Can you imagine accomplishing incredible things? Tackling the impossible, and succeeding?
The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.
Yeah, I’m talking to you.
I want you to stop for a moment and consider how deeply you believe in incredible things? Not just me doing them, but you. This question is so important that it was one of the themes in my second fiction book, Ryan’s Crossing.
Can you imagine yourself accomplishing incredible things?
God’s Mighty Warrior
The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Judges 6:1
Remember Abraham? You know, the man who followed God blindly when He said, “Go from your country, your people, and your father’s household” (Genesis 12:1). The man whose wife had a son when she was “past the age of childbearing” (Genesis 18:11).
At some point, Abraham married a woman named Keturah, and she bore him six sons, Midian was son number four.
We know from Genesis 25 that Abraham “left everything he owned to Isaac,” the promised son. But before he died, Abraham gave his other sons gifts and sent them east to live away from Isaac.
Over the next several years, the relationship between Israel and Midian was apparently fine. Although Moses found refuge in Midian after running away from Egypt (Exodus 2:15) and even marries the daughter of a Midianite priest (Exodus 2:21), the peace didn’t last.
By Numbers chapter 22, the Midianites and Moabites join forces against Israel. And by Numbers 25, the Lord tells Moses, “Treat the Midianites as enemies and kill them” (verse 17).
A Disheartening Situation
Judges chapter 6 paints a bleak picture for Israel. They were so oppressed by Midian that they were living in caves. Their enemy ruined their crops and either claimed or killed all the sheep, cattle and donkeys. Verse 5 says, “It was impossible to count the men and their camels.”
Can you imagine? Think of being chased from your home, living in the wild above your land, and watching people destroy it.
Perhaps even more ominous is why the Midianites did it. The Bible says, “they invaded the land to ravage it” (verse 5). No grand purpose or desperate need. Midian was just mean.
It’s at this point that Israel cries out to God. Initially, His response wasn’t encouraging. “I brought you out of Egypt,” God said. “I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites’ … You have not listened to me” (Judges 6:8, 10).
But God is ever faithful.
He sent the angel of the Lord to Gideon, and Gideon hears one of my favorite greetings in the Bible.
“The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
An Unlikely Hero
Gideon’s response sounds much like I imagine mine does sometimes.
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?
Much like God often does, instead of offering answers to his questions, the Lord instead tells Gideon, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
Go in the strength you have. Seriously? Gideon’s mind goes to the same place most of us do: his inadequacies.
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
So often we claim to believe incredible things. We say we believe in Noah surviving the flood, and Moses crossing the Red Sea, and Elijah leaving earth in a fiery chariot.
But when God looks at us — belief fails us.
How are you doing now on imagining yourself accomplishing incredible things?
God of the Impossible
But God is still the God who closed Noah in the ark. And held back the Red Sea for Moses. And scooped up Elijah in front of Elisha.
And He wants to do something incredible through you too. Oh, it may not be building an ark in your hometown, or interrupting boat traffic on the Mississippi River. But that doesn’t mean that His plan for you is less significant.
Can you dare to believe it?
For those who find inspiration in music, the song below is one of my favorites. I listen to it regularly, reminding myself of the truths it conveys but also vowing to step forward in faith.
If you want to read the lyrics, click here.