (Judges 6:11). (God is the same today. He knows, and one day He will intervene.) Among all the people of Israel, He chose Gideon as His vessel. Why? Wasn’t He aware that Gideon was a rather ordinary man? Why didn’t He choose somebody who was better equipped for the task ahead?
When the angel met Gideon, he greeted him with these words: “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior” (verse 12). Obviously, the Lord saw something in Gideon that nobody else was aware of. Gideon’s self-image was very different from how the Lord saw him. Gideon started an argument with the angel, because he felt inadequate.
After listening to Gideon for a while, the Lord said: “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?” (verse 4). He told Gideon that the strength he had was sufficient. Nothing more was needed. The important thing wasn’t Gideon’s strength, but the strength of the Lord who was sending him.
Gideon continued to argue, still focusing on himself and his lack of ability. The angel’s response was: “I will be with you” (verse 16). Not only was God sending him, but He was going with him. The success didn’t depend on Gideon, but on the Lord.
In 2000, I did the NETS School at Ellel Pierrepont. They were doing a huge conference in Brighton, and they told us students that we were to be part of the Ministry Team during the conference. Because of the huge numbers participating, we had to minister one to one. I was terrified. My English was poor, and I had hardly had any experience in prayer ministry. The closer we came to the conference, the more inadequate I felt. One night I poured out my heart to the Lord, saying: “Lord, I cannot do this”. His immediate response was simply: “Stein, I know!”
I was shocked. I had expected God to encourage me, telling me that I could do it. But His response was exactly what I needed to hear. I immediately knew He hadn’t unrealistic expectations about my abilities. I went to the conference, and God was faithful. As I dared to minister to people, He did far more than I could understand. In one instance, I didn’t even understand what the person I was praying for said (he had a strong Scottish accent). But God responded to my cry for Him to meet the person. I did it like Gideon. I went in the strength I had.
That is also true for you. If God asks you to do something, He knows your limitations. All He asks you to do is to be obedient, and go in the strength you have. He is responsible for the result.
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