Judges 6:11, 12 Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the wine-press, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
Threshing wheat in Biblical times was done on a high hill where, when the grain was thrown up into the air, the chaff or outer casing of the grain, could be caught by the wind and blown away so the grain would fall to the ground where it could be gathered up and stored for later use. Here we see Gideon, because of fear of the enemy, threshing wheat down in a wine-press where he could possibly get it done without being seen. Every time the Israelites would plant and harvest a crop their enemies would come in and make a raid and steal their harvest. The had become very impoverished and had cried out to the LORD for deliverance from the enemy around them. The Angel of the LORD came to Gideon to work through him to bring deliverance to his people.
The first thing the Angel of the LORD spoke to Gideon was, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Gideon was hiding from the enemy down in a wine-press and the Lord wanted him to know that He saw him as a mighty man of valor! God sees each one of us as who we are under His guidance and empowerment. He told Gideon that He was with him. God's presence goes with us to do the things that He calls us to do. He empowers us by His Spirit within us to do the extraordinary; our natural coupled with His presence and power becomes super-natural! But in order for us to live above the enemies of our lives we must see ourselves as God sees us. That means a change of perspective must happen on the inside that will be reflected on the outside.
Colossians 3:1-4 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
If you have received Christ Jesus as your own personal Savior and Lord, then when He was crucified on that cross to put to death the sin that was holding us in bondage, you died with Him. You are now a new creation in Christ Jesus and the life that He lived now lives in you. Gideon could not see himself as anything but a weak failure. The enemy had so oppressed him and his people that all he could see was fear and discouragement. When Jesus comes into a person's life new hope is born. The Angel of the LORD came to Gideon to change his perspective and cause him to see that God was for him and he could be a new person if he would receive the presence and power of the Lord to enable him to accomplish the deliverance that his people needed. He needed a change of mind before he could exhibit a change of actions.
In Colossians we see that we have to have a change of thinking in order to attain a change of action. Our perspective must change from seeing only those things that are happening to us to see that God has positioned us on a higher level to effect change in our lives. When we see things from a heavenly perspective our earthly situations will appear different and we will see that with God all things are possible!
Gideon needed to see himself under the power and protection of his God. We are the same way. When our thinking is changed we see ourselves differently. So, how do we make that change?
Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Set your mind on heavenly things! To “set your mind” means to change what you are focusing on. Fix your mind on how things are in heaven. There is no lack in heaven! There is no sickness or disease in heaven! There is no failure in heaven! There are no losers in heaven! There is only victory, healing and wholeness, provision for every need, love, joy, peace and protection for those who view life from a heavenly perspective. Our perspective in how we see life is the driving force of success or failure. Gideon only saw himself as a failure. But God saw him as a mighty man of valor.
A mighty man of valor means a champion; an over-coming warrior who possesses valor, dignity and honor. Valor means strength, bravery and courage. Mighty primarily signifies military might and power.
Did Gideon's attitude reflect that of a mighty man of valor? Not when the Angel of the LORD came on the scene. He needed an attitude adjustment in order to see himself as God saw him. Zig Ziglar would say he needed to get rid of the “stinkin' thinkin'”! Gideon needed God's super-natural presence and power to be changed into the person that God had called him and created him to be.
We all need the presence and power of God in our lives to do the things that He wants us to do. We can't do them on our own, but when the Holy Spirit, who is our Helper, is with us He enables us to see ourselves differently and to win! But the first change has to be in how we see ourselves. That requires a change of mind.
Romans 12:1, 2 I beseech your therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God; which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Present your bodies to the Lord as a living sacrifice! Have you done that? Do you see yourself as living for the Lord in everything that you do, in every area of your life? Have you given Him complete control in your life? Change comes only as He changes us, but He will not over-ride our will. He will not force Himself on us. We must give Him permission to work within us; to change us. Is your life being lived as if God is in control or you?
Do not be transformed to this world! Don't think that in order for you to be a valuable human being you must live as everyone around you is living. You are not a citizen of this world, but a citizen of heaven. Your spiritual residence has changed; you no longer are controlled by the world, but the Holy Spirit who lives within you through your spirit has empowered you to live above the natural happenings of this world! You do not have to live as the world any longer. When you present yourself to God for Him to live through you He will give you the victory over the world's ways. Set your mind, your focus, your attention on what God has in store for you, not the negative viewpoint of the world!
Where are you living today? Do you see yourself as a mighty man/woman of valor? Are you empowered by the Holy Spirit to win in life or do you see yourself as a failure, never able to accomplish your dreams and goals? Your mindset must be changed!
2013 lies before us! The past is behind us and new territory is ahead. I've heard many speak this week of the goals and dreams they have for the upcoming year. New Year's resolutions abound, but will they bring lasting change? Willpower is only so strong and is driven by our own human ability. Change comes from within, not from trying to keep a set of rules and regulations! Lasting change happens when we give control of our lives to God, set our minds on heavenly ways and then live according to His ways and not our own.
Will you allow God to change you? Will you renew your mind to the word of God? These are the changes that need to be made in our lives. These are the changes that will effect the dreams and goals that we have for 2013!
Father, I thank You for creating each one of us in your likeness and image. I thank You for placing Your Spirit within those of us who have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord. And I thank You for the power within us to change our lives and those around us; Your power and presence to work through us to bring the changes that we desire. Father, I pray for those today who may not know You. I ask that You would draw them by Your Spirit to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus. May today be their day of salvation! Father, I also pray for those who are weak and discouraged. I pray that they would see themselves as You see them, a mighty man or woman of valor. I pray that they would realize that You are the God of all impossibilities and through Your presence and power within them they can be changed to accomplish what they want to do. You have given them the power of Your Spirit to lead, guide and direct them in the way that You would have them to go. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for equipping us for the victory! Thank You, Father, for always leading us to triumph in Christ Jesus! Thank You for giving us victory in every battle that we face in this upcoming year! You are great and greatly to be praised! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.