Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” Judges 6:11-12 (NLT)
Do you know the story of Gideon in the book of Judges? The Israelites had been oppressed by the Midianites for several years. They would hide in the mountains and caves and whenever the Israelites planted their crops, they would swoop down and destroy them. The Israelites ended up having to thresh their grain in hiding, like in the bottom of a winepress, just as Gideon was doing. But the Lord had chosen Gideon to rescue the Israelites from the hand of the Midianites.
Gideon was hiding out from the enemy when the angel of the Lord appeared to him and called him a “mighty warrior.” (NIV) Do you think Gideon felt much like a mighty warrior? Here he was hiding out in a winepress, just trying to get enough wheat so his family wouldn’t starve. No, Gideon didn’t feel much like a mighty warrior. In fact, he felt like a coward. He told God He must have made some kind of mistake. He had the wrong person to take care of this particular problem.
“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “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!” Judges 6:15 (NLT)
Can you relate? Do you ever wonder why God has chosen you to stand in the gap and pray for your family? Do you ever think maybe He made a mistake; that you are not anywhere close to a mighty warrior? Do you ever wonder how someone like you could possibly defeat an enemy like Satan? God’s answer to you is the same as it was to Gideon.
The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.” Judges 6:16 (NLT)
What does the Lord tell Gideon and us? He says, “I will be with you.” Wow! The Lord loved the Israelites and He loves our families. And when He calls us to be mighty warriors for our families, He doesn’t leave us to do it on our own. He promises to be with us. He tells us in Deuteronomy 7:24, “….No one will be able to stand up against you…” And in Joshua 10:8 - The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”
Now that’s one heck of a promise isn’t it? But did Gideon say, “Okay, God. If You are going to be fighting with me, I know I can do this thing.” Nope. Gideon had to have some sort of confirmation. He asked the angel of the Lord to wait while he prepared a feast. When the meat and unleavened bread were placed on the rock, fire came up from the rock and consumed it. Gideon knew then that he had been speaking with an angel of the Lord.
You’d think that would be enough of a sign. But Gideon still didn’t feel much like a mighty warrior. That night he asked the Lord to make the fleece he left out wet. And the Lord did just that. Now did he feel like a mighty warrior? Nope. He had to have just one more sign. The next night he asked that the fleece he left out be dry. And the Lord did just that. God was very patient with Gideon. He didn’t see the scared man standing before Him; He saw a mighty warrior.
What does the Lord see when He looks at you? He doesn’t see your mistakes or your fear or your doubt or your unbelief. The Lord sees a mighty warrior. Someone willing to stand in the gap and pray for their family. Someone willing to make the sacrifice for a season so that your family can be healed and rebuilt on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. Someone who can step out in faith, knowing that He will be with you.
The next day the Lord gave Gideon a great victory for Israel. And He gave it to him with only 300 men. 300 men against the enemy’s thousands. Carrying only ram’s horns and clay jars. Oh yes, the Lord was with Gideon that day. And He made him a mighty warrior.
So the next time you’re not feeling much like a mighty warrior for your family, remember Gideon and how the Lord was with him. Remember that He has called you and He will be with you.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10
Kim, a stander in Nebraska
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Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.