The angel of the Lord came. He sat down under an oak tree in Ophrah. The tree belonged to Joash. He was from the family line of Abiezer. Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress at Ophrah. He was the son of Joash. Gideon was threshing in a winepress to hide the wheat from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon. He said, “Mighty warrior, the Lord is with you.” “But sir,” Gideon replied, “you say the Lord is with us. Then why has all of this happened to us? Where are all of the wonderful things he has done? Our parents told us about them. They said, ‘Didn’t the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has deserted us. He has handed us over to Midian.”
With seven billion people in the world, it’s easy to feel small. Gideon was very aware of how outside circumstances influenced how he felt about himself. He allowed these circumstances to negatively affect his view of God and doubt God’s purpose for his life:
- Rough circumstances
What makes you feel small?
What influences how you feel about yourself and God?
The Lord turned to Gideon. He said to him, “You are strong. Go and save Israel from the power of Midian. I am sending you.” “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I possibly save Israel? My family group is the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh. And I’m the least important member of my family.
Our purpose is never limited by our circumstances nor by our condition of faith. God will always choose things that are weak by human standards to show his power.
The strength we have may be small, but the strength he has is unlimited. Gideon got the one thing that was needed, God being with him. That was all he needed, and is all we need.
The Lord answered, “I will be with you. So you will strike down the men of Midian all at one time.” Gideon replied, “If you are pleased with me, give me a special sign. Then I’ll know that it’s really you talking to me. Please don’t go away until I come back. I’ll bring my offering and set it down in front of you.” The Lord said, “I will wait until you return.”
What purpose is God calling you to?
What limitations has he given you that he can use to influence others?
Faith in ourselves is limited in its impact. Faith in God can influence the world!
- Be honest with God about an area of your life you feel small or limited.
- Make a list of people you want to influence. Write next to each name how you see this person can make their own influence.