The Midianites owned Israel. For seven years they destroyed their crops and livestock, coming upon them like invading hoards of locusts. The Israelites were not only impoverished and starving, they were so afraid that they hid themselves in caves and mountain strongholds. Desperate and miserable, the people cried out to the LORD for deliverance.
One day, in order not to be seen, Gideon was threshing wheat in the valley winepress rather than on the mountain top. Just then, the Angel of the LORD appeared, saying:
“The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:12)
Gideon responded, “Sir, if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about?”
Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”
The natural tendency of sane people when facing a challenge is to first assess the requirements and then take stock of the resources. We call this “counting the costs.” Gideon knew that the Midianites were a formidable enemy. For seven years they had proven themselves invincible. Gideon had heard the stories of what God had done for his people in the past, but he had seen no such miracles. When challenged by the LORD to rescue Israel from Midian, Gideon responded the way any of us would have responded: “How can I? I am less than the least of my people!” In other words, Gideon felt he had neither the ability nor the resources required for success.
But when God calls someone, He is not looking for their ability or resources, He is simply looking for their willingness to go in the strength that they have, while trusting fully in Him. He will supply whatever is lacking. There was a reason why God chose Gideon. Gideon knew that he was less than the least. Therefore, he wouldn’t take the credit that belonged only to God. The issue isn’t what can I bring to the table? Rather, the issue is what is God calling me to do? The former focuses on self; the latter focuses on God.
What is God calling you to do? Do you feel that you are the least qualified? Then you may be much closer than you think. Wait for His commission, and then go with the strength that He provides!
He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. (Isaiah 40:29)
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