Today’s Old Testament reading is about Gideon – if you have never read the whole story it is in Judges Chapters 6-8. Our key verses in it today are at Terce (Morning Tea). The Israelites had cheated on God by worshiping other Gods and done great evil in His sight – so much that He could no longer tolerate it and sent an enemy against them in punishment.
The Midians had dominion over them for 7 years (there’s that number again). Then a young man named Gideon was threshing wheat in secret – hiding and trying to keep hold of what little he had left, when an Angel of the Lord came and spoke to him. The angel said, “God is with you, O mighty warrior”.
Gideon’s reply was one that many of us have when we go through the dark storms of our lives, “If the Lord is with us why has all this happened to us?” He and his people felt abandoned by God.
Doubt first sets in with our identity, when the enemy attacks who we are. Gideon saw himself not as the mighty warrior that the angel saw, but as the least in his family – the one with the lowest status, the “runt of the litter”. It was a lie from Satan. Have you ever had someone speak curses into your life, it can be devastating especially curses from a parent or teacher, one in authority over you.
“You will never amount to anything”
“You’re worthless, just a waste of space”
Make no mistake – even without any swear words in there – they are curses, spoken over your life. Curses from the enemy, from Satan, your enemy is not the parent or teacher that spoke them, but the Father of Lies, who will use these words to try to ruin your life” Don’t let him win. Recognise them for the lies they are. Intended to keep you from recognizing the power that you actually have in Jesus – Christian you are God’s child!
The Angel told Gideon to go forward in the might he already had! No matter how weak and small you think you are – if God has told you to move forward in a situation and stand up and fight – you just have to take that step and you will be given all the strength that you need. Move forward from where you are, go and establish your identity. Identity is linked to our purpose in God and today’s Gospel reading shows Jesus himself claiming his identity – he spoke it out. He knew who He was!
If you need guidance if you are unsure of what God wants you to do and where he wants you to go – ask Him for a sign – Gideon wasn’t afraid to ask repeatedly and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask either – seeking God’s will is the first step, after all it’s God’s opinion of you and how He sees you that really counts.