The Lord sat and was watching Gideon, and after some time, He appeared to Gideon and said, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judg 6:12) From the narrative, Gideon was not demonstrating his might and valor. But God saw his potential. God is watching you right now. Very soon, He will visit you and call you a mighty person of valor (chayil = strength, army, valiant, wealth, power, ability). This is what Lemuel’s mother told him in Prov 31 about a virtuous wife, “Who can find a virtuous (chayil) wife? For her worth is far above rubies.” (Prov 31:10) The same Hebrew word was used to describe Gideon and the virtuous wife. Before a woman can be a virtuous wife, she has to be a virtuous woman. Gideon and the virtuous woman are of the same quality and character. And God is developing these qualities in you.
Be Strong And Courageous
The Lord told Joshua three times in Joshua Chapter 1 before entering the Promised Land to be strong and of good courage (‘amats). Did you ever wonder why a man of faith who was the disciple of Moses needed encouragement from the Lord to conquer Canaan? He was a proven man of valor, and yet he needed encouragement. God sees you as mighty person of valor and is sanctifying you now for greater usefulness.
The Holy Spirit used the adjective mighty (gibbowr) to describe Gideon. Not only did God declare that Gideon was a person of valor, He noted that Gideon was mighty. At the time of their conversation, Gideon was hiding from the Midianites and preparing wheat. Yet God told Gideon that he was a mighty man of valor. Those words seemed untrue to Gideon at the time. You may feel the same way when God says those same words to you.
Faith In You
You know the verse that describes faith, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1) You should have faith in God that He will bring into existence what doesn’t exist now. The irony is that God has this same faith in you. Paul wrote, “God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did…” (Rom 4:17) God was going to give Sarah a baby, even though her womb was dead. God has faith that He is making you into mighty person of valor.
Are you thinking that it is impossible for God to make you mighty? All things are possible with God. He is doing His work in you. However, there is one thing that you should not allow to be impossible, lacking faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Heb 11:6) God’s work in you is possible when you believe that He is for you and not against you; the He will never leave nor forsake you; and that you will never be separated from His love. Let’s look a couple of reluctant followers and one overly eager follower.
Moses, in many ways is like you and me. He had a heartfelt desire to bring about God’s will in his own strength. Great desire, wrong timing. When it was God’s time, Moses was reluctant. He called to Moses using his name twice, Moses, Moses. After a series of reassurances, Moses said to the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (Exo 4:10) God did not let Moses out of His calling. But he is of like passions like you and me.
Jeremiah was a young man who was faithful to God in a society of idolatrous people. He was raised in an area of Anathoth, by his father who was one of the priests in that area. God visited Jeremiah unannounced. He explained how He chose Jeremiah in his mother’s womb, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” (Jer 1:5) His response to the Lord was, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” Again, God did not let Jeremiah out of His calling, “Do not say, I am a youth, for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.” (Jer 1:7) Do you see how God does not listen to excuses?
Sarah is quite an honest believer. When she overheard God telling Abraham that Sarah would have a baby within the year, she laughed and thought, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” (Gen 18:12) Have you ever had God declare a blessing to you that you have been waiting a long time for it to come to pass? Sarah was ninety when Isaac was born. Remember that her son’s name Isaac means laughter. Then God announced, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Sarah denied that she laughed, and God corrected her. Since God can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, He waits for a sufficient amount of time to develop our character, and then His blessings come. You may be laughing about a blessing promised to you by God. Know this – God is faithful to fulfill His promises. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” (Prov 13:12)
Peter is an example that many people can relate to. He spoke before he thought (Matt 17:4), he said things he thought were spiritual (Matt 16:22), he trusted in himself to a fault (Mk 14:31), he denied knowing Jesus, he defended Jesus by using a sword (Jn 18:10), and he eventually listened (Jn 21:17) to Jesus and waited for God’s timing (Acts 2:14). To Peter’s credit, Jesus announced that Peter received truth from the Father (Matt 16:17) and he walked on water. Jesus allowed Peter to experience moments of spiritual power and moments of human weakness. Eventually Peter would receive the Holy Spirit and His power, before starting his ministry. Have you experienced moments of great spiritual power? Have you cancelled those out in moments of weakness? Know this, that when God has humbled you, He will exalt you into great areas of service, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time…” (1Pet 5:6)
People of Valor
God is watching and preparing you for service. Like God did with Gideon, He will visit you and call you into service. Like most of us, you will be reluctant. Perhaps He has already called you and you declined. Will you be ready when He calls? Will you be willing or reluctant? Maybe you were like Moses and Peter, stepping out before God called you, a little over-eager. Lately, God has been humbling you. He is preparing you and waiting for you to respond to His call. Like Ananias, you can respond, “Here I am, Lord.” (Acts 9:10) Whether you have been reluctant or over-eager, this following truth from Paul is applicable to you, “And He [Jesus] said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2Cor 12:9) When the power of Christ rests upon you, you are ready to step out as a mighty person of valor.