When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.’
When we first meet Gideon he is hiding from the Midianites. I wonder if someone had asked his friends for a description of Gideon at that point what they would have said? I am guessing they wouldn’t have said “mighty warrior.” And yet this is how the angel of the Lord greets him! God sees Gideon as he would be with him by his side.
Actually, I missed out the first part of that description, the greeting begins with “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” What a difference it makes to our circumstances and lives when we have the Lord by our side. God intended to take this poor terrified farmer and turn him into a great warrior who later is listed in Hebrews 11 as a ‘great man of faith’. Throughout Scripture we see so many examples of “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:28-29).
Maybe you are someone who always sees your own strengths at the forefront, although I think if you are like me, you probably more often see the constant mistakes and the failures, someone who in their own strength can never live up to God’s high standards. The reality is we will never do this on our own. Romans 3:23 reminds us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” What a huge encouragement it is to keep reading on – “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.”
What does God see? When God looked at Gideon; he saw not a frightened farmer but a mighty Warrior. When he looked at the boy David; he saw not a weak little boy but a great King.
When God looks at us, he sees not what we can do in our strength, but he sees what he can do through us and in his strength. It is so easy to be overwhelmed by circumstances, by the enormity of everything that goes on around us and feel we cannot keep going. Yet the promise of God goes with us “for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So, we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6).
Ultimately, if we are believers, when God looks on us he sees not the mistakes, the failures and sin. He sees the sacrifice of his own Son, His blood shed in our place.
The best thing we can ever do is hand over our lives, with all their shortcomings, and see what God wants to do with them. He can take us as we are and use us for his glory, far beyond our own strengths and capabilities. I trust that as this has been an encouragement to me to reflect on, it will be to you too.
Tirzah Jones, Malpas Road