“Then the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: ‘The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.’” — Judges 6:12.
Long before I ever saw it in myself, God was calling some things out of me. Before I felt strong, he was calling me strong, before I felt loved he was calling me loved, before I felt capable he was calling me able. God always sees in us what we can't yet see in ourselves because he knows what we can become with his help.
Gideon was no different than you and I. He struggled to see the greatness of a warrior within his weaknesses. But I love how, long before a battle began, long before God called Gideon to act as a valiant warrior, God named him one. When God spoke to Gideon, he was living the most mundane, average and weak life of a wheat thresher. There was nothing mighty and impressive about it. To top it off, he was a scaredy-cat. Scripture tells us he was in the winepress to hide the wheat from the enemy. He was scared and weak, even his grandmother was strong enough to thrash the grain.
Do you ever feel this way? Like there is nothing spectacular about who you are or what you're doing, anyone could do it. It's mundane, and you fall into the place of, this is who you are and all you'll ever be? I wonder if Gideon thought this way. I can see myself, if I were him, moping around with my Eeyore attitude saying things like, poor me, I'll never be more than a wheat thresher and a scaredy-cat. But even in Gideon's subpar, scared, mundane state of being, God called him a warrior.
Gideon didn't know when God called him a warrior, he would indeed become all God saw in him, and it wasn't by Gideon's doing but what God would do through him. I don't have time to tell the whole story, but Gideon went on to defeat the Midianites with only 300 men (Judges 7). Not just a couple of Midianite men, but the Bible says they had settled down in the valley like a swarm of locusts so you can imagine how many men we're talking. God knew Gideon was weak and unable on his own to be the warrior he needed, but I love how God called Gideon by the name he would become through him.
I could sit around all day long and tell you all my disqualifications and tell you who I see in me, how weak I am, but God has called me something far greater. God has called you something far greater. I believe it's time we stop chasing our picture of who we think we are and start accepting God’s picture of who we are. He needs you and me to stop telling him all the reasons we can't do what he's calling us to do and start embracing who he created us to be. Through him, we will do crazy, incredible, miraculous things only a mighty warrior could do.
“The Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the grasp of Midian. I am sending you!’ He said to him, ‘Please, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Look, my family is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father's family.’ ‘But I will be with you,’ the Lord said to him. ‘You will strike Midian down as if it were one man.’” — Judges 6:14-16.
Downs serves as a young adult/college leader at her church with her husband. She writes faith-based columns in southern Missouri newspapers.