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The LORD looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of the Midian. Have I not sent you?”

He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.”

But the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” (Judges 6:14-16, NASB) 

Go in this your strength. The command is given to Gideon and commands are meant to be followed. Gideon already had in his possession the might he needed to accomplish his calling, and this might was in the LORD because that is where his empowerment came from (Luke 1:35 and 24:49; Matthew 10:1; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 13:4; Ephesians 1:3 and 6:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; 2 Timothy 1:7; 2 Samuel 22:33; 1 Chronicles 29:12; Psalm 68:35; and Isaiah 40:29). Gideon is the warrior and the LORD is the Commander-in-Chief. Obedience is all that is required for Gideon and for us, the poor in spirit (1 John 2:3-6; Matthew 7:24 and 28:20; Romans 6:16; and Colossians 3:22). Scripture paints that Christ is the Master (Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1; and 2 Timothy 2:21) and we are the slave (127 times in the New Testament). As a slave, all we can access is the resources of the Master because we own nothing; we are totally dependent upon the Master. With this fact our only option is obedience. The commands are given in His Word and we are to obey, in the power of the Holy Spirit – it is rather simple.

Have I not sent you? The objection often raised in obedience is that we as humans cannot be obedient. This is true: in our efforts we cannot be obedient (Romans 7), but with God’s empowerment we will follow His commands (Romans 8). The Lord will not lead where He does not give us the tools to be successful by the power of the Holy Spirit. If He says go then we should go – it is rather simple. The LORD gives us the Who is calling and at the same time He is pointing out the how – in His power. Go. 

How shall I deliver Israel? But what if God is calling you to do something big for Him? Gideon starts to show that he is poor in spirit because when he looks at himself he recognizes his limitations. This is where character development begins: from understanding that the Lord’s work is never done in our ability.

My family is the least…I am the youngest in my father’s house.   Gideon again shows he is poor in spirit as he recognizes that he does not have the right pedigree or connections to be a leader. From the world’s standards Gideon was not likely to become a leader. He did not come from a family of leaders, and in fact he was the least of all his family. Gideon recognizes that fact. This is another step in developing poor in spirit character: understanding that the Lord’s work does not come from your family background or social status.

Surely I will be with you. God reassures Gideon that despite his family lineage He will be with Gideon. This assurance is also ours: the Lord will be with us (Jeremiah 1:19 and 15:20; 2 Chronicles 32:8; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23 and 28:20; 1 Kings 8:57; 2 Chronicles 13:12 and 20:17; Psalm 46:7, 11; and Isaiah 8:10). When you believe this then you will live it. Accept what God tells us plainly in His Word – it is rather simple.

You shall defeat Midian. Once again the LORD states the facts from the perspective of the One outside eternity: he WILL be successful. Is anything too big for God? If the Lord said it you can live it – it is rather simple.

Accept God’s empowerment and fulfill your calling in the Holy Spirit and not in your own abilities or worldly circumstances.