Recently, I have been going through a devotional about the story of Gideon. If you don’t know Gideon, he is an Old Testament hero; legendary for winning a battle with ONLY 300 soldiers BUT also known for his weaknesses. He was not the strongest in his clan, nor was he a decorated solider. When readers actually lay eyes on him in Judges 6, he was out in the fields, tending to wheat. He was the exact opposite of a war leader. Yet God called him to save Israel. Gideon was baffled over God’s plan and questioned his role in saving Israel.
Gideon asks God 3 times to prove it; that he will be successful in battle. And if you remember the story, it involves making a fleece wet! God was so patient with Gideon; not only agreeing to the tests, and accomplishing them but sending an angel and His spirit upon him. Yet Gideon STILL doubted. He needed these signs from God in order to have the courage to carry out his mission of defeating the Midianites. Can you imagine needing that big of a pep talk from God?! Well… actually, now that I think of it- yah. There are parts about following after Jesus, that I REALLY do need God to show up, otherwise I am gonna fail.
And usually I am just like Gideon, asking God to prove Himself- that He will show up and be with me. And of course, when I think about ‘signs from God’ I think BIG, crazy, over-the-top supernatural experiences. I don’t know why I automatically think that (gonna blame Moses and the burning bush for that one). I know God moves in that way, but He also shows up in the normalcy of life. It is hard to have my spiritual eyes open to God in my daily life; in my routines, or even on my slower, less-filled days. If I don’t have that awareness to His presence, I miss out on Him meeting me/ showing up. Often time, it is in the quieter moments, when I am reminded that God is with me. Sometimes it is the warmth from the sun shining down after a cloud moves or the wind blowing a cluster of leaves to dance on the sidewalk that I pause the chaotic to-do lists in my mind and I am reminded of God’s beauty and faithfulness. As much as I want a Billboard from God telling me what to do, God appears in my day-to day life. I just need to notice.
In Gideon’s case, an angel of the Lord came and sat under a tree before appearing to Gideon (Judges 6:11-12).
“Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.”
The text doesn't say if there was a big gust of wind or flash of light that made Gideon notice the angel. Or if the angel cleared his throat and said ’ hey man’. The angel probably looked like an ordinary man sitting under a tree. It was only after Gideon was aware of the angel’s presence did the angel disclose God’s purposes.
Often we just want to hear about God’s purposes and plans for our life that we forget to recognize and honor His presence. Especially in the normal flow of life. I’m praying for myself; for my spiritual eyes to be open and to sense God’s nearness and I am praying the same for you!
Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are tthe riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might. Ephesians 1:18-19