We've all heard the saying "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." Oh, that is so untrue! What people call us has the potential to stick to us for years or even a lifetime. And for some reason, it is so much easier to remember the hurtful things said to us than the encouraging words. We've all been called something that is really just a lie. Stupid. Ugly. Clumsy. Dirty. Unworthy. Weird. Whatever the lies we've been told, we can know they are lies because God created us and loves us and calls by a different name. The story I am reading today is a perfect example of how God calls us by a different name. Today, I am leaving our look into Joshua's call and skip through many pages of history and take a look at God's call on Gideon. Please use the link and read Judges 6:11-16.
Every time I read through this story, I always look forward to the greeting that the Lord gave to Gideon. "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!" (Judges 6:12, NIV). Picture the scene for a moment. At this point in history, the Israelites had been tormented by the Midianites who have bullied them and have taken all their food. The scene opens with the Lord sitting under a tree and Gideo coming up from a wine press after hiding from the Midianites in order to crush his grain. What do you know about bullies? They not only do mean things, but they say mean things. I cannot help but wonder what lies they spoke into the Israelites... I'm sure one of the biggest lies was "weak." The Midianites dominated over the Israelites. So, how does Gideon respond to the name the Lord gave him?
Can you find a response in these verses? I don't. Instead, he refutes the idea that the Lord is with Israel and he questions why they are being tormented. Think about that for a minute. I know that Gideon isn't the only person on this planet who didn't respond to a new name the Lord has given them. I know that because it took me years to believe God in what He called me. Having lived with shame from my past, it was hard to believe Him when He called me "beautiful, loving, servant of God..." and so many more intimate and wonderful names. I completely understand how the term "Mighty Warrior" didn't even seem to cause a blip on Gideon's radar. Can you relate to this?
Finally, Gideon responds to God's call by explaining that he is the weakest person in his family who is from the weakest clan of the weakest tribe of Israel. Isn't that just like God to take the most unlikely person to show His strength and power? Isn't it just like God to use the most unlikely person to show that it is God who decides what a person is? The world wants to tell us many things about ourselves that just isn't true. The only One who has the authority to claim who we are is God, and trust me the name He gives us is so much greater than the names the world gives us. When God calls, He need to believe and trust in who He calls us and what He has called us to do.
What is God calling you?
This post is linked with Soli Deo Gloria.