“Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”
Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”
So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”
Sometimes the very last thing we desire to do, or have a sense of “calling” to, is the exact thing God is leading us into.
The scripture teaches that God uses weak things to confound wise ones, and that He chooses the last and makes them first, that He might gain all the glory. He likes to take the least likely in the eyes of men and do something world shaking through them so that He gets all the glory.
Gideon had no interest in facing the Midianites. When he looked at his life and his clan, he considered them both way too weak to win a war, much less even participate. In 1 Corinthians 12:9 we find Paul boasting about his weakness, because God was in the middle of teaching him that the power of God is perfected in our weakness.
God has given you strengths so that you can use them for His glory, but He has also given you weakness so He can manifest Himself through them for His glory. Let me explain further. I have two prophetic words pending over my life that have to do with business. God has spoken to me about how He is going to use me in the business world for His glory. Let me assure you, I have never been accused of being a good business man. No one has ever used the term “great business mind” when talking about me. I would love to hide in the wine press of my den writing blogs and pretending I didn’t hear the words “Chuck, Mighty Man of Business!” But I did hear them, and I have to be available to God to move in that direction as He leads.
God has given you weaknesses so He can manifest Himself through them for His glory
One of the most exciting parts of the life of Gideon, that applies to the call of God on your and my life, is that Gideon was never called to be a great general. It was not required of him to have a “great mind for warfare”. The only thing he was called to was obedience. And when the time to be obedient came he was faithful. In fact to an onlooker they may have thought he had the worst strategy in history. First he diminished his group down to 300 men. They surrounded the camp in companies, broke pitchers, held lanterns, and shouted, “The sword of the Lord and Gideon”. This was all they had to do, it was counter intuitive in every way, but extremely successful.
Gideon knew that God was already active on their behalf, releasing a dream of defeat into the Midianite camp. Since God was already at work, all he and his men had to do is be faithful to God’s directives; God was already winning this thing.
Part of the joy I have, recognizing a call to business, is that God will find His glory using me and bringing me success, when quite honestly I seem like the least likely candidate. Though I have a business degree, it is much more important that I follow the prompting of the Spirit and the directives of God, even if they seem to go directly against conventional wisdom. When God uses the least likely candidate, using methods that are unheard of, and brings great success, He gets the glory.
Just like Gideon, you might be hiding right now from the exact thing God has called you to do. Take great joy however, in the fact that He will give you specific direction to do things in such a way that people recognize He was at work. If it feels like your strength is diminishing in some way, remember, we must respect our weakness so His strength can be made perfect. And never forget the great company you keep. Moses, David, Joseph, Mary the mother of Jesus and countless others in scripture had reason to believe they were the “least likely”, but God revels in taking the last and making them first.
…you might be hiding right now from the exact thing God has called you to.
This is why the prophetic is so necessary in the church today. For many of us it takes God to reveal bits of our future to us to even believe such things. A prophetic word can open up a brand new sense of destiny to you. Don’t despise the prophetic, and don’t throw a word away quickly because it doesn’t seem to fit in your current view of your destiny. There is no telling how God wants to reveal His power through you!
Let’s stand together as the “Army of the Least Likely”, allowing God to gain glory and expand His kingdom through our failures and weakness. Let him take your recent failure and reveal His strength, by bringing complete restoration. Hear the strategies of God. They won’t always sound like our own ideas or those in the most popular books, but so often God is testing our obedience. Be obedient, and watch Him demonstrate His power on your behalf.