July 23

July 23
by Sam Valles

Judges 6:11-16

The angel of the Lord greets Gideon with the words, “The Lord is with you,  O mighty man of valor.” But where is Gideon when the angel greets him? Polishing his armor? Mustering the troops? No. He’s threshing grain in a winepress, hiding out from marauding Midianites, who are a constant threat to the Israelites at that time. This has always been one of the most ironic passages in the Bible. Gideon is not acting like a mighty man of valor, but more like a coward.

But God knew not just who Gideon was, but who he could be.  God knows us, he knows us intimately, but he doesn’t just know what your favorite ice cream is, or what insects you are afraid of.  He knows what we can be.  There are times in our life when we may be timid or uncertain.  There are times when we may think “I am just not ready”, or even worse “I can’t do it”. Guess what, you’re not ready, you can’t do it.  But God is making you ready, God can.

When we go about our daily lives and we are afraid to share our faith with everyday people because we are timid, or don’t have the words, remember…”God can”.

When circumstances hit us that financially, relationally.  When we don’t see a way out.  “God can”.

When we don’t see what the path for moving forward is, and we feel like we are lost, “God can”.

When we look at Gideon, repeatedly we see him as timid and uncertain, but we should not be too hard on him. His anxiety and hesitation simply highlight the fact that God is setting him up with impossible odds. By using Gideon and just a small army, even though many thousands of soldiers were available (Judges 7:3, 8), God is teaching his people that the battle belongs to the Lord. When Gideon and his men finally enter the Midianite camp at night, smashing clay jars, carrying torches, and blowing trumpets, God himself routs the enemies of Israel. How was Gideon able to lead his army to such a lopsided victory?  Because he came to the realization that “God can”.

God has chosen to use weak men and fragile jars to do his work. Practice the presence of God, thru prayer, thru meditation, thru time in his word, and you too will feel that “God can”.

Father in Heaven,
Strengthen our faith, so that we may trust in you more.  Show us that you have chosen us to do great things.  Help us overcome our fears.  By ourselves we are like clay jars, Lord, and only in you, can we become mighty warriors of your kingdom. 

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