Today’s Tasting: Judges 6–7: Israel has again been in rebellion against God and He has released them into the hands of their enemies. For the past seven years, the enemy nations surrounding them have plundered and ravaged Israel, killing anything that lived, including their crops and livestock. The nation of Israel was in such terrible dread that they called out to God to save them. God sent a prophet to remind them that He had delivered them in the past and yet they had continued to disobey Him.
Then the Angel of the Lord appeared before Gideon, who was so terrified of the Midianites that he was hiding out in a winepress to thresh his wheat crop, so that they did not find him and steal his crop or take his life. The Angel of the Lord greeted him, “The Lord is with you mighty warrior.” Gideon responded, “If God is with us why are we going through all this trouble?” The Lord told him, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel from the Midianites. Am I not sending you?”
We see Gideon’s mindset in his response, “My clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my family.” The Lord gave him instructions to strike down the enemy and then He repeated, “I am with you.” Still fearful and doubtful, Gideon questioned God twice more, asking Him to prove who He was (Joshua 6:36–40). God was patient with Him and answered him. Then Gideon selected a large army of men for the battle, but God directed him to remove all but a small number to go with him, so that Israel would give the glory of victory to God and not claim it for themselves. So Gideon went in God’s strength and won the battle as God had ordained.
Today’s Nourishment: Gideon was a man filled with fear. He saw himself as weak and powerless, the least of all his clan. But God always has a plan to overcome His enemies and He often uses the weak to show the true power of His strength. We are often also fearful and weak, and we let fear or negative thoughts rule our behavior. We “hide out” in fear, never living up to our full potential.
The Lord has a divine design for your life, just as He had for Gideon. The Lord told Gideon, “Go in the strength you have.” Gideon thought he had none. God told Gideon several times, “I am with you,” and “Peace! Do not be afraid.” He called Gideon “mighty warrior” while he was still shaking with fear, hiding out in the winepress.
I believe God’s word for us today is to stop doubting Him. Go in the strength you have, which is not your own, but Christ’s (see Ephesians 6:10). Begin where you are. Do not be afraid. Stop allowing fear to have a grip on your mind. God is with you so you do not have to be afraid. He will go before you and direct you. He will provide for you and open opportunities for you to fulfill His plan. Heed His words and become all you were designed to be through His ability working in you. Give Him your weakness and allow his strength to empower you to succeed. Give Him all the glory and build upon your personal relationship with Him.
What have you been afraid to do? Ask God for direction then walk in His strength. You can do all things through Christ, who gives you strength (see Philippians 4:13). Christ IS your strength.
Tomorrow’s Delight: Judges 8–9
San Antonio, TX