You don’t see what God sees in your circumstances. You don’t see how he is using all things together for good. You don’t see the plans he is aligning and the details he is orchestrating. And, you’re not supposed to. You’re not supposed to know how God is going to do what God is going to do, you’re just supposed to trust him in the process. Remain faithful in the unfolding. Stay steadfast in the slow pace of change that seems to take forever, then comes suddenly.
And here’s what else you don’t see … you don’t see yourself the way God sees you. You don’t see what he has put within you. You don’t see just how perfectly equipped you are. You don’t see the power rising up from within you. But, God wants you to. Yes, he wants you to see what he sees in you. He wants you to fully accept your true identity in Christ.
Because you don’t see yourself the way God sees you, you talk yourself out of the opportunities God is calling you to. You dismiss yourself from his divine purposes because you fail to recognize who you really are. You’re so focused on the circumstances that God doesn’t want you to understand, that you’ve missed what God has been trying to show you about you.
Gideon did the same thing. Gideon was in the hardest of hard times. He was an Israelite under the oppression of the mean and powerful Midianites. For 7 years the Midianites had stolen their food and forced them into hiding. And that’s where God finds Gideon, hiding in a wine press, threshing wheat so the Midianites didn’t find him and steal his food.
Then, the Angel of the Lord comes to Gideon in his hardship, sits down under an oak tree and says in Judges 6:12 “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
He was just called a mighty warrior. Gosh, doesn’t that mean something? Shouldn’t it? Shouldn’t it stir up a confidence when God sends an angel to you and addresses you as a mighty warrior? Talk about empowerment. Talk about sudden strength. But that’s not what Gideon felt. That’s not how he responded. And here’s why … He was totally focused on his circumstances.
Listen to his response in verse 13: “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about? But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
What God said about him went right over his head as he was consumed with his circumstances. And maybe you’ve been exactly the same way. God has been telling you of the strength he has given you, and you’re stuck thinking about the situation you’re in the middle of. God has been stirring up power within you, and you’re dwelling in the problems that overwhelm you.
When we become focused on the situation we’re not supposed to understand, we miss the identity God wants for us to claim. Gideon didn’t accept being called a mighty warrior. He totally missed that part. Why? Because he’s focused on negative circumstances.
God already had plans to turn these negative circumstances around. God was never worried about that. He always had a plan for victory. What God wanted Gideon to see was WHO he had created him to be. He had created him to be a mighty warrior.
As Gideon is rattling on about the circumstantial problems, which were no doubt very real and a true threat, God stops him and says in verse 14, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
Essentially, God is saying, “HUSH. Hush your complaining. Hush your negative retelling of the hardship. Hush the story you allow to play on a loop in your head that overwhelms you. HUSH, and GO! I am sending YOU.”
God turns the focus once again onto him. Gideon, this is about who God says you are. And to do what God has called you to do, you’re going to have to believe him.
My sister, this is about who God says you are. This isn’t about the crapfest you’re surrounded by, the jackwagons you live with or work with, or the circus you’re running with total monkeys. This is not about your battle. This is about WHO you are in the battle. This is about how God sees you. As long as you’re focused on the circumstances, you will fail to see who God has called you to be in these circumstances.
God says YOU. Yes, you. Yes, you in the middle of the greatest hardship you’ve ever seen. You in the presence of impossible odds. You in the chaos and the mess you feel totally unequipped to handle. God wants to talk to you about YOU. He is sending you.
But, maybe you feel like Gideon, and maybe you want to question why God would choose you when you feel so under qualified and unequipped. Gideon says to God in verse 15, ““Pardon me, my lord, but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
Pardon me, God, but I think you’ve made a mistake here. I’m a nobody with nothing. I’ve never done anything great and it doesn’t look like I’ll be doing anything great ever. I’m kind of a loser, God. It can’t be me.
BUT IT CAN BE YOU, AND IT IS.
It is you.
God is not overwhelmed by your circumstances. He’s not backed in a corner with no way out. He’s not defeated or discouraged. God is victorious. This battle belongs to him and victory is 100% certain. What he’s doing here is showing you how his power will work through you. He’s showing you how you are his vessel, and you can be the weakest one in the least family, and still be his chosen one to make major changes.
You are his chosen one to make major changes. To change things that have never been changed for your family for generations. To change things you gave up on a long time ago. To change the story you tell and the way you see yourself.
God responds to Gideon’s little story of his little life with this: Verse 16, “The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”
How will you make these changes? The Lord will be with you! How will you lead your family? The Lord will be with you! How will you get through this storm? The Lord will be with you! How will come out of this battle victorious? The Lord will be with you.
WITH YOU. YOU. The you he has chosen. The you he has equipped. The you he has strengthened. The you that may still feel like the weakest and the least, but you have to choose your story. Will your story be of how weak you are? Will your story be of how stuck you are? Will your story be of how unfair life has been for you? Or will your story be of who God says you are? Will your story be of how God is with you? Will your story be of impossible things God can do and is doing, right here in the middle of your problems?
Choose your story.
When Gideon’s story changed from “it’s all so bad and hopeless and I’m a nobody with nothing”, to “I’m a mighty warrior chosen and guided by God in this battle, heading to promised victory”, everything changed. God’s spirit supernaturally worked in him as a leader. For real, that’s what happened in the battle. God supernaturally led Gideon to make the right choices for the right moves at the right time. That’s what God does. That’s why you’re not supposed to understand the circumstances, you’re supposed to understand what God says about you!
God’s spirit can supernaturally work in you as a wife. God’s spirit can supernaturally work in you as a mom. God’s spirit can supernaturally work in you as a business owner, a boss, an employee, a student, a friend, a stranger. You don’t have to have it all figured out, you just have to fully surrender to become who God says you are.
If he calls you a mighty warrior, believe it! If he says you are chosen, count on it! If he says you’re the one, be willing to show up alone, shaking, uncertain, and ridiculously under qualified. I mean for real, this is where God does his best work!
Gideon and his army were outnumbered 450 to 1, and they walked away from that overwhelming battle victorious. God did exactly what he said he would do, and he did it through a man who formerly believed he was the weakest of the least. He thought he was a nobody who could do nothing. But when he believed he was a mighty warrior solely because God called him one, he stepped into his destiny and brought the victory.
When you believe what God says of you, you too step into your destiny and bring the victory!
That’s the story God wants you to believe. That’s the message he has for you today. It’s YOU he has chosen and YOU he will work through. Start believing that story.