GiGi wrote in her post “No More Resolutions” Resolution, “No more focusing on resolutions that can be reached through my own abilities and strength!” This got me thinking about the story of Gideon in Judges 6-7.
Because Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, He gave them into the hand of Midian for seven years. The Midianites along with their livestock were too numerous to count. They oppressed the Israelites by devouring the land and leaving it to waste, leaving no produce for them nor their ox, sheep or donkeys. As the Israelites cried out to the Lord, He sent an angel to a man named Gideon and the angel said, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” (Judges 6:12) But Gideon was uncertain as he questioned that if God was with them, why did all of the hardships occur to them.
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever wondered where the Lord was when you faced so many trials?
The angel replied to Gideon by addressing his might (again) and directing him in the Lord’s calling: to save Israel from the hand of Midian. Gideon couldn’t see how he could possibly accomplish such a task…at least not in his own ability and strength! Gideon described himself as the least in his father’s house and his clan as the weakest in Manasseh. But the Lord promised Gideon that he would be with him and that he would indeed deliver his people and defeat the Midianites.
(Photo via wikimedia)
Gideon was so unsure of himself and couldn’t believe the possibility of being chosen by the Lord for such a purpose, that he asked for 3 confirmations. (Read Judges 6:17,36-40).
The 1st assignment was to pull down the altar of Baal that his father had and cut down the Asherah that was beside it. Then Gideon was to build an altar to the Lord and offer a burnt offering using the wood of the cut down Asherah. Gideon was so afraid that he waited until it was dark to do this so no one would see him and his ten men. NOTE, although Gideon was afraid, he went…even afraid! (See my blog “Just Go Afraid“).
Did you know this was also a command of the Lord? In Judges 7:10, the Lord told Gideon, “But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant.” So the Lord says that even if you are afraid to go…go! Why? Because He promises to go with us; to never leave nor forsake us.
Judges 7 shares how God reduced the number of men that Gideon had from 32,000 to 300 so Israel would not boast in their own ability and strength. Only by the Lord’s hand did the army conquer the Midianites without losing any of the 300 men.
You see, Gideon resolved to follow the Lord’s calling for him no matter how large or extreme the task…knowing that if God didn’t show up, he would fail! THAT is how I resolve to go forward this year. Not by MY ability nor MY strength.
I want to live such a way that if God doesn’t show up, I will fail.
How about you?