I need a Hero! (part 1)
March 9, 2016 | by: Angela Karum | 2 Comments
Posted in: Identity
He was an unlikely hero. The youngest in his family, no status, no influence, no position, no money, no expectations, no potential, no courage, Gideon was hiding out threshing a bit of barley in a winepress to keep it from being destroyed by the Midianites.
Cruel thieves, those Midianites! They waited till harvest was ready and swooped down on the people of Israel, ravaging the countryside like a hoard of locusts, stealing and destroying all the crops and livestock, impoverishing the entire nation, leaving them helpless, hopeless and hungry.
Gideon was minding his own business, just hoping to finish threshing grain for his family before he was discovered.
Then the angel of the Lord appeared, greeting him with, “The LORD is with you, Mighty Warrior.” Judges 6:12
How does God make a hero?
God gives a new name, a new identity.
God has a reputation for giving lavish names to insignificant people. “Father of Many Nations” to the man with no children, “Prince and One Who Prevails with God” to the sneaky, manipulative deceiver, “Servant of God and Shepherd of My People” to a stuttering murderer, and now “Mighty Warrior” to the wimpy coward.
It doesn’t matter how Gideon sees himself or how anyone else sees him. What matters is how God sees him.
God addresses the doubts, fears and objections of a faltering heart.
Gideon is full of them – why has all this bad stuff happened to us? Why has God abandoned us? How can I be the one to save us? I’m too insignificant and weak! Is it really God talking to me?
God’s answer -- I am with you. I am sending you, yes you! Your weakness? Not a problem! You will overcome the enemy.
It doesn’t matter how strong the enemy is or how impossible the task, the Presence of God means a win.
“Go in the strength you have. I am sending you. I will be with you.” God doesn’t ask us to be stronger than we are. Start moving and His Presence will give us strength and open the way.
God reveals Himself as the answer to our greatest need.
Gideon was confused, conflicted and downright terrified. But God reveals a new side to His Person – He Himself is Peace. Peace dispels fear. Gideon builds a new altar and calls it “The LORD is Peace.” The Peace and Presence of God give courage to a fearful, doubting heart.
God gives an action step – tear down your idols and worship God.
Victory always begins with worship. Overcoming the Enemy requires a wholehearted devotion to God. When our hearts are divided by lesser attachments and our gaze is distracted, it gives our Enemy ground to rule in our lives. The first step to victory for Gideon and us is to demolish idols and give God our worship.
Gideon is still afraid, but he courageously obeys. Under cover of darkness, he recruits ten of his servants and together they destroy the family altar to Baal and Asherah and build a proper alter to God, sacrificing his father’s prize bull as an offering of worship. The next morning, the whole town is in an uproar demanding Gideon’s death. But inspired by his son’s courage, Gideon’s father speaks up on his behalf, even challenging the idol Baal to defend himself, if he really is a god.
God gives authority and increases our influence.
God publicly vindicates Gideon by appointing him as leader and gives him authority by empowering him with the Holy Spirit. Gideon summons the men to battle and 32,000 come join him to fight against the armies of Midian.
The people God uses to accomplish His wonders are never setting out to make a huge difference. They are not even the most qualified. They are minding their own business, being faithful in their small responsibilities. But when God invites them to follow Him, they agree and step up to the plate. Gideon is fearful and faltering but he keeps moving forward. God can do amazing things with a willing heart.
“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-29
Angela Karum, mother of two teenagers and Florida resident since 2008, fills her free time hunting treasures in used book stores and sipping Nutella lattes with friends. Her compassionate heart and ready smile belie an adventurous spirit cultivated during her childhood in the Amazon jungle.