"The Lord is with you mighty, warrior."
Before God told Gideon what He wanted him to do, God told Gideon who he was. Judges 6:11-12, tells us, "The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, He said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior."
Gideon was busy threshing wheat. To "thresh" means to "beat or to remove the grain." While Gideon was beating the grain, he was, to be honest, hiding from the Midianites in the winepress so they wouldn't see him and steal his grain! The last thing on his mind was that he was a mighty warrior! He was just an average farmer, beating the grain, trying to make a living, when an angel of the Lord appeared at his elbow and said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior."
The word "warrior" means "one engaged in or experienced in battle." Up until this point we have not heard about Gideon having experience in battle. We only hear about him threshing the wheat. However, God planned on taking Gideon from beating the wheat to beating the enemy. God saw Gideon for who he would, by His power, be "a mighty warrior.”
God did not send an angel to Gideon to say, "Poor, powerless Gideon. Maybe, just maybe after five years of training, six months of therapy and everyone in the camp laying hands on you, you might become a mighty warrior. Maybe then you can engage in battle. Maybe then you can beat the enemy.”
NO! God sent His angel to say it plain and clear: "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." In other words, not only is God with you, but in His eyes you are already a powerful, experienced fighter.
We look at ourselves and see our insecurities, our weaknesses and fears, all of which leave us with a low self-image. If by chance we have worked hard at creating a positive self-image, we often struggle to maintain that image, especially when new circumstances or challenges arise. However, God sees us in a different way than we see ourselves. God sees who we really are, what we are really made of, regardless of what it looks like to us. He sees us as "mighty warriors" long before any battle. God calls those things that are not in our eyes as though they were, because He's looking through His eyes.
If we are struggling with a low self-image, how is it that we can go from knowing what God says about us in His Word, to actually believing it? Think about how we got our negative self-image to begin with. We have often heard negative things said about us, over and over by others, the devil, or even ourselves. We have heard it so much that we start to believe it.
We have said, "I'm afraid, I can't, it's too hard." The devil has whispered, "You're not smart enough, you have no abilities." Perhaps, you received "constructive criticism" from others, which wasn’t constructive at all, only criticism. When we hear these things long enough we start to believe them.
So it is with the truth of God's Word. If we hear it long enough we will start to believe it. We may have to pray it, say it, shout it, whisper it, write it and think it over and over until we believe it.
It takes time to go from seeing ourselves with our eyes to seeing ourselves through God's eyes. God sees us just like Gideon, "A Mighty Warrior." Our daily battles will be different from Gideon's. His battle was against the Midianites. My battle may be at 3:30 p.m. when the kids get home from school. Your battle may be your husband, your neighbors, your past, sickness, alcohol, your job, or just your attitude about life in general. Whatever it is, God says to each of us, "I am with you, mighty warrior,"
You don't have to be swallowed up by your circumstances. You can be an experienced fighter. Although most of us have a deep desire to be a mighty warrior, we often forget that it requires us to take up our Sword and fight! The good news is that God is with us and already knows that we can walk by the Spirit as a mighty warrior through Him. God’s Word is our Sword with which we fight our battles. Knowing and applying the Word is what makes us warriors.
As we continue the story of Gideon, we see that Gideon gave the angel many reasons why he could not possibly defeat the Midianites. The first excuse was that he was too weak. Although he went on and on with his reasons, God's truth spoken about Gideon did not change. God called him a mighty warrior and so it would be. Gideon had to apply the truth in spite of his fears of what God was saying, so that he could be victorious.
Even if we are crying, shaking, and weeping in some trial, when we apply God's truth to it, we are mighty warriors. For example, for the woman who believes her husband is her battle, God already has called you "a mighty warrior." You already have all you need to win this battle.
One of the answers is found in Ephesians 5:22-24: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." This may not be your weapon of choice, but it is one of the tools that God commands the mighty warrior wife to use for the ultimate victory.
The Lord gave me a perfect example of how a negative self-image can lead us to believe one way about ourselves, when in fact the opposite is true . I had always been about 15 to 20 pounds overweight, which left me feeling self-conscious about my body. A few years ago, I had worked very hard, with the Lord's help, to lose 20 pounds. Just as I reached my goal, I found out I was pregnant, and ended up gaining a total of 35 pounds. After having the baby, I again worked hard with God's help, by exercise and eating right and praying through all the cravings to lose the pregnancy weight, going from 178 to 134 pounds in a few months.
I had gotten into the habit of weighing myself every few days to keep track of how I was doing. One day, when I stepped on the scale, I squinted my eyes as if I was afraid to see what it said. The scale read just as it had a few days before that I indeed was 134 pounds. I was able to see the reward of my hard work, yet, I felt certain the scale was lying and sadness came over me.
I asked the Lord why I felt this way and He showed me that it was because I still viewed myself as 20 pounds overweight even though the scale was showing me in big red numbers that I had lost the weight. I just had to believe it.
God has said in big, bold, letters that we are "More Than Conquerors" (Romans 8:28), that we are "Chosen of God" (Colossians 3:12), that "He Has Given Us Power" (2 Timothy 1:7), and that we are "Mighty Warriors." (Judges 6:12). We just have to believe it and then, through His strength, walk in it.
I read a quote by Vincent Van Gogh that said, "If you hear a voice within you saying you are not a painter, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced."
And so it is for us. If you hear a voice saying, "I can't, I'm afraid, I could never, I'm too weak," by all means pray, seek God, get into His Word and read it over and over. By the power of His Word, that voice will be silenced. After all, you are a "Mighty Warrior!"