Read Judges 6:12-14
I love reading historical fiction and nonfiction stories, especially centered around the WWII era. It’s easy for me to visualize the scenes and, at times, the novels tend to romanticize that time period. However, reality can not be compared to the novels. My father and father-in-law both were in the armed forces during WWII. My dad was a marine stationed in the Pacific Islands and my husband’s dad served as a waist gunner and trainer. They both saw and experienced things I can’t fathom. They are heroes to me.
I’m grateful that I have never lived through such oppression from the enemy. I like reading about those past times in the comfort of my security. But today we are experiencing a different kind of war- a war not against another nation, but against an invisible attacker. People live in fear and anxiety unsure if the enemy lurks behind the next corner. Questions loom and answers are blurred.
Gideon was full of questions as the enemy lurked in the shadows. Why did God allow this to happen? Where is God and His miraculous deliverance? Instead of receiving answers, the stranger that appeared to him, the angel of the Lord, addressed him as a valiant warrior. This is not quite the adjective I would have used for someone hiding in fear. Valiant connotes courage and determination. It seems to me that Gideon didn’t possess either.
I’ve always been taught to ask questions of the text and to make it applicable to me. As I pondered this salutation, I realized that God has addressed me the same way. In Romans 8, I’m called a conqueror. In Ephesians 6, I am called a warrior fully equipped with necessary armor for the battle. The angel told Gideon that the Lord was with him. I’m told to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. (Eph. 6:10) Second Chronicles 20:15 says that the battle is the Lord’s.
As Gideon, I am called a valiant warrior because God is not only with me but has equipped me. It is my responsibility to put on the armor.
The belt of truth: Jesus said I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life. (John 14:6)
The devil is the father of lies. I must choose to believe the one who calls himself the TRUTH.
The helmet of salvation: The mind must be protected and renewed. I must captivate every thought to the obedience of Christ. ( 2 Cor. 10:5)
The breastplate of righteousness: God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor. 5:21)
The shield of faith: Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Heb. 11:6) This faith allows all the arrows of the evil one to be thwarted and extinguished.
The sword of the Spirit: The Word of God. It is above our circumstances.
Shoes of peace: The gospel is peace. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14: 27)
From this moment on, Gideon is a changed man and begins to take on the characteristics of an obedient warrior. He is even listed in Hebrews 11- the heroes of the faith chapter of the Bible.
Gideon was equipped and armed by God Himself. He was strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Gideon may still have had fears and the enemy still existed, but He understood who was fighting the battle and he wore his armor well. God, make me a valiant warrior.