Judges 6:12-13: “The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.’ Then Gideon said to him, ‘Oh my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, “Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.’”

Observation: Israelite disobedience had landed them in Midianite captivity. Hiding in caves, the Israelites were starving because Midianite oppressors repeatedly attacked and destroyed the crops of Israel. In the midst of seven years of such unremitting opposition, the Lord’s angel identified Gideon as a warrior and declared God to be with him.

Application: Can this wimpy farmer be the great leader Gideon, all fearful and tentative? Gideon doubted God’s will or His ability, and needed repeated reassurance, first through the appearance of an angel, then through two different experiences with the fleece, and finally by sneaking into the enemy’s camp. It was during that reconnaissance that he overheard enemies admitting that they were even more fearful than he.

I must learn to take to heart the words of the angel who in Judges 6:12 said, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.” God sees things and people as He intends them to be; He creates by His spoken Word. He calls things that will be as though they already are. Gideon’s words belie his behavior. It would take repeated urgings from God for him to become what God had already declared him to be, yet once Gideon’s behavior came into alignment with God’s declarations, the nation had an effective leader.

God has spoken some things over my life that I am not yet walking in. I confess to a certain Gideon-like reluctance to believe that such a thing could be possible. Against all evidence to the contrary, God calls me to walk in what He has declared; His promised results are compelling indeed; all that remains is for me to be obedient.

Prayer: Father, give me eyes to see myself as You see me, as righteous and perfect in Your sight. Increase my faith to believe that all You say about me is true. Cause me to walk in that reality because You have said it is so.