Gideon’s Call from Weakness

Many people, maybe most people, have had the experience of crying out to God for an answer. Why has all this happened to me? Perhaps our eyes and voice have been pointed skyward where we exclaim, I thought you loved me! Often, we sense a silent response, our own voice echoing and fading away. When Gideon rehearsed the lamentations of Israel to the Angel who had appeared to him (Judges 6:13), the response he received was anything but.

He was commissioned to save Israel.

Similar to the calling of Moses, God again selects the weak and unsure to serve his purposes. The call does not invite a decline — “Go in the strength you have…Am I not sending you?” – yet Gideon like Moses before him demurs, citing his weakness. Don’t read past this. Note that God has anticipated the negative response that Gideon will attempt and defers it before he even voices the words. The Lord sends him in his own strength.

How many times have we failed to move on a divine initiative and failed to fulfill our purpose because we refused to move in our own strength? When the Lord calls he supplies. When He calls us to service in any capacity he supplies all the strength we need, often before we even sense the call. Did Moses and Gideon simply want to avoid getting involved or did they genuinely feel inadequate? The text suggests the former but we shouldn’t discount the latter. Certainly God may call us to a serve a purpose that we find distasteful and would like to avoid. Thinking once again that God doesn’t know our hearts, we attempt to evade the call by proclaiming our weakness. God knows and simply says “god in the strength you have.”

He doesn’t leave it there however. The Lord promises that He “will be with you.”

Have we not received the same promise in the form of the Holy Ghost? Does not God’s Spirit indwell us morning, noon, and night imbuing us with strength, wisdom, and assurance as take the first steps in fulfilling our calling? We know the answer to be true and yet we continue discover the depths of our own Gideon-like doubt when we demand signs that God is truly calling us to the vocation ahead of us. Will a sign fortify us or is there another reason that seek to avoid the mission?

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