And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.”
I’ve had a lot of people tell me I was courageous. At times in my life I’ve felt like I was. I even have “Be strong and courageous” tattooed on my wrist. But there are times when I just want to hide away from the world and stay “safe”, afraid and in the dark, but safe.
But as I was praying this morning, the Lord reminded me of this verse from Judges. Poor Gideon was hiding in a hole, afraid of getting killed, when he had a visitation and a calling from the Lord.
Gideon felt and acted like a coward. And that’s sometimes what I do. We all do it, right? But that’s not what God sees. He doesn’t see our fear or failings. He blotted out our transgressions, our fears, our cowardice, our doubt.
Our God defined Gideon as a mighty man of valor before he’d done anything valourous at all. But if you are familiar with the story, you know what happens with Gideon. God patiently, pleasingly, persistently guides Gideon into discovering who God made him to be.
We need to remember that. We aren’t who we think we are. We were made with a purpose, to be God’s ambassadors. We were made to be strong and courageous, not by overcoming our fear and doubt, or fighting through our circumstances, but by God. God made us strong and courageous. We walk confidently into battle because of Him.
As David said so confidently, as a kid with a slingshot against the world’s definition of a “mighty man of valor”:
“You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
1 Samuel 17:45
I think that one of the most important things we can learn from scripture is that we don’t have to rely on ourselves. God is with us. And what a great relief that is. I don’t know about you, but I’m really done relying on myself. I put all my money on God’s power within me.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?