by Chaplain Tricia Dimmitt
Shelby Baptist Medical Center
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
“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 when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” -- Judges 6:12-14
Earlier in this passage of scripture, Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to hide his crop from the Midianites, a crop that if discovered would either be confiscated or destroyed. Midian had become a very oppressive enemy. Israel had no rights and no power, and on top of that, Gideon indicates, “My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
God knew Gideon’s situation, and the angel still came to Gideon, choosing him to be Israel’s deliverer. The LORD called him “mighty warrior.” I used to understand this verse to be God’s way of changing Gideon’s name. But, after recently looking up the meaning of the name Gideon, (“feller of trees; destroyer; mighty warrior”), I saw that God didn’t need to change Gideon’s name; Gideon just needed to see the truth of who God created him to be. He needed the faith to move forward in the gifting, strength and calling God had already given him.
In this world, in our profession and even in our churches, we may be tempted to listen more to people’s opinions of who we are rather than what God says. We also may demean ourselves (and ultimately God’s image) through self-deprecating, self-judging thoughts. But, we learn who God says we are from Scripture. Here’s just a sample of what God says about who you are in Christ:
You are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:9-10)
You are free from condemnation (Romans 8:1)
You have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)
You may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)
You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13)
As the LORD spoke to Gideon, I say to you: “Go in the strength the Lord has given you.” Christ has a purpose for you! He may have an adventure in store in which your long-hidden calling and gifts are revealed. Again I say to you, “mighty warrior” or “warrior princess,” that stepping out by faith into God’s will for your life will be rewarding and meaningful and will bear fruit that lasts forever.