It’s about 1200 B.C. and things haven’t been going well for this young man. In fact, his entire nation is in disarray. People are afraid, they are living under constant threats and abuse. Their enemies are more powerful, better organized, and the good old days of milk and honey are no more. Thus Gideon is pressed down by the system, his soul is captive to fear, and because of that he is found hiding in broad daylight.
Have you ever fell victim to circumstances around you? Someone else’s bad decisions? Someone else’s power or influence? The system had failed him. The only connection to God was from stories he had been told about a distant past, and a much more distant reality. But the thrill was gone. The good old days were replaced by pressure, fear, and uncertainty. “How could the great God who delivered us from Egyptian slavery allow us to be in this situation again?”, Gideon cries.
Perhaps you might be facing a similar situation. You are having to deal with things you thought you would never have to deal with again: a relationship, a career path, a bad habit, a financial setback, a health issue. And at times it feels as if God is silent amid your crisis; unmoved by your reality.
In the story (Judges 6-8), Gideon is met by a messenger of God who addresses the issue in the most unexpected way. He says two things that should change the way you see your challenges and even the way you pray. The first thing he says is: “The Lord is with you”. The second thing he says is: “Go save Israel”.
There is a massive difference in perspectives in this story. And I find this to be true with most people today. We see ourselves as victims while God sees us as winners. We address our circumstances as victims. And we pray to God as victims. It’s subtle, but it undermines what God has placed in us when he formed us:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
– Genesis 1:27, 28 ESV
God can’t see you as a victim. It is impossible for Him to do so. He won’t address you as one either. He made you in His image, and he has blessed you since the foundations of the Earth. You might have been through some tough situations. But in God’s eyes you are not a victim.
He has given you dominion. That means you have been blessed with strength, determination, talents, and wisdom to rise above any challenge or difficulty.
In a world where the status quo is conforming, I’d like to encourage you to rise higher. See yourself as God sees you. And embrace the blessing.
When your perspective changes, your question will go from “God, why won’t you?” to “God, how can I?”. Remember: You can rise higher. You can conquer your enemies. The Lord is with you.