We are viewing Gideon’s story through an exclusive lens of “calling” and “destiny.” The first words spoken to Gideon by the Angel of the Lord were “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor” (Judges 6:12). This was rather odd, especially since Gideon was hiding in fear in a cave from the Midianites while threshing out his wheat. In addition, he had (as far as we know) never accomplished anything whatsoever noteworthy or courageous. The point must not be forgotten. God sees us for “who He created us to be… for who we can be…for who we will be” with God’s help. The same is true for us. God typically perceives vastly more potential within us than we can see in ourselves. The reason? He sees us through Jesus Christ His Son.
Because of our oftentimes inaccurate, inferior assessment of our standing as children of God through Jesus Christ, we oftentimes question God’s plan for us. Furthermore, while we “live out” our faith walk day by day, our destiny is always tested.
Even though the Angel attempted to assure Gideon that the Lord was with him, Gideon continued to doubt God’s plan. We are like Gideon. God assures us through His Word, through His presence, through prayers answered, and through others that He has called us and will be with us. Yet our doubts persist.
Gideon responded, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me” (Judges 6:17). In other words, Gideon was not quite convinced that it was actually God who was calling Him for this purpose. We will see a repeat performance of this doubt soon. We oftentimes respond similar to Gideon, “I don’t know if God really wants me to do that. That’s probably my own crazy idea.”
To abbreviate the story, the Angel gives Gideon some specific but basic instructions to carry out. Gideon obeys and brings some meat and bread (an offering) and places them upon a rock. The next thing you know, the Angel touches the food, and a fire emerges from the rock, consuming the food like an Old Testament sacrifice unto the Lord.
Here is a point most of us would normally overlook in this story. The Angel asks Gideon to precisely follow a few instructions. Granted, they were extraordinarily simple, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock and pour out the broth (Judges 6:20).” Gideon obeyed…precisely. So what? This was such a small matter of obedience. Nevertheless, this was Gideon’s first lesson in trust and obedience. We have to start somewhere! Gideon was not yet certain about this character representing himself as Yahweh (God). Nonetheless, he had to “give it a shot.” So he obeyed the Angel’s instructions regarding the offering.
When contemplating the possibility of following Christ, we will always be assailed with doubts. “What will He ask me to do? How do I know this is, in fact, God who is leading me?” We must begin by following God in the day-to-day, insignificant, inconsequential affairs of our lives: applying the message we received in church, praying, living the “God life” as detailed in the Word of God, sincerely asking God for guidance, doing what we know to do at the time, intentionally setting aside time to listen for God’s voice (usually through our thoughts and intent), and so forth.
As we become serious about following God in the small matters of day to day life, then we, as a result, open our hearts and minds to more significant Kingdom affairs. Likewise, we become more and more attuned to His voice and His ways. God’s plan gradually becomes clearer and clearer. We are on our way!
Here is the simple process. God calls us to follow Him (God must always act first). At some point, we must respond by obedience/faith in some small way. God meets us there. We realize, like Gideon, it truly is God! This energizes us. God is speaking to me!? Praise and thanks begin to flow from our hearts. We begin to become, not only willing, but enthusiastic about following God and hearing His voice.