Jeremiah tells us what happens to those who trust in man and refuse to obey the Lord: "Thus says the Lord: 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes..." (Jeremiah 17:5,6 NKJV).
What a tragedy! God is always faithful to send the answer. But too often we are like Gideon who was so busy complaining and trying to provide for himself that he didn't even see when good came!
The angel completely ignored Gideon's complaints and went on to say, "...'Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!'" (v. 14). What a remarkable statement!
Notice the angel didn't say the Israelites would be rescued after their strength increased. He said, "Go with the strength you have." Evidently, whatever strength Gideon possessed was all he needed. In himself, Gideon was weak, but God never expected him to fight in his own strength.
Like so many others have done through the ages when presented with their divine assignment, Gideon argued with God. "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!" (v. 15). Gideon was persuaded that his family was weak and insignificant. And if his family wasn't pitiful enough, Gideon claimed to be the weakest of them all!
But God doesn't look at what we don't have; He looks at what we do have. Gideon didn't see himself as a mighty man of valor, but from God's perspective, he was! The Lord knew that as He worked with Gideon, the young man's strength would be matchless.
So the angel said to Gideon, "...I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man" (v. 16). Gideon's small strength united with God's matchless ability would empower him to defeat an entire nation as though it were a one-man army!
That's the power available to us when we bind ourselves to God. The prophet Isaiah spoke of the availability of this strength: "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31 NKJV).
The word "wait" means to bind together by twisting. When we wrap ourselves around the Lord, His Word, and His Spirit, we take on His strength—a strength that is unmatched by any other.
Gideon spoke only about his weakness, but the angel spoke only about his strength. We can learn an important lesson from this account of Gideon's life: God wants us to look at every situation we face from His perspective and not our own. As Jesus said to Peter, "...You stand right in My way when you look at things from man's perspective and not God's" (Matthew 16:23 BCJ).
What perspective are we looking from, ours or God's? Do we look at what we don't have, or what God does have? Perspective is everything!
- Excerpt from the
Yielding to the Holy Spirit
The work of the Holy Spirit is to take the treasures of His wealth and bring them to the surface in your life. From the moment of the New Birth, the Holy Spirit comes to you working to restore, build and strength... read more