Oftentimes, we allow our situations to define us. Our inner dialogue and feelings of fear prevent us from developing our talents and sharing what God has placed within. We find ourselves in low places because we allow our circumstances to take control of our lives. We’re so consumed with our situation, we fail to be solution driven and we fail to allow God to take full control.
This was Gideon’s condition when God summoned him as the solution to Israel’s problem. God has also commissioned us to be the solution to someone’s problem, but we’re too busy operating from a place of inadequacy to consider this possibility.
In Judges 6, we learn that the Medianites constantly attacked the Children of Israel. They attacked during the harvest, took all the food and destroyed whatever was left. They were a savage people, for these attacks left Israel “greatly impoverished” (Judges 6:11), and the children of Israel resorted to hiding in the “mountains, and caves, and strongholds” (Judges 6:2). During one of these attacks, Gideon decided to take some of his wheat down to the winepress and proceeded to thresh the wheat. The process of threshing wheat entailed constantly slapping the wheat against a threshing floor to release the kernel from the husk. On the other hand, a winepress was designed to crush grapes by foot for making wine; there isn’t enough space in a winepress to thresh wheat, which is generally done in a wide, open area. Yet, in an act of desperation and self-preservation, here is Gideon in a space, performing a task that is not designated for that space.
Gideon forgot that he was a child of God and accepted his position in life. He had no other goal but to survive the raids as they came. If that meant hiding in the winepress with his wheat, then so be it. How many of us are hiding in the winepress with our wheat unable to flourish, grow and experience joy because of fear?
For Gideon, thoughts of achieving great and mighty things were not on the agenda. Hence, when the angel of the Lord appeared and said, “the Lord is with thee thou mighty man of valour” (Judges 6:12), it is no surprise that Gideon questioned God and his own ability to lead. He was stuck in the “now” of his circumstances, but God transcends time and sees from infinity to infinity. God saw a brave man, but Gideon saw a poor man from a poor family, who was the least in his father’s house (Judges 6:15).
Human beings are agents of excuses, but God has not called us to a purpose that we cannot fulfill. Anything ordained by God is extraordinary. While some tasks seem daunting and impossible for us to accomplish in our own strength, God wants to show us that with Him all things are possible, even defeating the savage Medianites with only 300 soldiers. Defeating the Medianites was not possible by Gideon’s own accord. However, with God in control, impossibilities do not exist. With God we’re more than enough and we’re more than qualified. God makes what we think to be the impossible possible, because God is just good like that.
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