by Debbie Kenyon with Chris Olson
InterAct missionary Debbie Kenyon recently shared this brief devotional with her supporters. She and her husband, Dale, serve First Nations people in Alberta. It has been reposted with her permission.
During a period of great famine, a man named Gideon was chosen to deliver Israel from the bondage of other nations. The Midianites, Amalekites, and others from the east had forced Israel into the mountains, dens and caves to live. All the Israelite homes, livestock and produce were destroyed. They were in terrible shape and became impoverished people.
Gideon was not the person you would expect God to use. He was from the weakest clan, the most vulnerable in Manasseh, and even said to the Lord that he was the least (probably meaning the youngest) in his father’s house. On top of all that, Gideon ran to the hills with his people, but God had a different plan for him. Judges 6:12-14 recounts a part of the Lord’s conversation with him.
And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” (Judges 6:12-14, ESV)
This title, mighty man of valor, did not align with Gideon’s perception of himself. He was fearful of the invading armies. He was hiding in a winepress, trying to survive, and then God addressed him as a mighty man of valor. God called upon something within Gideon that he didn’t even know about himself. Even though he and his people were fearful, oppressed and almost defeated, the Lord knew he could use Gideon to conquer their enemies.
Gideon couldn’t wrap his mind around the fact that God, the Creator of the universe, was choosing and equipping him to do a mighty thing for his people. The conversation went on and on–questioning, doubting, and inquiring of God in fear. He asked the Lord for signs to prove His power. The Lord proved himself every time.
God may be calling us to step out of our comfort zone and trust Him in a mighty way in our lives. We can make excuses; “I can’t do that.” “Someone else would do a better job.” “I don’t have the strength, smarts, etc.”
God often uses those of us who are weak, fearful, and ill-equipped. In our weakness, He proves His strength. In our fears, God proves Himself more able. He equips us in order to do the job He has set out for us.
Listen for the time He may say to you, “Rise up, oh mighty man or woman of valor!”