That was the time and place where the Lord decided to meet him by the hand of an angel.
The angel announced: “The Lord is with thee, thou MIGHTY MAN OF VALOR.” This was a particularly interesting proclamation, considering the young man, Gideon, was hiding at the time.
But Gideon asked two obvious questions: “If God is with us, why are we in such a mess?” That was the first part of the question, which naturally led to the second question – “And where are all those Bible-sized miracles and manifestations I grew up hearing about?”
These were two legitimate questions. It didn’t appear that God was with the nation He so singularly and miraculously delivered out of Egypt a long time ago, and He seemed to no longer be doing miracles in any area. The people were backslid, the nation was overrun by godless forces, and God seemed disengaged. All this was eating up Gideon.
The Lord wasn’t phased by either question and what is even stranger – He didn’t bother to answer them, either.
Instead, He simply empowered a solution. That’s a BIG key to the way God thinks. He does something first and explains it all later. The book of Acts starts off as a record of “all that Jesus began both to DO and to TEACH.” Doing precedes teaching when God is on the scene.
“And the LORD looked upon him, and said, ‘GO IN THIS THY MIGHT, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?’” (Judges 6:14)
Might? What might? The might of a holy exasperation. It’s the “might” of a sanctified frustration.
Those who know the story, remember that Gideon started off his military campaign with well over 22,000 men but God whittled the army down to a Spartan 300. With that number, he got the job done and God got the glory.
Here are 3 keys to the INVINCIBLE spirit.
FIRST: As Gideon spoke about the defeated condition of the nation and the absence of miracles among God’s people, God spoke: “Go in this thy might.” So again, this wasn’t the might of physical power or even faith – it was the POWER of HOLY EXASPERATION! Gideon was respectfully saying “What’s up with this?!”..and God saw it as a form of “might” that would cause him, over time, to become increasingly valiant.
The writer of Hebrews says this about people like Gideon: “Out of weakness they were made strong. They waxed valiant in fight.” The more they got into the fight, the more valiant they became. The right kind of frustration can move you from weakness to strength – an invincible spirit of faith.
Never underestimate the POWER of HOLY EXASPERATION and an honest conversation with God!
SECOND: God converts the right kind of exasperation into an INVITATION to JOIN HIM IN WHAT HE IS ABOUT TO DO NEXT! My friend Leif Hetland says, “Success isn’t getting God to bless what you are doing, it is you joining God in what He is already blessing.”
THIRD: WHEN GOD DECIDES TO DO SOMETHING, HE SENDS SOMEONE! Hmm. That’s the first time I actually wrote it that way…I was going to write something else, but this is actually a pretty neat statement – “When God decides to do something, He sends someone.” (I like writing by prophetic impulse)
And when He sends someone, HE GOES WITH THEM! “Have not I sent thee?…I will be with thee” (Judges 6:14,16).
Gideon did the famous “fleece” thing, twice, where he asked God for a sign and God was very kind in giving him the confirmation he needed….after all, it had been a while since miracle ministries had been operating and this was all new to him.
God gave him a third additional confirmation to build his faith, sending him to the enemy’s camp to overhear a dream they’d had about his future success.
These 3 work together to make you INVINCIBLE:
1. A major frustration that you bring to God.
2. Discerning the invitation of God to join Him in what He is doing.
3. A sense of “divine assignment” that requires increased willingness on your part to risk more and more in the audacious undertaking. As you succeed, your faith grows. It comes with the awareness that God is indeed with you.
How about it, Gideon? Do you have any sanctified frustrations that drive you to exasperation?