Judges 6: 19 - 21 19 So Gideon went into his house and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the terebinth and presented them. 20 And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them.” And he did so. 21 Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight.

It doesn't seem to mean much at first read, but the angel proves to Gideon that he isn't hallucinating.  

We see Gideon going to prepare a meal and an offering to give to the angel.  This is important.  Gideon could have asked for the angel to do a miracle, like make the Sun go black or do some kind of trick.  The religious leaders tried to do that to Jesus, and all Jesus said was, An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, (Matthew 16:4).  Gideon took a different approach.  He showed God honor and respect with his actions first.

Don't devalue your relationship with Christ by asking Him to do tricks or some kind of nonsense to "prove" His worth and value to you.  Instead, honor Him and respect His with all of your heart.  He is your friend.  Make sure that He is so precious to you that you will honor Him and love Him above all else. 

Gideon brings the meal and offering to the angel.  The angel then tells him to pour the broth over the meal.  This is reminiscent of Elijah pouring water over the offering before calling fire down from heaven.  Then in a flash, the angel and the food are gone.  Gideon is left standing there going, "It's all true!" 

I know that truth is lost to some.  Others have given up on finding it.  But if you take a moment to honor God.  To give Him a chance to prove Himself.  I believe that you will find out the same thing that Gideon discovered.  "It's all true!"  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I worship You with all my heart, please show me your truth for my life.  AMEN  

Are You Hallucinating?

Judges 6: 17 - 18 17 And he said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. 18 Please do not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my present and set it before you.” And he said, “I will stay till you return.”
Gideon is wondering if he's crazy.  He figures that if he fixes a meal and the angel eats it, then he isn't hallucinating.

Gideon doubts himself, not God.

This is an issue for many people today. They don't doubt God, His existence or presence.  They don't question His goodness or mercy.  They attend church, pray to Him and believe in the Word of God.  But they doubt themselves.  Their qualifications, their skills, their value to the Kingdom of God.

It's easy to understand because in our eyes we see who we are - Sinners.  Sinners who deserve judgment and eternal damnation.

But when we see ourselves through His eyes, we are sinners saved by grace.  We are saved?  But we don't deserve this.  Gideon didn't think that he deserved God's presence or His calling to deliver the nation of Israel.  If he didn't deserve it, therefore, he must have been hallucinating.  

When God speaks to you, and He will, it is very likely you will think that you've lost it.  How you see yourself and how God sees you can be so different that believing His Word can be difficult.

That is why our act of faith to depend upon Him continually can allow us the liberty to be set free from our sight and our sin.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I want to see what you see.  Increase my faith to see.  AMEN   

Do You Have 20/20 Vision?

I have horrible vision.  It's something like 20/200 or so.  Without my glasses, I am blind as a bat.  I have seen my world through corrective lenses since I was in the 4th grade.  They are the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing I take off at night.  

But how do you see yourself?  When you look in the mirror what do you think?  Do you have 20/20 vision from your perspective or from God's  

Judges 6:16 And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”

God has told Gideon that he is going to deliver Israel from the Midianites.  To which Gideon, in essence, said, "Are you kidding me?"  I'm nobody, from a family of nobodies, that's from a clan of nobodies!"  Every felt that way?

God says, "Defeating Midian will be like beating up one man."

This doesn't seem to add up, does it?

Your perspective vs. His perspective will often be as opposite as night and day.  The word is contrast, the state of being strikingly different from something else.  What God says about you, can either challenge or change your perspective.

Contrast without faith makes what God says look impossible.   But seeing yourself the way He sees you, by faith, can give you a new fresh outlook on life.

God spends a lot of time and patience on Gideon and on us.  It isn't until Judges 7:15 that Gideon finally get it.  How long will you take to see yourself through God's eyes?

You are one who worships God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
You are one who can lead your marriage, family, friends, and acquaintances to a stronger relationship with Jesus.
You are one who is gifted by God to do something great for His Kingdom.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I don't see it, but I will choose to believe it.  AMEN  

Be All You Can Be

Judges 6: 15 And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.”

God’s declarations in the face of your situation will cause you to go, “Huh?”  We will ask, “how God how?”  I have to tell you that this is normal.  What you see rarely lines up with what God knows about you.  But as you follow Him, you discover who you are.  Who you were created to be.  Who He wants you to be.  

The world will tell you that you are weak.  But the God within you is strong. 
The world will tell you that you are nobody.  But God created you, and you are the apple of His eye. 
The world will tell you that you are a loser.  But God will tell you that you are a leader.  

You can ask God how.  But ask Him how you can become the person He created you to be.  

PRAY: Dear Jesus, how can I become everything that you want me to be today.  AMEN. 

God "I've Got Your Back"

Judges 6:14 And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?”

Notice that God doesn't even comment on Gideon's complaint. (vs. 13) But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.”  Instead, God stays focused on the purpose of His visit.  

Have you ever poured your heart out to God only to hear Him speak to you about something seemingly unrelated to prayer?  

Over 30 years ago Betty and I were going through a rough time in our marriage.  (This is no secret and is a part of our testimony).  I was at the couch in our living room begging God to save our marriage.  The Holy Spirit spoke to me clearly and distinctly at that moment, "Tell your wife to quit her job."  What?  What does that have to do with our marriage?  He repeated it and emphasized that I should do it NOW!  I quickly got up from the couch, went to Betty and blurted out, "You need to quit your job now!"  She broke down in tears and thanked me again and again.  She hated that job and wanted out, but she didn't want to disappoint me by quitting. 

Gideon was complaining that God had abandoned them.  Gods answer. "Dude!  I'm right here!"  God will never ever abandon you.

God has a solution to your problem, and often it's you!  While God can intervene in your life in many different ways, remember the, He believes in you.  He will make you a part of your own solution. 

Notice what God says.  

“Go in this might of yours - Be strong Gideon!  You've probably looked in the mirror and said to yourself, "Who me?"  But God gives you what you need to do His mission.  

. . . and save Israel from the hand of Midian; - Here's the mission Gideon - set the people free from Midian.  Gideon struggled with this mission, as we will see.  But our struggle doesn't change God's mind.  

. . . do not I send you?” - Here is the game changer.  Gideon, don't worry I've got your back.  So often we forget that on our own - we fail.  Our pride doesn't allow us to let God in.  But in our pain, while we are sifting wheat in a winepress, or kneeling at a couch begging God to save a marriage - we will hear HIs voice and His promise.  I've got your back.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, speak to me - I need to know that you've got my back.  AMEN  

Hello Mighty Man, Or Woman, of Valor!!

Judges 6:12 - 13 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

So Gideon is in a winepress hiding from the Midianites.  An angel shows up and calls Gideon, "O mighty man of valor."  Gideon doesn't even say thank you!  Instead asks, "... why then has all this happened to us?'  This is an odd conversation, to say the least.  But what God is saying and what Gideon is thinking isn't the same.  Gideons mind is on the problem while God's words are focusing on the solution.  

You will find that when God calls you to do something for Him, His will and your self-image will not line up.   But remember, God always speaks the truth. He created you with a purpose that lines up with His image.  So God isn't giving Gideon a motivational speech that He hopes will revolutionize Gideon's heart and mind.  He knows who Gideon is, even though Gideon doesn't - yet.  

Gideon doesn't know why they are in trouble, thus the reasons for verse 8 and 9.  Had it been so long since Israel had heard the Ten Commandments that they had forgotten it?  I don't think so.  But I do believe that their selfishness and fear had drowned out the message.  

Many people don't know what the Bible says.  They don't know how to please/honor God with their lives.  They don't know how to pray or worship.  Not saying that these are big "religious" secrets, their not.  But the self-centeredness of this world coupled with its fear of everything is drowning out the message of Christ's hope and love.  

That's why we are the might men, or women, of valor.  We are called of God to do something that will change the course of history.  Maybe not of the world, but of someone's world.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus help me to see myself for who You created me to be.  AMEN