Judges 6:11-16 (NIV): The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
“But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.”
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
“But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.”
The operative phrase in everything God asks His people to do is this: “I will be with you.” In everything God may ask a person to say, to do, to accomplish, God never expects us to do it in our own strength, or even to figure out how to do it in our own cleverness.
All through history, there have been people who want to accomplish something for God and for His kingdom. Their hearts are in the right place, but they often jump into the deep water without ever checking to see if what they have in mind is what GOD wants them to do; if they are going to be working where HE is working. Often their plans fail, or are way less productive than they could have been, because anything that was accomplished was done in human strength and with human intellect.
People who hear God’s voice calling to them, as He did to Gideon, and who follow Him, obey Him, and let Him lead the way (as Gideon did AFTER a slow start) will be able to see God act in their lives, in their plans, and get see supernatural results, not just human results. That does NOT mean that God will do everything. His words to Gideon were, “Go in the strength you have…” He had to begin the process of following God and doing what He commanded, in his own strength. As he moved forward, God guided his every step. As he exerted his will to obey, he found God’s presence right there with him. As he did what HE was able to do, he found his arms strengthened by God’s power to do what only GOD could do. And the results were miraculous. With only 300 men that God had selected, Gideon defeated the whole Midianite army!
That same kind of divine empowerment and supernatural result is available to any of God’s people who will rely on Him for guidance as to what to do and where to work, listen to and obey His every commandment, go in the strength that they have, and rely on God’s promise that He will be with them every step of the way.
Father, thank You for this promise. Help us all to stop striving in our own cleverness and human abilities, and instead to go in the strength we have to work where You are working, to do what You are doing, and to receive Your strength and power as we go, so that we can accomplish supernatural results. Amen.