“God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did” Romans 4:17b
Are you a coward? Or are you fearless?
I am naturally a coward. Head in the sand, don’t want to stand up, just want everyone to be happy and life to be comfortable. God has a sense of humor, calling people like me. He doesn’t let us stay the way we are. He empowers us for so much more. It makes me think of Gideon, one of the judges who God raised up to deliver the nation of Israel from her enemies (Judges 6-7).
Gideon was a wuss.
He was hiding from the Midianites grinding wheat and trying to keep to himself. (His head was- in the wheat. :) ) God interrupted his quiet little life and called him to be the deliverer for His people. God sees this fearful little coward, and calls him a mighty man of valor. I love that. Gideon thinks God has the wrong guy and tells God that. He explains that he’s not from the best family, he’s just this small scared little man.
God knows exactly who he is, but He delights to use him. In his weakness, brokenness and cowardice, God calls him a mighty man of valor, a mighty warrior. God saw him as he would be, as He would empower him to be.
God didn’t wait until Gideon had it all together, and had arrived at a place of strength. God chose him in his weakness and gave him strength each time he stepped out in faith.
God looked at a lump of clay and He, the Divine Artist and Potter, saw the finished product.
He called something that did not yet exist as though it did. That is what He desires to do in us as well.
As if it wasn’t enough that God was going to use this broken man, when it came time to pick an army to go against this vast enemies (hundreds of thousands of vicious, bloodthirsty men) God told Gideon that his army of 20,000 was too big. God wanted Israel and the world to know that it was by His power and strength that this victory would be won, not by their might.
Eventually the army is reduced to 300 men! Gideon and his ragtag band go up against thousands, but they go in the strength of the Lord. They don’t have to worry about fighting, because God would fight for them. God won the victory for them, through their obedience. Today it is in the same. He is not looking for us to arrive, or to be the best or strongest. He is looking for obedient hearts that know what we lack.
There’s no room for self-esteem here. We know who we are in the flesh, and we know that all the good in us is God’s empowering.
He loves us, He calls us, and He equips us despite our lack.
It is His power working in this broken world through the weak and powerless.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Your past failures, your weaknesses, your inadequacies? Maybe you’ve messed up as a parent, maybe you’re struggling at your job, maybe you feel like in some way you’re inferior or you’ve missed something.
God looks at you today, wherever you are at, and calls you a mighty warrior. He wants you to take your eyes off of your limitations and weaknesses, and trust His all-sufficiency and strength on your behalf- to crush your enemies, to give you victory, and to lift you up out of your pit.
He sees the finished product, and He is not done with you yet.