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This is your strength

Do it yourself, or DIY, has become popular for home improvement enthusiasts. People who’ve never held a hammer in their lives are grabbing sledgehammers and swinging at a perfectly good wall. Many of us have embraced the DIY idea. Except when it comes to our faith. It’s so much easier to wait for God to show up and do it for us.  
 
Gideon started out like that. There was Gideon just being a farmer when an angel shows up and gives him his call from God. “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.” Can you imagine the look on this farmer’s face when an angel of God calls him a “valiant warrior?” [Judges 6:12]
 
But Gideon didn’t question that part. What he questioned was the part about God being with him. “If God is with us, then why has all this bad stuff happened to us?” That was Gideon’s response. How many times have you asked that question? If God is with us, then why doesn’t it rain? Why doesn’t it stop raining? Why am I sick? Why do we have a pandemic? Why does everyone else seem to be doing better than me? 
 
The angel pretty much ignores Gideon’s question. Instead, he tells Gideon to use what God had already given him. “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel.” What a lesson for us. Stop waiting for someone else to do it. Use what God has already given you. 
 
What follows in Judges 6 are some excuses by Gideon and then a series of tests he puts God through. You remember the fleece? If it’s wet and the ground is dry, then I know you’re with me. Let’s try that again. OK. This time, if the fleece is dry and the ground is wet, then I know you’re with me.
 
God patiently walked through Gideon’s doubts until finally Gideon got it. Then God put Gideon to the test. Starting with 22,000 soldiers, God kept whittling it down until Gideon was left with 300 to go against the army of the Midianites and the Amalekites. Just those names alone sound pretty tough. God showed up and Israel won a resounding victory with trumpets and broken pitchers. 
 
How often we face our own Midianites and Amalekites and expect God to take care of things, while God is saying to us, “Go in this your strength.” 
 
Gideon’s lesson is ours today. Go with what God has given us and he’ll show up and take of things as we do our part.

Written by Scott Collins, senior vice president of Communications at Buckner International.

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