Judges 6:12-14 AMP And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, The Lord is with you, you mighty man of [fearless] courage. And Gideon said to him, O sir, if the Lord is with us, why is all this befallen us? And where are all His wondrous works of which our fathers told us, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian. The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this your might, and you shall save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?
Your identity and purpose are directed connected. We were created to accomplish great things for God, and He puts the highest value on our lives. But, as Gideon, we must agree with God in order for His purpose to be fulfilled in each one of us. Gideon was hiding in the wine-press, trying to thresh their harvest of wheat. He couldn't see past the oppression of the enemy to see the goodness of God. Many times we get caught up in the “why me, Lord” attitude of our lives. We can't see that bad things do happen to good people and that God is not the author of those things, but that He works through them to establish His plan and purpose for our lives. Gideon's people were under the oppression of the enemy because they had turned away from God and He had allowed them to live according to their own purpose and plan.
Judges 6:1-2 AMP BUT THE Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian for seven years. And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the Israelites made themselves the dens which are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.
When we step out from under the protective umbrella of the Lord we open the door for the enemy to come in to steal, kill and destroy our lives. The Israelites had opened that door and were suffering the consequences of their actions. Gideon couldn't see that the enemy's oppression was directly tied to their disobedience in not walking in the power and presence of God in their lives. He had taken the “why us” attitude of “if God is with us, why is all of this befallen us?” Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever thought that God had deserted you because of all the bad things that were happening in your life? And yet, even though Gideon was living under distress and persecution, God still had a plan and purpose for his life. In fact, He told Gideon that he needed to get up and go in his might or strength because He was going to use him to save his people from their enemies. God was sending him out on an assignment! The conditions were not perfect, in fact they were far from perfect, but God had a plan and a purpose for Gideon being right where he was. He was in the perfect place for God to move through him to effect change in the lives of others.
God has a plan and a purpose for your life, my friend. Gideon was afraid, but God offered His presence and power to equip Gideon to do the work that He had called him to do. He will do the same for you. God never sends us out to accomplish His work without His grace and empowerment to do it. His presence and power always goes with us. But He expects us to work with Him in accomplishing the task we are sent to do. The Israelites had been crying out to God for help and He had sent a prophet to tell them why they were in bondage. It was at their own hand. Their own decisions to live in their own ways was what got them into the mess they were in. God reminded them through the prophet of the good things He had done for them in the past. He had brought them out of the house of bondage to establish them as His very own people; to bless them and make them a blessing to the nations around them. They were to be a people that others would fear because they were His people. The surrounding nations would see the mighty power of God as He worked through His people, the Israelites, and they would know that God is real.
God has not changed His plan and purpose for the lives of His people even today. He still wants to exhibit Who He is through His people so others will be drawn into a relationship with Him. God has a plan and purpose for your life just as He did for Gideon. Will you follow His call to go forth and make a difference in the hearts and lives of those around you. Will you be the one that shows the way of salvation to the lost and discouraged?
Gideon questioned the Lord about how he could be the one to save his people when he was the least in his father's house and his clan was the poorest in Manasseh. He couldn't see himself of any value in his own sight. He needed to change his perspective to see himself as God saw him. God answered his questions about his inability with this statement:
Judges 6:16 AMP The Lord said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall smite the Midianites as one man.
God is all-powerful; He is all-seeing and He is all-knowing! He knows exactly what to do at the right time. He told Gideon that he needed to “go in this might of yours” because He was the one who was sending him. The first thing that we have to do to make changes in our lives is to “go”; to “get up and do something”. It is impossible to guide a car that is not moving. You can't turn the steering wheel. The car must be running and engaged in drive for you to be able to steer it. God wants us to get up and go in what He has placed within us. Then He will give us the direction and power that we need to accomplish the job. But the first step is always ours. Will we agree with God that He wants to do something through us? When we have taken that first step God will always be right there to empower us to go forward!
Judges 6:34 NKJV But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him.
The phrase in this verse, “But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon”, in the Hebrew, actually says “The Spirit of the Lord clothed Himself with Gideon”. The Spirit of the Lord lives within you if you have received Jesus as your own personal Savior and Lord. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit; the house that He lives within! You are of so much value that He purchased you with the precious blood of Jesus! He goes with you wherever you go.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
God has a plan for His body today. It is to spread the gospel; to make disciples of all nations, to heal the sick, to cast out demons, to destroy the works of the enemy. He wants to do those things through you and me!
Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “God therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit; “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Mark 16:17-20 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.: So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
God has a plan for His people today. It is the same as it was when He spoke these words to His disciples just before He ascended back into heaven. The plan still applies to His people. We are to go into all nations and preach the gospel; make disciples, baptize new believers, lay hands on the sick so they will recover; speak with new tongues; encounter and disarm demonic spirits.....And the Lord works with us to accomplish all that He has called us to do!
Mark 16:20 NKJV And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
It's not up to us to go and do the work under our own power. It is our responsibility to go and act as He directs, but He does the work to confirm the word that He wants us to preach, whether it is through actual preaching of the word or however we are ministering to the people. He is the one who works through the believer to accomplish the work!
Will you be the vessel that He will flow through today to effect His kingdom's work in someone's life today?
Father, I thank You for the plan and purpose that You have for each one of us. You are the God who lives within us. You go everywhere that we go; and You want to work through us in each individual situation to spread Your word and do Your work in the hearts and lives of people who are lost and hurting. May we be willing vessels that You may flow through to do Your work in our world today. Father, I pray for those who are having difficulty seeing themselves of value to You this morning. I pray that they eyes of their understanding might be enlightened to see that You have a great inheritance in them. I pray that they might see that You love them with an everlasting love and You have a good plan for their lives. Father, restore what the devil has stolen from them through His deceptive work in their lives. Give them a glimpse of the great love that You have for them. Show them that they are worth the blood of Your Son as You gave Him to save them from their sin. Father, cause them to see the extreme value that You have placed on their lives. Grant them deliverance from the enemy of their souls! Thank You, Father, for living within us and for equipping us to do Your work in our world around us. May You receive glory and honor through each one of us as we go about our daily lives today! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.