His story is told in Judges 6-8.

Did not accept responsibility for own problems

Jud 6:1  Again the Israelites did what was evil in the LORD’s sight. So the LORD handed them over to the Midianites for seven years.

13  “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?

Gideon questioned God about the problems he and his nation faced and about God’s apparent lack of help. What he didn’t acknowledge was the fact that the people had brought calamity upon themselves when they decided to disobey and neglect God. How easy it is to overlook personal accountability and blame our problems on God and others.

When problems come, the first place to look is within. Our first action should be confession to God of sins that may have created our problems. That is not to say that problems are always the result of sin in our lives. Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not. But the first place to look should always be within.

Are you facing some difficulties right now? Have you considered whether that problem could be due to sin in your life?

Sought confirmation for the voice of God

Jud 6:17  Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the LORD speaking to me.

God often speak to us in different ways – through dreams, friends, things we read, etc – and it is wise to get a confirmation that it is indeed God who is speaking to us. Gideon did just that and God was not displeased that Gideon tried to get a confirmation.

Do you feel that God is speaking to you in a specific area in your life? Have you got a confirmation? If not ask God to give you one. Confirmation comes when God speaks the same message to you through various means. It could be that several friends tell you that you are suitable for full-time ministry. Then you keep hearing sermons about going into full-time ministry. And God teaches you in His Word often about the same thing. There is no science of confirming God’s call but the idea is to seek confirmation from various sources.

Gideon also went into the specifics when he asked God to confirm His word.

Jud 6:36  Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, 37  prove it to me in this way. I will put some wool on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” 38And it happened just that way. When Gideon got up the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water.

I do not propose that we use obscure methods to get God’s confirmation but we can use perfectly relevant signs to test God’s message. For example, if you wish to go for a mission trip but do not have the ability to self finance, then you may want to tell God that if it is really His will for you, He will someone provide the finances. The idea is to look for relevant ways to test God’s will.

Boosted the morale of his followers by convincing them that they were doing important jobs.

Judges 8: 1  Then the people of Ephraim asked Gideon, “Why have you treated us this way? Why didn’t you send for us when you first went out to fight the Midianites?” And they argued heatedly with Gideon. 2But Gideon replied, “What have I done compared to you? Aren’t the last grapes of Ephraim’s harvest better than the entire crop of my little clan of Abiezer? 3God gave you victory over Oreb and Zeeb, the generals of the Midianite army. What have I done compared to that?” When the men of Ephraim heard Gideon’s answer, they were no longer angry.

Ephraim’s leaders felt left out because Gideon had not called them to join the battle but had left them in place to “clean up” the escaping Midianites (“the last grapes”), and so they angrily confronted him. Gideon assured the leaders of Ephraim that their accomplishment was even greater than his own clan’s (Abiezer). His diplomatic explanation pointed out that this rear guard had managed to capture the enemy’s generals, thus cutting off the leaders from their army. Not every necessary job is a highly visible leadership role. Much of the necessary labor of any effective enterprise is considered by many to be dirty work. But such work is vital to getting any big task done.

The Bible tells us that the body of Christ (ie the church) has many parts and each part is crucial to the proper functioning of the body.

(1 Corinthians 12:18-22) But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. {19} If they were all one part, where would the body be? {20} As it is, there are many parts, but one body. {21} The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” {22} On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,

If you are the leader, are any of your team members discouraged because they believe they are not fulfilling an important role? Just like Gideon, you can do something to improve their morale. The leader can do much to teach the members that there is no such thing as an unimportant role in God’s kingdom. The apostle Paul dedicated long passages in the Bible to explain that each part is essential in the proper functioning of the church.

Learnt that God acts in a way that ensures He gets all the glory.

Judges 7:2  The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength. 7The Lord told Gideon, “With these three hundred men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.” 8So Gideon collected the provisions and rams’ horns of the other warriors and sent them home. But he kept the three hundred men with him. Now the Midianite camp was in the valley just below Gideon. 9  During the night, the Lord said, “Get up! Go down into the Midianite camp, for I have given you victory over them!

Gideon tried to do God’s work with his own strength. God told him that if he were to fight the enemy with a big army and win, the Israelites would surely say that it was not God but themselves who have defeated the army. God does not work this way. He does not work unless He gets the credit that He deserves. And Gideon eventually learnt the lesson.

Judges 7:15 When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he thanked God. Then he returned to the Israelite camp and shouted, “Get up! For the Lord has given you victory over the Midianites!”

Do you need God’s help today? Ask God to help you in such a way that only He gets the credit and not yourself. Ask God to work in such a way that you would not be able to duplicate it by yourself and you will always have to be dependent on His strength and guidance.

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