The Power of God’s Affirmation

Greetings oh valiant warrior!

That’s exactly how the angel of the Lord greeted Gideon while he was beating out wheat in a wine press in order to hide it from the Midianites (see Judges 6).  The angel called him a valiant warrior.  Gideon didn’t see it that way.  Gideon was discouraged because of the oppression of the enemy.  He was hiding his harvest, seeking to keep it from the enemy. He was definitely in a fearful and defensive posture.

But God was about to change everything by making a very firm promise to Gideon – a promise that if believed and embraced, would transform his outlook and life:

“Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” (Judges 6:16)

There is something powerful about recognizing that the Lord is FOR you and WITH you.  When you are fully assured of this you are undefeatable.  When you doubt it you can succumb to the slightest accusation and fear. 

The writer of Hebrews tells us that Enoch was “taken up so that he would not see death…for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.” (Heb 11:5) Have you ever noticed what precipitated Enoch’s translation to glory?  It was the witness he obtained from God that he was pleasing in His sight!  He literally went to a new level when he found out that God was for him and with him.

So how did Gideon and Enoch come to a confidence that God was for them and with them?  By simple faith.  They had to believe the good news.  Period.  If the gospel you believe has yet to bring you into a major turning from sin to Christ, resulting in a deep confidence that you are pleasing to God, then either you have not fully believed the truth or else your conception of “gospel” is not the real gospel!  The writer of Hebrews tells us that we can boldly enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus (Heb 10:19).  Boldness comes by believing in the power of Christ’s atoning sacrifice for our sins. This and only this has the power to set us into right-standing with God.

Through the good news that was proclaimed to Gideon he came to view himself in a different light.  It didn’t all happen overnight.  It was a process.  Gideon took small steps at first.  But God was patient with Him.  Thank goodness God is patient with us!  Are you taking steps to increasingly embrace the good news of the gospel?  Or are you still living in the shadow lands of fear and unbelief?

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