Here are three lessons in trust you can take from the story
1. God sees the big picture: Our vision is limited, sometimes only seeing the potential roadblocks in the way. But as with Gideon, God is sending you into a new adventure. He has gone before you and already knows what will happen. The road may not always be easy, but He is always there to protect you and guide you, if you look to Him. Yes, we might be like Gideon and test God by asking for signs. And I believe God delights in showing us His power. In Psalm 86:17, even David calls out in his prayer for mercy: Give me a sign of Your goodness, for You Lord have helped me and comforted me. But also etch this truth from Deuteronomy 31:8 on your heart as you face seemingly impossible challenges: Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
2. God is patient as we grow in faith: Gideon had many doubts as God called him to lead the Israelites into battle. God continually encouraged Gideon, telling him that He will go ahead of him – even going as far as promising that Gideon won’t die. But Gideon struggled to see the big picture. He was probably sucking in his gut and flexing his non-existent muscles in the mirror, not feeling real encouraged at the reflection staring back at him. But with each sign Gideon asked for, God kindly answered. The Lord had patience with Gideon, matching kind reassurance to each doubt, building Gideon into a fully convinced servant. It’s the same with us. God calls us. But be certain the enemy will tell us that we don’t measure up to the task at hand. But here is a truth that was spoken at a conference I recently attended: God calls us for the person we will become, not necessarily the person we are right now. (Lisa Bevere) He called Gideon “mighty warrior.” What is God calling you?
3. Success is through God’s power, not our own: As the story progresses, Gideon grows to be a confident warrior, gathering thousands of the Israelites to face the Midianites. But God felt like that would be too easy. At least too easy for the Israelites to take all the credit for a victory. God wanted them to give Him the glory. So He put Gideon through two tests of his faith – which ultimately left only 300 men to fight Midian’s 135 thousand warriors! That’s 450 Midian guys for every one Israelite. What? And in what is known as one of the most unbelievable battle strategies in history, the 300 Israelites marched out with trumpets, torches, and jars to meet the marauding Midianites. What happened then? God sent confusion into the ranks of the Midianites and they started turning on each other! When it was all said and done, 120 thousand Midianites had killed one another and the other 15 thousand ran away.
God had answered Israel’s prayers, using a regular, every day guy like Gideon. As it says in Luke 18:27: What is impossible with men is possible with God. When you feel God is calling you to do something that might seem too big – or even impossible – think of mild-mannered Gideon who grew to fully trust God and changed the course of history.
What is God calling you to do? What steps of trust can you take? (LORI CLAPPER)