Oh how I love this name! When you say it, it just rolls off the tongue without effort and yet it seems to be less poetic and more powerful. Okay enough of my silly musings about the name Gideon. As much as I like it I am not changing my name to Gideon nor am I asking that my grandchildren bear this awesome name that I have fallen in love with. If the name was Bob, a name so simple it can be spelt backward and still be the same (sorry to all the Bobs out there) I would say I am Bob just as I have said in past posts, I am Paul, Mary, Thomas, Samuel, Peter, Adam, Judas, The Rich Young Ruler and Coca- Cola™ because a part of me is just like Bob, I mean Gideon.
I have been called to fulfill God’s plan.
The call was unmistakeable and my response, well, let’s just say it was more like Gideon’s.
Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me… Judges 6:17(NIV)
I heard God’s call, or at least what I thought was God’s call. It wasn’t as much that I was afraid to live out the call or to step out in faith. My fear stemmed from my understanding of me. I was afraid that I would jump at any chance to do ministry especially one that included music and theatre because I love doing music and theatre and now I could be doing it for God who I also love! Mix what I want to happen with a perceived call from God and I am all over it. To avoid godizing my dreams I asked for a sign. I am Gideon.
If this is what you want me to do…
I have questioned God and I continue to do it to this day. I have heard that it is wrong and I guess you could, in a perfect world, with perfect people, argue that once God has spoken there is no room for questioning. I am not in a perfect world and I am far from perfect. There have been times that God has spoken and I have acted without question. In these cases it was clear that my personal desires were not creating the appearance of God instructing me to pursue an action and my fears and the reality of the situation were not calling into question what I thought I heard. Outside of these situation, I am Gideon.
I think Gideon gets a bad rap.
It isn’t because I think I am like Gideon. I am not trying to defend him and therefore defend me. I believe that Gideon had it right even if he took a long time to come around. If you put yourself in his shoes maybe you would have trouble believing that you had a call from God and a visit from one of his angels.
Gideon, just as the rest of the Israelites, had a deep desire to be rescued from captivity.
Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help. Judges 6:6 (NIV)
Gideon couldn’t fathom God using him in a mighty way.
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Judges 6:14-15 (NIV)
Gideon fought his own doubts and needed God’s assurance.
Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.
Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew. Judges 6:36-40 (NIV)
I am Gideon and before you judge me hear me out.
I am imperfect and weak, capable of acting or not acting based on my own desires and fears. I’d rather question God over and over again because I am not sure I have heard Him right than wrongly assume I have heard Him correctly because I don’t want to question Him over and over again.