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Ken Jonhson

When Israel was a mess, God sent a special messenger to a discouraged man named Gideon (Judges 6). The angel found Gideon hiding in a winepress, trying to thresh out a bit of grain. He feared exposure because the ruthless Midianite raiders had come to plunder the homes and pillage the harvest of the people of Israel, as they did every year.

The angel began his commission by calling Gideon a “mighty hero” (v.12, NLT). The Hebrew word used means “strong, influential person.” Flabbergasted, Gideon whimpered about his weakness and his smallness. God is bifocal. In His lower lens He saw the present Gideon, and in His upper lens He saw the potential Gideon. God began to work on Gideon’s mind, to help him see what He saw deep within Gideon.

God has been changing my thinking in the same area. He is talking to me about who I am in Christ. He is increasing my confidence.

Preacher Charles Spurgeon said it like this in a sermon: “There is a God-reliance that awakens your self-reliance and yokes it to the chariot of Providence, making a man ready for action because God is with him.” When that happens, God-confidence becomes sanctified self-confidence. God distributes His power through our weakness, and displays His largeness in our smallness.

The angel then gave Gideon a command from God: “Go with the strength you have” (v. 14). In other words, “Just get going. You have some strength. Use it or lose it. Go”—across the room, across the street, or across the ocean. Be a liberator. If you go, your life, instead of being a long, boring intermission, will become a thrilling mission.

Next came a promise from God: “I will be with you” (v. 16). The words “I am with you” are the backbone of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:20). If we do what God is doing, if we help people come to Christ and become like Christ, then we become invincible because God plus anybody is a majority.

God was with Paul in a shipwreck. He was with Daniel in a lion’s den. He was with Gideon in his mission. I’ve learned that, as my God-confidence grows, my self-confidence grows.

Gideon was like a surfboard who was living a dull life as an ironing board. When he saw himself through God’s eyes, he changed his mind and then changed his world. I’m a candidate for commissioning because God is good at turning chumps into champs, losers into leaders, ironing boards into surfboards.

Don’t be an ironing board.

Prayer Points

As a follower of Christ, and a Foursquare leader, I set my heart in a time of prayer to:

  • Go across the ocean on another missions trip but, before I do that, go across the street to help my neighbor with one of his projects.
  • Attempt to have at least one deeper conversation every day. After I ask, “How are you?” and the person says, “I’m well, thank you,” then ask, “How are you on a scale of one to 10?” Then, listen.
  • Memorize this short God-confident scripture: “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (Rom. 8:37).

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is assisting minister and pastor emeritus at Westside (Bend Foursquare Church) in Bend, Ore.

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